At Kyson Primary School we have high expectations for every child in mathematics. Our main aim is for all children to develop a secure understanding of maths, equipping them with the skills of calculation and problem solving that they need in life beyond school through every day contexts.
Our Mastery Approach
Teaching for mastery in Mathematics is essentially the expectation that all pupils will gain a deep understanding of the concepts they are learning. For understanding in maths to be secure, learning needs to be built on solid foundations.
At Kyson Primary School, we are teaching for depth and secure understanding, which means spending greater time going into depth on concepts to ensure secure, sustainable knowledge and understanding. No child will be taught content from the year group above them, they will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge and skills in multiple ways. This approach is seen as good practice. It is promoted by the Government and seen as the best way to deliver the National Curriculum. In short, at Kyson Primary School this means:
- Teaching less, learning more: less teacher talk and more evidencing of learning and progress.
- Teacher modelling: Teachers model methods; giving opportunities for children to use examples and implement them within their own learning – our ‘My Turn’, ‘Your Turn’ approach is frequently used across classrooms.
- No child left behind: all children are enabled to keep up everyday. If a child finds a concept difficult within a lesson, additional time is spent outside of lesson time during our 1:1 sessions to support children with their confidence, knowledge and understanding before the next lesson.
- Deeper understanding: Our greater depth children are encouraged to deepen their learning through additional activities.
- Understanding real life: applications wherever possible to make learning relevant and not abstract; nothing should be taught without a purpose.
- Fluency: In addition to maths lessons, fluency is taught across the school using the DfE Ready to Progress Documents to ensure key areas of the curriculum are consolidated; supporting in securing secure quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
- Coherence: Our lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.
- Representation and Structure: Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that our children can do the maths without recourse to the representation.
- Mathematical Thinking: For concepts to be understood deeply they are worked on by our children: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others – our children are encouraged to talk and explain their mathematical thinking through: precise language; key questioning; stem sentences; critiquing of answers and strategies; and misconceptions being made explicit.
- Variation: our teachers represent the concepts being taught often in more than one way in order to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding.
Kyson Primary School are active participants in the Angles Maths Hub programme, in association with the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics); this is where we work collaboratively with a group of schools alongside a Mastery Specialist to actively discuss and develop mastery pedagogy across our school. In 2020 – 2021 we successfully completed the ‘Readiness for Mastery’ course and we are currently participating in the Mastery Development course.
Our Curriculum Coverage
Mathematics takes place once a day, five times a week in Key Stage One and Two. Mathematics activities are embedded into daily continuous provision in EYFS.
All of our teachers adhere the National Curriculum and to our mastery approach; they also have the freedom to use their experience and expertise to ensure they plan engaging lessons to support the needs to their class and individual children. To support our teachers with planning and teaching, we have subscribed to Power Maths and White Rose Maths; Mastery Schemes work, recommended by the DfE.
Overviews of Learning
In response to our Covid-19 recovery curriculum, our Overviews of Learning for each group includes lessons from previous year groups to consolidate key concepts and missed learning.
Mathematics Learning Journeys
At the beginning of each unit of work, a Mathematics Learning Journey is presented within each child’s exercise book. It displays the concepts covered within a unit of work and used to sign-post to sequence what has been taught.
To support children with their learning, key mathematical vocabulary is also present on our Learning Journey document and referred to within lessons.
The document is also a fantastic self-assessment tool: children record down their understanding of different concepts after they have been taught – this informs future teaching and the level of intervention required.
The school’s calculation policy ensures consistent progression across the school, from EYFS through to Y6. We use Power Maths progression in our calculation policy in line with the National Curriculum. The consistent use of the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach across Power Maths helps children develop mastery across all the operations in an efficient and reliable way. Children and adults can find maths difficult because it is abstract. The CPA approach helps children learn new ideas and build on their existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a more familiar and tangible way.
C (Concrete) Children are first introduced to a new concept or skill by acting it out with real objects such as cubes or counters.
P (Pictorial) When children have had hands on experience they are ready to relate the problem to pictures or diagrams.
A (Abstract) The most mysterious or abstract stage uses mathematical notation such as digits and symbols. We so easily jump to this last step but this can be very abstract without practical hands on experiences.
Our calculation policy shows how these methods develop children’s confidence in their understanding of both written and mental methods.
The strategies our children use to help with problem solving are:
To Support Children
All classrooms have a wide range of mathematics manipulatives that are accessible to all children, including deeds and rods, Numicon and multi-link.
Children also use a mathematics learning wall inside the classroom to illustrate the key concepts they are covering, including teacher and children’s models, a range of representations and key vocabulary; they know where these are and use them to help their learning.
Assessment and Reporting
- Every half-term, pupils undertake Power Maths Progress Tests, where they will complete a reasoning and arithmetic paper on the content taught and prerequisite concepts. Additionally, an end of year Power Maths assessments is undertaken are used to inform understanding and application following the teaching of a unit of work.
- Teachers record pupils’ attainment at the end of each term on the school’s TRACKER system against National Curriculum expectations; each child will be identified to be working within one of these categories: ‘Below’, ‘Towards’, ‘At’ or ‘AT+’.
- Assessments data is analysed by class teachers, maths subject champions and the SLT.
- Termly pupil progress meetings take place to identify whole class attainment and progress trends and individuals to be targeted for extra provision, including our SEND, greater depth and vulnerable pupils.
- Teachers mark or monitor the mathematics books during or soon after each lesson, to ensure that rapid intervention can take place in the following lesson when appropriate, or during intervention sessions.
Self-assessment cups are used across Key Stage 1 and 2 in maths lessons to give pupils ownership of their mathematics learning during independent activities, here pupils will choose to work independently when confident; work alongside their peer when they need reassurance; or work alongside a teacher/TA when they are unsure.
Regular times tables teaching has increased the rapid recall of multiplication facts. Children are increasingly engaged by the challenge of times tables and are applying times tables facts to develop wider understanding in maths. This is enabling them to learn new concepts at an increased pace. Our Year 4 children will complete the online multiplication tables check at the end of Year 4.
Children have access to Times Tables Rockstars at school and home to increase their personal challenge and deepen their understanding of multiplication facts. Children’s engagement is celebrated in our weekly assembly.
Ben Ward and Debs Coups are our Maths Champions, they promote the subject identifying best practice in school and beyond; set the highest expectations and model best practice; provide colleagues with knowledge and understanding to help enrich the experience for pupils; monitor the quality of teaching and learning; and play a leading role in the long term and medium term planning across the school. Our Champions love to talk about our successes at Kyson so please ask them if you have any questions!
Homework is set weekly to support children in developing their fluency in arithmetic and consolidate concepts covered within the classroom that week.
What Can I do to Help my Child at Home?
- Use real objects or represent number in pictures alongside digits and symbols wherever possible to enrich your child’s understanding.
- Provide real life experiences of maths wherever possible such as handling change in the shop, talking about shapes in the environment, numbers on buses, phone numbers… Maths is all around us!
Useful Websites links
Find below a list of useful websites, many of which are free, others offer a free trial.