1.1 At Lickhill Primary School, we aim to inspire all children to reach their full academic potential. In mathematics this means ensuring a curriculum that is fully inclusive of all children which:
- Develops children’s knowledge and understanding of Mathematical concepts whilst enabling them to practice and hone skills and methods;
- Enables them to think critically and communicate their understanding;
- Gives them opportunities to apply learnt mathematical skills in different contexts across the curriculum.
- Provides opportunities to develop problem solving skills useful for maths and across the curriculum.
2. Aims and Objectives
This policy is set within the context of the school’s vision, aims and policy on teaching and learning. As a result of their learning in mathematics and problem solving across the curriculum children will:
- Be prepared for applying their skills effectively in everyday life situations, in their future learning and in the work place.
- Have the building blocks in place and to provide a solid foundation to lead onto secondary, further and higher education.
Through teaching with a problem solving approach, children will learn to understand, distil and clarify information; consider what they know that will help them to solve problems, realising what they need to know next; create systems and strategies, organizing information in a way that helps find patterns and ultimately solutions and to communicate and present their findings effectively.
- Planning begins from a thorough understanding of children’s needs gleaned through effective and rigorous assessment and tracking objectives, combined with high expectations and ambition for all children to achieve supported by the “Teaching For Mastery Approach”. This is a 3 – year programme where we are currently within the initial “Developing” Phase and establishing Mastery readiness for staff and pupils. Subsequent years will be recognised as years for “Embedding” and finally “Sustaining.”
- Every maths lesson then begins to push learning on through high-level questioning drawing out children’s responses to conjecture, reason, justify and prove their understanding.
- Medium term planning will outline the areas of mathematics that will be taught during the term to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum.
- Within short term planning, clear success criteria for each learning objective taught is created – demonstrating the progression needed to reach and exceed the objective. This will enable the class teacher to follow a clear and systematic teaching sequence, where input and activities are differentiated by considering which parts of the success criteria individual children are ready for.
- Where children are working significantly below the objective the majority of the class need to work towards, objectives from lower age-groups will need to be planned and taught.
- Planning should involve real life contexts for maths, where children are problem solving with a purpose in mind. Practical equipment should be used wherever possible and is at all times available and accessible for every child.
- There should be a whole class investigation planned at least once per half term to practice different elements of problem solving, including: finding all possibilities, logic problems, finding rules and describing patterns, diagram/visual problems and exploring different aspects of number. During these investigations, there should be a honing in on specific problem solving skills that are transferable to other contexts to develop mastery.
- Class teachers should regularly plan for opportunities for children to apply their maths skills to different problems within maths lessons and across the curriculum. This will also allow children to revisit, practice and consolidate different areas of maths and apply them within different contexts.
- When planning across the curriculum, questions should be used within titles of units of work and lessons, to initiate an ‘enquiry’ approach. Skills of problem solving can then be taught with consistency.
Children should be encouraged at all times to communicate their understanding of maths so that it clarifies their thoughts.
Children’s mental maths is of great importance, with number bonds, times tables facts and various strategies for calculation taught and practiced at school with support sought from parents through homework activities.
- A progression towards efficient written calculations should be developed and applied consistently in each year-group. The school Calculation Policy should be followed.
- Class targets should be used to ensure areas where the majority of the class have not grasped a concept can be revisited and mastered.
- We have adopted a Teaching for Mastery Approach whereby all new concepts are taught practically regardless of age and stage in Lickhill. This encompasses the 5 Big ideas; Coherence, Representation and Structure, Variation, Mathematical Thinking and Fluency while utilising STEM sentences to support mathematical thinking.
- Teaching and approaches to supporting children understand mathematical concepts involve the CPD approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract). This is a fluid model based on a Spiral Curriculum.
- At Lickhill, we look to Shanghai structures of lesson design where we steady the pace in learning during the first part of our lessons and our teaching input is pitched to “Developing” in order to plug gaps in learning and understanding. This enables all children opportunity to absorb and reflect on new mathematical concepts and time to make links and discover. The steps in learning are smaller and the focus of what we want children to understand is succinct and explicit.
