What does our Maths curriculum look like at Little Sutton?
At Little Sutton, our aim is for every child is to be a happy and competent mathematician. We want our children to develop a real love of maths, by breaking the traditional barriers attached to the cycle of ‘rote’ learning. Maths mastery is therefore at the heart of our mathematics curriculum, transforming our maths teaching and learning across the school. Under this approach, we expect our children to not only be ‘fluent,’ but also understand that by working hard they can move from a fixed mindset of maths to a ‘growth mind-set’ which will enable them to grasp ‘real maths’ empowering them with problem solving skills and a sense of real achievement. To achieve this, we aim to ensure every child can access, reason and master what is being taught. We also want children to feel well-equipped for the next stage of their learning. We understand mathematics is an ‘interconnected subject’ and important life skill that is significant to the ‘science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment’ (National Curriculum, 2014). Therefore, we believe investing time to help children build on their prior knowledge and develop strategies to tackle problems logically, is fundamental to preparing our pupils of the future.
Our intent for a mastery approach is underpinned by the core values within the Mathematics Programmes of Study from the 2014 National Curriculum. Overall, we aim our pupils to:
• become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics including through varied and frequent practise with increasingly complex problems over time, so that they 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
• 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
• embed a mastery approach to learning by ensuring all children have a deep structural knowledge and the ability to make connections
• acquire personalisation by ensuring all children work independently and collaboratively and be able to select appropriate materials for the task set, in a responsible manner.
How it is taught
We believe a fundamental priority of a mastery approach is, ensuring that carefully sequenced incremental steps of learning are applied, in order to help develop a sense of enjoyment and engagement. To achieve this, we plan to ensure previous learning concepts are drawn upon and fully embedded before moving on. New content builds on and make links with previously acquired knowledge following a carefully sequenced curriculum that is intelligently designed.
The conceptual understanding is taught alongside procedural understanding and small steps are connected. Each lesson will start with a discussion of the maths facts, vocabulary and where applicable symbols. Clear, worked examples are then introduced and modelled in lessons. We also encourage pupils to explain and clarify their reasoning at each stage of the lessons as the complexity of the mathematical topic slowly increases. Before more complex strategies are taught, pupils are expected to link facts and methods taught to help form the strategy’s building blocks. Interleaving of key components through problem solving questions also allow for pupils to continually practise the lesson objective without overloading their working memory. This teaching approach provides both the necessary scaffolding for all to achieve and the rigour to facilitate deep mathematical thinking.
In all key stages we draw upon the wider principles of the National Centre for Excellence of the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) teaching for mastery approach in the Educational Endowment Fund (EEF) seven step process for metacognition, to help staff apply whole school approaches to maths mastery so it is focused learning.
Learning is supported from daily maths sessions which are planned alongside the NCETM Number Sense planning (currently updated each term), White Rose and mastery learning trajectories to suit the purpose of the learning e.g. 20 pupils working on set objectives with the teacher and 10 pupils having an opportunity to practise and apply acquired skills through continuous provision based on the focused learning (e.g. cardinality/counting and comparison). This will involve a Teaching Assistant (TA) intervening, as appropriate, to question, extend and deepen the children's thinking.
Pupils will experience both Teacher and TA time during any one session, although the weighting may vary. Teaching styles may adapt over the course of the year to include more whole-class teaching in preparation for Year 1, during the Summer term. Outdoor classroom learning - activities are also carefully planned and resourced to allow purposeful links to learning objectives across the mathematical curriculum.
In Key Stage One and Key Stage Two
Year 1 and 2 teach classes as mixed abilities. Mixed ability grouping is introduced in KS2 in smaller groups. Some of the groups have the support of a teaching assistant. Teachers plan on a weekly basis taking into consideration the needs of the class/group following the National Curriculum statutory and NCETM guidance. These are matched up to the weeks available at the beginning of each year by the maths team leader. Problem solving, reasoning activities and investigations are also planned into strands where applicable.
Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract approaches
The range of teaching styles will include; problem solving and invsestigating, practical work, consolidation and practise, mathematical discussions and fluency facts. Objectives are covered through a range of teaching and learning experiences which include individual, group and whole class work and mathematical discussion.
Recall and Fact fluency
During lessons, we help children to develop automatic recall of key components to prevent their working memory form becoming overloaded. We continually aim to improve the accuracy and speed of children’s fact fluency skills according to their starting points. As a result, each week additional time is spent focusing on strategies to support number fluency. Each child in school has a maths passport. The targets are varied and represent the arithmetic targets from the National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to know their targets. Targets are set from this on a regular basis as those set are achieved and parents have a list of all the targets at home. Parents can thus keep track of children’s progress. See Guidelines to Maths Passport targets. To further support with discussion in relation to number fluency children explore a focused number bond /times table of the week focusing on number facts and number sense through a variation of activities including those from NCETM.
