Maths is a creative, fun and engaging subject, which is hugely connected to our day-to-day lives. Maths is about making sense of things and finding solutions to problems. Children need to learn how to reason and solve problems, whilst developing fluency, which will help them to succeed in later life.
A mathematician needs:
- To be analytical – able to spot similarities and differences
- To be critical – able to identify problems and mistakes
- To be a problem solver – resilient enough to approach a problem from different angles
- To be inquisitive – want to know why, and how things work
- To be precise – able to understand precisely what is, what is not, and what is a grey area
Intent: Introduction, Vision and Philosophy:
The purpose of this document is to clarify the how, why and what of maths teaching at Harris Primary Academy Merton. This is to be used by staff to clarify expectations, highlight the resources that we have at our disposal and to ensure that a high-quality maths curriculum is being taught to all children. At Harris Primary Merton, we want our children to be confident and fluent mathematicians, who are able to solve problems. We teach maths for mastery. This means that we are teaching children to have a deep conceptual understanding of mathematics rather than teaching purely so that children can get a correct answer. Being able to explain how they got an answer, why that answer is right, and what might happen if a particular variable was changed are the hallmarks of a mathematician – simply getting the answer right ought to be a given. To be able to access many of the types of reasoning and problem solving questions they will encounter, children must be arithmetically fluent. We structure our teaching and progression in order to ensure that our children develop these necessary arithmetic skills.
At Harris Primary Merton, we believe that all children should succeed mathematically; one of our primary tasks as maths teachers is to find ways of presenting, scaffolding and teaching concepts in such a way that everyone will achieve. Staff receive regular CPD on the teaching and planning of maths within school, as well as the opportunity for additional training delivered by Federation consultants.
What does maths look like at HPAM? Overview:
Maths builds on the Early Learning Goals for Mathematics within the EYFS. At HPAM we teach maths in units, usually spending a few weeks on each topic. We try to develop children’s understanding from the concrete (physical manifestation of the maths), on to the pictorial (being able to approach the maths using pictures rather than physical resources), and finally onto the abstract (being able to approach mathematics without physical or pictorial resources). This is implemented throughout all lessons in KS1 and when necessary in KS2, however some lessons can be purely concrete and pictorial and we will focus on the abstract later in the week once the children have understood the concept.
When planning a unit, teachers use a range of resources and areas to support and structure their overviews. Generally, teachers will follow the recommended progression from the “White Rose” resource, following the general lesson objectives based on that topic that are in line with the National Curriculum. This gives a good idea of what a particular unit of work might include, and a sensible order in which to teach it. This progression follows the Harris Primary Merton progression, which begins by securing place value and number at the start of the year, and then moves on to other areas of maths in which these number skills will be used. For example, fraction teaching will follow division teaching, as fraction teaching is about equal parts of a whole, which requires an understanding of division. By starting with number, we ensure that we emphasise arithmetic early on, and can use this to inform the rest of the year. Children then practise these arithmetic skills regularly as part of our low-stakes testing and retrieval practice every week. All of this can then be cross-referenced with the available effective maths slides to identify which lessons will need self-resourcing. Often, when there is not an effective maths lesson, teachers will use scanned images from the textbooks, or images taken from the White Rose Maths Hub exemplification, and create a PowerPoint.
When children are doing a written task, this will typically be presented on four stickers for a lesson. Some units, like statistics, might need another format, in which case teachers will us their own judgement. Not all children will complete all stickers, and early on in year 1, most will only be completing one or two stickers. For ideas and support on making task stickers, please use the “Primary Maths Task Stickers” folder.
The stickers ought to follow a clear progression:
- Is then moving to an abstracted form of the first question (e.g. might be three or four column method questions, with a pattern).
- Is applying the mathematical skill in a different way, e.g.
- Is often an open-ended, challenging, deepening question. They might need to explain, or reason.
- These can often be taken or adapted from the NCETM mastery assessment documents, NRICH, and the White Rose Maths Hub (WRMaths on TES)
Arithmetic is to be taught everyday with a clear focus and this is evidenced once a week in their books. Times tables should also be taught regularly throughout the week (this can simply be through the use of a counting stick or times table games) and is evidenced in the book once a week using a resource that can be found on “The School Run”.
During the week, teachers are expected to tick and stamp all pupils work. This can be peer marked, self-marked or marked by the teacher, but is always assessed by the teacher after each lesson. Once a week, teachers are expected to place a differentiated marking sticker in each child’s book, which will be responded to by the children in green pen and then ticked and initialled by the teacher or TA.
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