At Oak Tree Primary School, we have adopted a 'mastery' approach to teaching and learning within mathematics. Our aim is to ensure that mathematics is accessible to all of our children, so that they will become confident, skilled and resilient mathematicians. We want our children to thrive in a challenging environment and not be afraid to make mistakes.
The National Curriculum for Mathematics
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
At Oak Tree Primary School, we want our children to have a positive attitude towards mathematics and understand that it is a fundamental part of everyday life. We encourage resilience, adaptability and acceptance that struggle is often a necessary step in learning. Through teaching for 'mastery', we aim to create mathematicians who are fluent, can reason well using the correct mathematical vocabulary and have excellent problem solving skills. By using a wide range of mathematical resources, pupils are taught to show their workings in a concrete, pictorial and abstract form wherever suitable. Within each lesson, staff incorporate sustained levels of challenge through varied and high quality activities with a focus on fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
At Oak Tree Primary School, our mathematics curriculum is designed to meet the needs of our pupils ensuring our curriculum intentions are met. We do this through;
- White Rose - Every class from EYFS to Y6 follows the White Rose scheme of learning which is based on the National Curriculum. Lessons may be personalised to address the individual needs and requirements for a class but coverage is maintained. In order to further develop the children’s fluency, reasoning and problem-solving,
we also use a range of planning resources including those provided by the NCETM and NRICH to ensure our children are exposed to a varied range of activities.
- Concrete Pictorial Abstract Approach (CPA) - We implement our approach through high quality teaching delivering appropriately challenging work for all individuals. To support us, we have a range of mathematical resources in classrooms including Numicon, Base10 and counters (concrete equipment). When children have grasped a concept using concrete equipment, images and diagrams are used (pictorial) prior to moving to abstract questions. Abstract maths relies on the children understanding a concept thoroughly and being able to use their knowledge and understanding to answer and solve maths without equipment or images.
- Continuing Professional Development (CPD) - At Oak Tree Primary School, we are part of the North West 1 Maths Hub with the NCETM. As part of our five year programme, we are now working on embedding the mastery approach to teaching mathematics within our school. Part of this process involves working alongside other local schools to share ideas and good practice. This is then disseminated through regular staff meetings and training sessions facilitated by the subject leaders.
- Online Maths Tools - In order to support children's mathematical learning at home, we utilise Times Tables Rock Stars in KS2 for multiplication practise, application and consolidation (launching in September 2022). Children across the school have access to MyMaths whereby, they can further consolidate learning that has taken place in school.
- Cross Curricular - Maths is taught across the curriculum ensuring that skills taught in these lessons are applied in other subjects. For example in Science lessons, graphs, tables and charts are often produced and interpreted by the children.
- Assessment - Through our teaching, we continuously monitor pupils’ progress against expected attainment for their age, making formative assessment judgements where appropriate and using these to inform our teaching. Summative assessments are completed mid and end of year; these results aid discussions in termly Pupil Progress Meetings and update our summative school tracker. The main purpose of all assessment is to always ensure that we are providing quality first teaching for every child.
The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that the majority of children in our school are able to;
- demonstrate an enthusiasm for mathematics
- be resilient when faced with mathematical problems
- demonstrate a deep understanding of number by recalling mathematical facts such as number bonds and times tables
- recognise relationships and make connections between numbers
- reason mathematically, using appropriate vocabulary
- apply knowledge to a range of contexts and situations.