Woodlands Primary School

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Maths

 

Mrs Ireland

Maths Intent Statement


At Woodlands, we believe in providing every child with the opportunity to thrive in a learning environment that encourages critical thinking and promotes a resilient attitude towards problem solving. We strive to create a maths curriculum that is inclusive and gives all children the belief in themselves that they can succeed. Children are encouraged to work together to challenge and accept each other’s thinking through reasoning and strategic thinking, whilst exploring how maths links to the wider world.


We feel that maths teaches our children:

 

  • To apply their mathematical knowledge and skills within a range of contexts to
    broaden their understanding.

 

  • To effectively communicate their ideas and identify how best to solve problems.

 

  • To understanding that there is always more than one way to approach problems
    effectively.  

 

  • To set high expectations of themselves within all lessons to develop their belief that
    they can achieve.  

 

  • To grow in confidence and harness a self-belief that they are capable of achieving and
    succeeding in life.  

 

  • To become curious about the subject whilst gaining an appreciation of the role that
    Mathematics plays in our daily lives.

 

Implement Statement

 

At Woodlands, we use White Rose Maths (WRM) to support our planning; this ensures there is consistency and progressive coverage of Number, Geometry and Measurement across the school – it builds on the knowledge from the previous years. WRM’s long-term, medium-term and daily lesson plans have been devised with the National Curriculum’s programme of study and main aims in mind: mathematical talk, varied fluency and problem-solving and reasoning is part of every lesson to ensure the opportunities are available for children to deepen their knowledge and understanding – this links with the Teaching for Mastery approach.

 

 

Every year group has created a long-term plan which clearly shows the topics being taught every half term; how long is needed to teach it; the outcomes expected; and the problem-solving approach. These plans are based on the outcomes suggested by WRM but to provide opportunities for cross-curricular links, each year group have carefully identified which maths areas can be interlinked with their curriculum topics. This is to support the children in recognising relationships and making connections, especially in the real-world – real-life examples of using and applying maths.

 

Maths is taught daily and discretely; however, where possible, Maths is taught through other subjects to encourage cross-curricular links. Each lesson has a clear learning objective that is focused on the skill being taught and an appropriate success criterion – focusing on the progressive steps needed to be successful in the lesson. As part of their work, children are expected to complete questions to assess their fluency before moving on to using and applying this knowledge and mathematical vocabulary to explain their reasoning. Work is appropriately differentiated, where children who are working below their age expectation may be working on outcomes from previous year groups to fill in their gaps before building on this to accelerate progress and understanding. For those children who are confident in their subject knowledge, opportunities to extend their thinking and provide challenge is carried out through mathematical investigations – children are expected to recognize patterns, form predictions and present their findings.

 

It is important that children are allowed to explore Maths and present their findings not only in a written form but also visually; to secure understanding the school has adopted the CPA approach: concrete, pictorial, and abstract – this is used as a tool in lessons. This allows the children to experience the physical aspects of Maths before finding a way to present their findings and understandings in a visual form before relying on the abstract numbers.

Concrete understanding is the crucial level needed for a new concept or maths skill to be built upon – resources such as Unifix, Dienes, counters, real-life objects can be used. The Bar Model is a pictorial approach that we use at Woodlands to represent a problem or concept where bars or boxes are used to represent known and unknown quantities – this is used to solve number problems. The abstract can only happen if the children have a secure understanding of both the concrete and pictorial, as it allows them to widen their understanding and generalisations through reasoning. 

‘Teaching for Mastery’ is a programme to equip our children with the best chance of mastering Maths through Fluency; Variation; Representation and Structure; and Mathematical Thinking. It allows our children to acquire deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of Maths before advancing to the next level. One way this is done, is by recognising relationships and making connections.

 

Fluency involves:

  • Quick recall of facts and procedures
  • The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics

 

Variation includes:

Procedural - This is a deliberate change in the type of examples used and questions set, to draw attention to certain features.

Conceptual – When a concept is presented in different ways, to show what a concept is, in all of its different forms.

 

Representation and structure

Mathematical structures are the key patterns and generalisations that underpin sets of numbers – they are the laws and relationships that we want children to spot. Using different representations can help children to ‘see’ these laws and relationships.

 

Mathematical thinking involves:

  • Looking for pattern and relationships
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Problem solving

An approach we have introduced to support the teachers with incorporating opportunities for problem-solving within their planning are the ‘9 Problem-Solving Strategies’:

  1. Draw a picture or diagram
  2. Make a list or table
  3. Guess and check
  4. Write a number sentence
  5. Break it up/solve a simpler problem
  6. Make a model
  7. Act it out
  8. Identify a pattern
  9. Work backwards

These strategies are incorporated in the lesson to model different ways to solve a problem. A crib sheet with a range of activities is also used to support teachers with their planning focusing on their use of language and activity ideas to encourage deeper thinking, reasoning and problem-solving, e.g. spot the mistake.

 

A method we have introduced to the children to support them with organising their ideas when reasoning is A.P.E. This is a strategy, which helps them to structure their answer:

Children provide an answer to a question before explaining why this is the correct answer using mathematical vocabulary supported with proof: a written method or diagram or table. This helps the children to deepen their understanding and make connections across the topics of maths.

 

Number is a significant part of maths. When planning and teaching Number, we use and refer to our school calculation policy, which takes each operation: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, and splits it into six stages, each linking it to a year group. Each stage identifies the skills that are required in previous stages before moving onto the next stage to ensure secure understanding and progression of both mental and formal written methods. The children are exposed to the following questions to help them identify which method is appropriate for the question or problem given:

Multiplication and division facts aid the learning of Maths. Children who have a sound and secure knowledge of these vital facts are able to apply them to other areas of Maths with ease and therefore they do not create a barrier to their learning and progression in Maths. With this in mind, coupled with the Year 4 multiplication test being introduced nationally from June 2021 (delayed due to Covid-19), multiplication and division has become a focus.

 

Times table and division facts are taught throughout the year alongside the daily Maths lessons. This can be taught in any way that fits the learning styles and timetable of the year group. TimesTables Rockstars is an online program that encourages the children to learn, recall and compete against their peers – it creates a buzz of excitement amongst the children. Multiplication passports should be used by teachers and children to track progress visually and teachers should keep a more formative record of progress separately. Certificates should be given out in celebration assemblies to celebrate the children’s success and then displayed in each year group to celebrate the children’s successes.

 

Each classroom will have a ‘Maths resource box’ that is accessible for the children to use as needed. The box should be resourced with materials to support the delivery of Maths; such items might include number lines, multiplication tables, 100 squares, 2D and 3D shapes, multilink cubes, dice and other smaller items. Larger materials such as scales, trundle wheels and measuring cylinders will be held centrally in the Maths cupboard located in the Year 4 corridor.

 

Children should be encouraged to use whatever resources are available to them in the classroom and which they feel would be beneficial to help them when completing Maths work, especially, where appropriate real-life concrete objects. Each classroom should have a display dedicated to Maths; this could be in the form of a working wall; strategy board; or problem-solving area; pupil voice should also be clearly evident.