- Though the nature of lessons will be very different depending on the needs of the class, children should be: active; practicing skills they haven’t yet mastered (perhaps recapping on class targets); learning something new OR learning to apply their knowledge to different contexts. The lessons design involves addressing smaller cognitive learning chunks which enables children to spend more time actively learning. Children should be: ‘doing’ very quickly; working at a good pace and being productive; sharing their thoughts and methods and being successful.
- When teaching problem solving skills across the curriculum (noted above and attached as Appendix A), time (and sometimes whole lessons) should be given to each aspect of problem-solving ensuring children get thorough practice at: ‘preparing for problem solving’, ‘thinking through problems to establish what they know and don’t know so far’; actually ‘doing the problem solving’ effectively AND ‘communicating the answer effectively’. They should evaluate the process too. Over time children will improve at each aspect.
- Our “Active Maths” resource is utilised in every class at least once a week in line with the Governments guidance to increase activity in children in school.
- Qualitative Assessment for learning should occur throughout the entire maths lesson, enabling teachers/teaching assistants to adapt their teaching/input to meet the children’s needs. This feedback should be incisive and regular.
- Pupil’s work should be marked in line with the Marking & Feedback Policy and should model how corrections should be made, giving children a chance to learn from their misconceptions or incorrect methods.
- Future lesson design should depend on class success evaluated through marking and observations made during the lesson.
- Assessment of pupil work and progress is ongoing by the class teacher and informs future planning.
- Summative assessments are made at least once per term using NFER in order to provide further understanding of the level a child is working at and to inform a more rounded judgement of their abilities.
- Tracking in Times Tables to show children who are not making good progress over time can be targeted for support in one form or another. What that support will and how intensive, depends upon the child’s needs and it may be a simple strategy within whole class teaching that is needed. Where further support is deemed necessary, children can access interventions, explained below.
In the Foundation Stage, children are given the opportunity to develop their understanding of number, measurement, pattern and shape and space through a combination of short, formal teaching as well as a range of planned structured play situations, where there is plenty of scope for exploration.
- Children will become very competent ‘counters’ so that their fluency with the number system provides a foundation for mathematical understanding. Counting forwards and backwards in many different sized steps as well as from different starting and ending points is essential.
- Maths learning builds from a concrete understanding of concepts where children are manipulating objects. When children are able to see concepts this way, they then need to understand the same concepts represented pictorially. Children are then ready for abstract representation before being able to apply their knowledge to different situations.
3.5 Equal opportunities and SEND
At Lickhill, we aim to provide children who are not making good progress, with extra support through interventions. Interventions in maths should be based on developing key number skills that are appropriate for the children involved (eg, Number stacks).
Intervention provided to boost children’s progression in maths should be tightly planned, with success criteria set and assessments made frequently to ensure progress is being made. Whilst interventions could be carried out by Teaching Assistants, for example, what is being taught and how it is delivered is the class teacher’s responsibility and communication is essential. Teacher meetings with TAs are planned as regularly as is possible.
We examine the progress of ability groups and those with English as an additional language, those entitled to the Pupil Premium and those with a Special Educational Need. Where data indicates a whole school issue, it will form part of a whole school initiative which runs alongside the School Development Plan. Sometimes it will influence the School Development Plan itself.
The Maths Subject Lead is responsible for monitoring the delivery, content, learning and impact of the curriculum.
Monitoring of children’s progress begins with Termly Pupil progress review meetings following our Phase Reviews and book trawls to ensure children are making progress. This monitoring happens through examination of work in books, analysis of assessment results and the assessments used, and through other means depending on what is information needs to be gleaned. This approach provides a robust triangulation of data, progress and developmental areas to target.
Following monitoring activities, such as learning walks and Phase Reviews, feedback is given to staff about how they can strengthen their practice and CPD (professional development) opportunities built in where it would be deemed valuable. These might take the shape of inputs during staff meetings or by a variety of other means.
Where specific initiatives have been put in place through action planning for school development, these are monitored by the Curriculum Maths team in order to evaluate their impact. Findings are reported to the Assistant Headteacher (SENDCo & Maths Lead).
The Maths Lead is currently training to become a Primary Maths Specialist and will frequently offer regular CPD opportunities for staff.
The success of interventions is also monitored by the SLT and this informs future planning of interventions.