GUIDANCE FOR MATHS TEACHING AT CURLEDGE STREET ACADEMY December 2017
At Curledge Street Academy we aim to promote an enthusiasm for Mathematics which will provide our pupils with the confidence and skills they will need in their everyday lives. This document outlines the teaching, organisation and management of Mathematics taught and learnt at Curledge Street Academy. It is based on the National Curriculum (2014) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Statutory Framework.
Purpose of study (National Curriculum 2014)
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
Aims (National Curriculum 2014)
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
● 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.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Teachers devise medium term plans based on the requirements of the curriculum. Teachers plan their input and class activities based on formative and summative assessment of prior learning, and lessons include opportunities for reasoning which relate to levels of thinking and learning suggested by Bloom’s Taxonomy. Opportunities for practising fluency are regularly provided either within lessons or as discrete activities, e.g. times table challenges.
Maths teaching sessions will vary in length depending on the year group, but will be up to 60 minutes in Phases 2 and 3, amounting to 5 hours per week. There will also be opportunities for pupils to practise maths skills at other times, for example during early morning activities or as part of cross curricular learning.
In Foundation Stage, children will develop their understanding of number, measurement, pattern, shape and space through a combination of teacher input and structured play. Children in Reception take part in Number Time, which is a 20 minute session each day dedicated to the mathematics area of learning and development and leading towards the Early Learning Goals.
Throughout the school lessons may include opportunities to use practical equipment, e.g. Numicon, place value counters, bead strings, etc. to support the understanding of mathematical concepts; individual, paired or group work with discussion to aid reasoning and explanation; and mental and written tasks and calculations. Pupils may learn alongside a Teaching Assistant to support them with understanding or to encourage discussion and exploration of ideas.
Pupils will be given a range of tasks which will advance their learning whatever their ability and all will be encouraged to aim for the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy – analysing, evaluating and creating.
During whole class teaching, reasoning will be encouraged through the use of effective questioning by the teacher and discussion with partners or within a group by pupils, who may then go on to work independently or jointly on a line of enquiry, or on a task which requires them to apply their learning.
Teachers will teach calculation methods as set out in the school Progression in Calculation documents to ensure progression through year groups and consistency in the use of models and images.
Intervention groups may be set up to address the needs of groups of children so that they can have access to additional teaching, to support them in their Maths learning.
Where individual pupils or groups have been identified as having misconceptions or gaps in their understanding of a particular concept this may be addressed through conferencing with a teacher.
Assessment for learning takes place throughout the Maths lesson, with teachers and teaching assistants adapting their input/support according to pupils’ needs. Lesson objectives/foci will be stated in Maths books so that pupils are clear about the aims of each session. Marking will be carried out in accordance with the school Marking Policy. Summative assessments are used at least once per term in Phases 2 and 3 to support the formative assessment taking place during and after lessons. Teachers may also use a range of summative assessments throughout the year, for example at the end of a unit of learning, to provide supporting evidence for formative assessment at the end of the term and finally at the end of the school year.
The Subject Leader will monitor the subject throughout the school in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT). This may take the form of ‘snapshots’, lesson observations, book monitoring and/or discussion with teachers and pupils. This ensures consistency across year groups, and will also enable the Subject Leader and SLT to devise future training opportunities based on areas for development. Regular pupil progress meetings will take place where any pupils not making expected progress will be discussed and strategies put in place with a view to addressing this.
Homework will be set regularly in accordance with the school Homework Policy. This could be based on learning from that week’s Maths lesson or consolidation of number facts. Some year groups may use an online resource such as MyMaths and where this is the case, opportunity will be provided for those children who do not have access to the internet at home to access it in school.
The Progression in Calculation documents are a guide to the formal and informal methods of calculation used in each year group, with some of the models and images used to support them.