Mathematics at St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School is a challenging and inclusive subject, underpinned by the three statutory aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. In addition to our daily Maths lessons, we offer a breadth of learning opportunities and additional mathematics incentives such as; Morning Maths challenge, World Mathematics Day and Barvemeber.
Our School Mission Statement is at the heart of all that we do and both staff and children ‘serve, love and learn together, inspiring each other to excellence’.
In Mathematics, we implement an inclusive curriculum that meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. We use ‘White Rose Maths’ as a spine in KS1 and KS2, to support our planning and teaching of Maths and in Early Years we follow the EYFS framework. We supplement this with additional high-quality teaching and learning resources, which include: NCTEM, Nrich, DfE Ready to Progress documents and Classroom Secrets.
At the beginning of each Maths lesson, children complete a ‘Flash Back 4’ related to previous learning, to strengthen children’s retention of prior knowledge and previously taught objectives. A series of engaging lessons are planned, with clear learning objectives which facilitate the development of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Lessons include key questioning to enable and encourage ‘Talk for Maths’ and mathematical discussion using subject-specific vocabulary.
We focus on delivering ‘quality first teaching’ where all children are given the opportunity to build competency when introduced to a new topic. Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics. We follow the concept of concrete (physical manipulatives such as; cubes, counters, shapes, coins), pictorial (children’s own mark making, simple drawings, number lines and diagrams) and abstract (number formation, number sentences and formal written methods) allowing children to build up their understanding.
Fluency is a fundamental of mathematics, ensuring that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately. There are two types of fluency that children are taught;
Conceptual fluency- Conceptual understanding refers to an integrated and functional grasp of mathematical ideas. Children with conceptual understanding know more than isolated facts and methods. They understand why a mathematical idea is important and the kinds of contexts in which is it useful.
Procedural fluency: Procedural fluency is the ability to apply procedures accurately, efficiently, and flexibly; to transfer procedures to different problems and contexts; to build or modify procedures from other procedures; and to recognise when one strategy or procedure is more appropriate to apply than another.
Reasoning and problem solving is planned throughout all aspects of the mathematics curriculum.
Reasoning questions are explicitly taught and modelling through the use of discussion, maths talk partners, manipulatives and written true or false statements. Problem solving and reasoning is used efficiently to challenge and engage children and is often used as a ‘next step’ to continue to challenge and further understanding.
Structure of Maths Lesson
We have a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills. Children can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The principles behind using concrete, pictorial and symbolic representations to support children enables all children to achieve. It ensures that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as feedback and next steps to challenge or to address errors and misconceptions, this enables staff to support and aid the success of each child.
Our well-planned Maths curriculum ensures that children and confident and fluent mathematicians. Our children are enthusiastic learners who are happy to mathematically challenge themselves both within maths lessons and across the curriculum. Children perform well in Mathematics and are well prepared for the next stage in their education.