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Mathematics

Intent

To develop a curriculum which: 

  • Instils a love of maths and gives children the necessary knowledge and skills they need to be successful, confident and accurate mathematicians, so they are ready for their next stage in education and be confident mathematicians in life. 
  • Is at least as demanding as the National Curriculum. 
  • Teaches children to be independent, resilient and creative thinkers, while transferring knowledge across curriculum areas. 
  • Enables teachers to teach using the most effective strategies. 
  • Tailors learning to meet children’s individual needs and strengths. 
  • Develop lively and enquiring minds, and to encourage children to become self-motivated and confident with a positive attitude to mathematics. 
  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. 
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language 
  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 

Implementation

At Bakewell Methodist Junior School, we use a scheme called Maths No Problem. This scheme promotes an approach incorporating the use of well thought through and highly varied resources, integral problem solving and group work. The Primary Series is child-centred and was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. 

This approach aims to develop the use of oracy as a key means to promote mathematical understanding rather than learning through drills and the early introduction of abstract concepts. The content is supported by structured imagery which makes transitions between school years much more cohesive. 

The Department for Education, the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), the National Curriculum Review Committee and OFSTED have all emphasised the pedagogy of mathematics teaching developed in Shanghai and the mastery approach. 

 

Maths — No Problem! incorporates the use of concrete aids and manipulatives, problem-solving and group work.

Each lesson follows a very similar structure from year three to year 6.

· Chapter Opener Familiar events or occurrences that serve as an introduction for pupils.

· In Focus Includes questions related to various lesson objectives as an introductory activity for pupils.

· Let’s Learn Introduces new concepts through a C-P-A approach with the use of engaging pictures and manipulatives. Guided examples are provided for reinforcement.

· Activity Time Provides pupils with opportunities to work as individuals or in small groups to explore mathematical concepts or to play games.

· Guided Practice Comprises questions for further consolidation and for the immediate evaluation of pupils’ learning.

· Mind Workout (independent practice) Challenging non-routine questions for pupils to apply relevant heuristics and to develop higher-order thinking skills.

· Maths Journal Provides pupils with opportunities to show their understanding of the mathematical concepts learnt.

· Self Check Allows pupils to assess their own learning after each chapter.

Maths Teaching and Learning, Assessment and Feedback 

At Bakewell Methodist Junior School, we teach Mathematics using a mastery approach. The teaching for mastery approach enables children to develop their conceptual and procedural fluency without having to resort to rote learning. As a result, they are able to solve non-routine problems in unfamiliar contexts without relying on memorised procedures. 

In maths lessons at Bakewell Methodist Junior School, the whole class moves through topics and concepts at broadly the same pace. We spend longer time on key mathematical topics and concepts in order to give all learners both the practice and depth of understanding they need. We believe that all pupils can access and understand the full mathematics curriculum.  

We challenge pupils by asking them to explore mathematical concepts in more depth rather than accelerate them onto new content. This has been found to have real benefits to children’s ability to access more complex mathematical ideas as they get older. 

We give our pupils enough time to explore core concepts and ideas in mathematics at a deep level in order to foster their relational understanding. This slower pace and focus on depth eventually leads to greater progress because it gives all learners the chance to become secure in their understanding. As a result, each year we are able to build new learning onto children’s existing knowledge and it is not necessary to revisit learning from previous years. 

At Bakewell Methodist Junior School, we use concrete apparatus (things pupils can touch, hold and manipulative) and visual representations (things they can see) to help children to visualise and internalise mathematical concepts, allowing them to access, conceptualise and solve problems. Through the consistent use of these apparatus and representation, our pupils gain confidence as independent learners to use resources and solve problems.

 

Marking 

The quality of marking is crucial. It needs to be relevant and focussed on driving the learning forward and addressing misconceptions.  A simple ‘X’ is of little assistance to a child unless accompanied by an indication of where the error occurred, together with an explanation of what went wrong. Teachers provide verbal feedback and individual or small group interventions address particular learning needs.  

  

Assessment and Record keeping 

Teachers are expected to make regular assessment of each child’s progress and to record these systematically.  The following is the school policy for assessment in mathematics: 

  • Ongoing assessment forms part of the sequence of maths teaching and learning. Children undertake a pre-assessment activity at the beginning of a unit of work and are then re-assessed at the end to demonstrate progress made. More structured and formal interventions are then used to target the needs of children who require additional support.  
  • Formal assessments are carried out three times each year. Data is recorded and analysed to identify next steps. 
  • Trained staff provide Catch-up support for children who have learning needs related to maths.
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Cross-curricular learning 

Throughout the whole curriculum opportunities exist to extend and promote mathematics. Teachers seek to take advantage of all opportunities. 

 

If you have any questions relating to the mastery approach and the teaching of maths in school, please do not hesitate to contact the Headteacher, our class teachers or our Maths Leads, Mrs Catherine Foley and Miss Leanne Holmes.