Through the Holy Redeemer, we seek to grow in faith and love, to become great people who make a difference in our world.
Mathematics at Holy Redeemer
‘Fostering an inquisitive mind, where problems are a challenge and mistakes are a learning opportunity; where children have inner determination to succeed and a passion for gaining new knowledge’
Within our school, we aim to create an environment in which children are encouraged to develop a positive mindset about maths and learn the necessary skills to go out into the world and succeed. We have an ethos and approach whereby every child can be successful in maths; where every child can achieve. Our children have access to a high quality maths curriculum where, in each lesson, they are able to apply their learning and reinforce their conceptual understanding. These activities (varied fluency, reasoning and problem solving) allow children to ‘see’ maths in different forms and encourage them to take risks.
Objectives from the National Curriculum (2014), alongside sequences of learning from the Early Years Curriculum/White Rose Hub, inform teachers’ ability to plan an engaging maths curriculum. Teachers use their professional judgement and creativity; resources are adapted and created to meet the needs and interests of the children, especially in Early Years and KS1. During lessons, quality first teaching, monitoring of learning which informs the next steps and providing appropriate degrees of challenge at all levels, is vital. In all classes, children are given a degree of autonomy as to the level of work that they choose, but staff also subtly adjust choices if required, based on what they have seen during the input. Regular opportunities are provided for children to link their learning to real-life scenarios and the purpose of the learning is made clear. Throughout sequences of learning children will be provided with opportunities to explore concepts using manipulatives, diagrams, pictures and/or models, eventually progressing to an abstract method. The emphasis through this CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach is to help learners’ find a way of securing their understanding of the curriculum objectives in a way that suits their style of learning whilst also making sure they understand the ‘why’ behind an approach.
If possible, we also try to link maths to other curriculum areas. Each lesson involves a warm-up activity which focuses on the key repetition of basic skills. The input of the lesson includes modelling of the thought processes as well as written methods. We encourage children to talk about their maths, orally rehearsing their reasoning with a partner whilst being encouraged to use the correct mathematical vocabulary. During this part of the lesson, staff members assess the children’s progress, focus on their next steps within the lesson and help them in choosing the right level of activity. Throughout the lesson, children will deepen their understanding through varied fluency, reasoning and problem solving activities. Misconceptions are quickly picked up and often, addressed that day either through intervention, marking or, if not, during the start of the next lesson. We believe that in order to succeed in mathematics, the foundations and initial building blocks of children’s basic skills need to be absolutely secure. As a result of this, Early Years and Year 1 reinforce the importance of basic skills with quality first teaching, concrete apparatus and through continuous provision, and regular quizzes take place, from Year 1 upwards, covering number bonds and multiplication and division facts.
‘A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.’
Helen Drury, 'Mastering Mathematics' (Oxford University Press, 2014, page 9)
The measure of this will be firstly, how well have the children understood what we have taught and how do they feel about the maths? Secondly, can they apply what they have learnt? Whether that be at a different time, to a different question and/or in a different way. Examples of questions we might ask the children are: Can you explain how you did it? Can you teach another child how you did it? Can you apply what you have learnt to a different problem or scenario? Does this link to any other areas of maths? How confident do you feel about this aspect of maths?
Monitoring of such will be in the form of: internal book scrutinies, ongoing formative assessment, pupil voice and discussions in class, summative assessments which provide tracking data (NFER/ White Rose/ SATs papers). SATs results are also analysed and target areas are set from this where required. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain extremely high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.