Each class has a daily lesson and these are planned using the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract (CPA) approach of Maths Mastery. This gives the lesson pace, flow and allows more opportunities to teach creatively, allowing for effective feedback and assessment of mastery learning. The daily mathematics lesson is therefore appropriate for almost all pupils through a maths mastery approach. It includes:
• an understanding of the NCETM’S five big ideas of maths: teaching ‘coherence’, ‘representation and structure’, ‘mathematical thinking’, ‘fluency’ and ‘variation’
• ensuring pupils engage through the curriculum, at the same pace
• recognising though that work is also appropriately varied to support the mathematical thinking of our pupils and the needs of individual pupils including Special Educational Needs (SEND) and the more able children (see relevant sections)
• building on the EEF metacognitive process of the seven-step process in conjunction with specific mastery approach
In the classroom
In every classroom there is a working wall which displays our Little Sutton mathematical principles, targets, modelled examples of the strand, key questions and vocabulary. Throughout the lesson, pupils also have access to concrete materials, e.g. rekenreks, double sided counters, numicon and bead strings, so that they have opportunities to fully explore the practical elements of mathematics. The children are encouraged to work independently, in accordance with the schools’ vision of developing a growth mindset and use working walls to allow them to see examples of how to approach a given problem/topic.
Planning is available on the planning drive and is used as an ongoing tool. On the planning/flipcharts the key vocabulary, curriculum links, depth of learning and, where applicable, resources are listed. Some lessons will involve cross-curricula planning.
Along with the National Curriculum Programmes of Study (2014) and Learning Trust for Excellence (LTE) medium term maps, staff also use other core overviews to further assist in their planning. These include planning materials taken from the NCETM, including the prioritisation of learning materials, White Rose and Classroom Secrets websites. These sources are further used to assist in developing subject knowledge. The planning tools are accessed via the websites and used to support with long, medium term planning and flipcharts. Please see the LTE Maths Curriculum objectives.
School written calculation policies for each of Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division have been agreed by the LTE and Little Sutton staff to ensure continuity and progression throughout the school. Copies of these sheets are also reviewed by teachers and passed on to the new class teacher to help with this progression. See the Maths Policy and LTE Calculation Policy.
Recovery Curriculum for 2021-22
With school closures over the last few years, a number of teaching evaluations were carried out to establish what has been taught and what has been learnt. The DfE and NCETM also released non-statutory curriculum guidance documents to go alongside the National Curriculum. The document breaks down the curriculum into key areas that children may need to learn, to be able to access learning in the following term and year. Our curriculum has therefore been slightly adapted to be more coherent across year groups in order to embed key strands.
Some of the main changes across the school that have been adopted are:
• increased teaching of number facts in Reception and KS1 (NCETM Number Sense programme)
• increased linear representations (number lines) to support a stronger understanding of number
• focus on key topics of place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
• more focused time on fractions
• integrating measures and statistics into the wider curriculum where possible, rather than teaching them on their own
Creative curriculum opportunities
As part of the creative curriculum, maths may be taught through themed weeks or a ‘topic’ on a termly basis e.g. Enterprise week, or through STEM related aspects. As many units as possible are also taught through other subjects e.g. Statistics through Science. Such approaches and activities provide an ideal opportunity for children to apply the knowledge and skills learnt in the daily Maths lesson to more open-ended investigative tasks thus developing their confidence and enjoyment of Maths.
We also develop a love of maths by providing many enrichment activities through activities as part of UK Maths Week, Outreach opportunities and the Primary Mathematics Challenge.
Continuing Professional Development and Leadership (CPDL)
We want our teachers to develop expertise in mathematics. We continue to work closely with the NCETM and are part of key workgroups including the Firm Foundations, Sustaining maths mastery and Number Sense workgroups. Staff, including senior leaders, teachers and teaching assistants have been provided subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) training in maths mastery. New staff are trained straight away and directed to the NCETM website and supporting materials to ensure they have the sufficient subject knowledge and that there is a consistency throughout the school. Teaching Assistants are also participating in additional training supports part of their own SKE. Regular staff training takes place to address any needs identified from monitoring and to further improve practice to ensure the highest quality of teaching in maths.
We hold a number of parental workshop each year to support parents and family members with supporting our pupils at home.
For further information regarding our Maths Curriculum please also see the documents below.