Mathematics

Member of staff responsible for mathematics: Mr A Cooke

Overview

Mathematics is a fundamental and core part of the curriculum at All Souls.

During the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, maths forms part of many interactive learning experiences. Pupils develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematics through play, exploration and discussion. Children work with shapes and begin to learn their properties, use language to give positional clues and compare quantities, identify and recreate patterns. They learn to count, read, write and order numbers to 20

In Key Stages 1 mathematics is taught for 4 hours per week, increasing to 5 hours when children enter Key Stage 2. At the discretion of class teachers, this is typically divided in to 5, daily lessons per week.

Each lesson will typically consist of four parts, although this will vary depending upon the content and nature of the lesson.

  • A taught exposition – where the learning objective will be shared and the children will be immersed in a teacher and pupil led modelled process of learning which promotes a secure and deep grasp of subject knowledge and addresses potential misconceptions before children develop them
  • A lesson starter – This may or may not link directly to the specific learning objective for the lesson but will consist of a mixture of
    • learning, practising and rehearsing times tables and number facts
    • developing mental strategies for solving calculations
    • learning and revising facts about number, shape and measures
    • revising previously taught concepts
    • solving problems, puzzles and challenges
  • An independent or group task which allows the children to opportunity to become secure in their understanding of the mathematical concept being taught and which challenges and extends their learning as quickly as possible
  • A plenary to aid consolidation, allow self-reflection, provide further challenge and give the teacher an opportunity to assess children’s progress.

In all year groups in KS1 and KS2, the practice and rehearsal of times tables facts is a daily expectation.

We do not believe in teaching children quick fixes and tricks to solve questions, but in helping them to develop a deep conceptual understanding that will allow them to use and apply their knowledge and skills in the real world and understand its importance, value and beauty.

 

Curriculum and Planning

At All Souls our mathematics curriculum follows the aims, principles and objectives that are set out in the ‘National Curriculum in England’ programmes of study for key stages 1 & 2′.

The specific objectives taught in each year group can be found in the linked document above.

In each year group, teachers break down the curriculum so that it is taught in manageable units of work. All of the objectives for the year are grouped under one of four strands:

  • Number Sense – which relates to the fundamental understanding of number, place value, fractions decimals and percentages
  • Additive Reasoning – which includes all objectives linking to the process of adding or subtracting
  • Multiplicative reasoning – which includes all objectives linking to the process of multiplying and dividing
  • Geometric reasoning – which includes all objectives linking to the understanding of shape or position

The process of problem solving is intricately woven in to each of these areas, so that children are not just developing a series of processes or methods, but can choose which processes to use and apply to a problem or situation.

Each unit of work will typically last between 1 and 3 weeks and will cover a range of objectives from the chosen strand. Across a year, therefore, there will be many units of work in each strand. Equally, each specific objective will be covered multiple times throughout a year, giving all children to opportunity to learn and then consolidate their understanding through revision and extension.

The long term planning templates which outline how each year group’s objectives are separated into strands can be found in the documents section below.

To support the development of fluency in written calculation strategies, the school follows its own progression through written calculations policy.  This sets out the specific methods that are taught for each of the 4 mathematical operations and the progression in these through each year group in school.

 

Assessment

Rigorous and accurate assessment sits at the heart of the mathematics curriculum at All Souls.  Through a triad of assessment processes, teachers ensure that units and lessons are planned to make optimal use of time, focusing on those areas in which children are yet to secure and ensuring that lessons are challenging and aspirational.

Assessments being before units of work using ‘pre-assessments’.  These are a short series of questions of varying difficulty across the range of objectives which will be covered in a unit of work.  This allows teachers to accurately assess children’s up to date starting points in each unit and ensure that children are grouped correctly.  These pre-assessments feed directly into unit plans so that time is not wasted teaching concepts that children are either already secure in or those which are too difficult as their as gaps in preceding objectives.

Teachers then use a range of formative assessment strategies both within and between lessons to ensure that planning is constantly adapted to meet the ever changing needs of the children.

Once units have been complete, teachers then devise an ‘end of unit’ assessment which consists of three questions for each objective that has been covered.  These assessments are completed by the children a minimum of two weeks after the unit of work has finished.  This is to measure the retention of new knowledge and concepts.  The outcomes of these assessments, which are compiled from a specially created bank of questions developed by the school, are then exclusively used to update the school’s tracking system for mathematics, keeping an up-to-date and on going record of each individual pupil’s achievement.  Teachers will then use this tracking system to plan their future units to once again ensure that their lessons are purposeful and effective.  It is from this tracking system that attainment and progress are measured for each child, with both objective level information about what they are secure in or not, and qualitative information about how they are working in relation to national expectations for their age.

In addition to our in school assessment routines, children in Years 2 and 6 are required to sit statutory  assessments in mathematics.  Details of these can be found on the education section of the government website.

Information on these for parents can be found here.

Documents and Information

Policies and planning templates can be found using the links below: