At St James Primary School, our children are mathematicians! Our intent is to deliver a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum using maths to reason, problem solve and develop fluent conceptual understanding in each area. Our curriculum allows children to better make sense of the world around them by making connections between mathematics and everyday life.
We want our children to love maths! Every child is equally important and so our children are fully supported to enable them to develop at a level that is appropriate to them. Our carefully selected approach allows children to develop a deep understanding, confidence and competence in the subject.
A culture of strong, secure learning and real progress is apparent at St James through our approach to teaching and learning. We strive for children to become happy, resilient mathematicians, whilst developing their independence and reflective thinking skills. We aim to develop a culture of pupils who are positive about mathematics and want to achieve their very best!
At St James, we have carefully designed and developed a curriculum with the needs of every child at the very heart of what we do. We aim to not only cover the minimum statutory requirements of the mathematics National Curriculum, but prepare our pupils for high school and beyond.
As a school, we have adopted the nationally recognised White Rose Maths as our ‘core’ approach to teaching mathematics. This carefully designed scheme of learning is broken down into the following broad areas:
- Place value
- Addition & subtraction
- Multiplication & division
- Fractions, decimals and percentages
- Ratio and proportion
The scheme of work supports teachers in delivering and assessing a mastery curriculum where lessons may be personalised to address the individual needs and requirements of a class, whilst maintaining coverage.
We believe that a mastery approach is the best way for our children to learn maths. We feel that every child can achieve in maths and is able to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the many areas covered in this subject. By striving to master maths, children will develop a deep, secure and adaptable understanding, feeling confident to problem solve, and face new situations without immediately requiring support. Children who struggle with a concept will be supported through practical resources and adult support. Children who quickly grasp a concept will be challenged to think deeply and reason about their learning.
The CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) Approach
Research shows that all children, when introduced to a new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency by following the CPA approach. This features throughout our learning journey. Children have the opportunity to work with physical objects/concrete resources, in order to bring the maths to life and to build understanding of what they are doing. Alongside concrete resources, children work with pictorial representations, making links to the concrete. Visualising a problem in this way can help children to reason and to solve problems. With the support of both the concrete and pictorial representations, children can develop their understanding of abstract methods.
White Rose Maths develops all three key areas of the National Curriculum (become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, reason mathematically and can solve problems), giving children the knowledge and skills they need to become confident mathematicians. We, therefore, structure our lessons using the following format.
- ‘Flashback 4’ mathematics warm-up
- Rapid Recall (prior learning linked with current lesson)
- Guided Practice (main teaching element and guided work)
- Fluency (independent work)
- Reasoning & problem solving
Children in our Early Years provision are taught according to the EYFS framework. We deliver our approach with the use of Ten Town, White Rose Maths and Master the Curriculum resources. Children are taught mathematics through continuous provision and a number of adult-led activities each week. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, mathematics is broken down into two aspects: Numbers and Shape, Space and Measures. At this stage of learning, we strive to encourage enjoyment and enthusiasm for mathematics so that children begin to learn skills for solving everyday problems and finding things out.
The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that children understand the relevance and importance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts. Children know that maths is a vital life skill that they will require in many areas of their daily life. Children have a positive view of maths due to learning in an environment where maths is promoted as being an exciting and enjoyable subject in which they can investigate and ask questions; they know that it is reasonable to make mistakes because this can strengthen their learning through the journey to finding an answer. Children are confident to ‘have a go’ and choose the equipment they need to help them to learn, along with the strategies they think are best suited to each problem. Our maths books evidence work of a high standard of which children clearly take pride; the components of the teaching sequences demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our feedback and interventions support children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be, ensuring a high proportion of children are on track or above.
- Mathematics daily lesson and several adult-led activities per week (EYFS)
- Mathematics learning indoors and outdoors including continuous provision (EYFS)
- Maths learning zones (EYFS)
- Strategies to develop rapid recall of number bonds (begins in KS1) and multiplication facts (begins in Y2)
- Homework tasks (all year groups)
- Working walls (Y1-6)
- Reasoning/problem-solving and challenge (KS1/2)
Schemes of work
- Ten Town (Nursery) ‘number of the week’
- Master the Curriculum (Nursery to Y6)
- White Rose approach (Rec and Y1-6)
- ‘Flashback in Four’ – approaches to develop written arithmetic skills
- Timed Challenge (times tables)
- Times Tables Rockstars (app)
- Concrete equipment – practical learning activities
- Visual representations and models