Mathematics – everyone can!
At Wellington Primary School, we view Mathematics as a creative and highly interconnected 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. In line with the National Curriculum’s Mathematics aims, we will 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.
- can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- and 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.
At Wellington Primary School, a mastery approach is used to consolidate the building blocks that children need to study Mathematics successfully and to a high level. Children study Mathematics daily covering a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, ratio and proportion, algebra, measurement, geometry and statistics. Here at Wellington Primary School:
- we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework, as well as Development Matters, in our Early Years Foundation Stage. Teachers will supplement this with resources from Power Maths (White Rose Edition) and White Rose Maths.
- from Years 1 to 6 we use Power Maths (White Rose Edition) as a spine which is then adapted by teachers when necessary to meet the needs of children in their class. Teachers also supplement Power Maths (White Rose Edition) with resources from (but not limited to) White Rose, Third Space Learning, nRICH and Testbase.
Due to the interconnected nature of the discipline, whenever possible we aim to teach Mathematics in a cross-curricular manner, alongside the discrete practical application of mathematical skills.
From Years 1 to 6, lessons typically begin with ‘Fluent in 5’, a daily 10-minute warm up focusing on developing children’s arithmetic and fluency skills. This is then followed by ‘Discover’, an initial problem-solving discussion linked to what the children will be learning in that particular lesson, often using a real-life scenario). The teacher will then work through the content of the lesson using ‘Share’ (teacher-led, ‘I do’), ‘Think Together’ (class-led, ‘We do) and ‘Practice’ (child-led, ‘You do’). This is then followed by ‘Reflect’, bringing together the learning from the lesson. Within each lesson, teachers will actively model fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills. Throughout a unit, we focus not only on the mathematical methods required but also on mathematical vocabulary to broaden and deepen mathematical understanding. Children who have mastered a concept, our ‘rapid graspers’, are provided with additional challenges to deepen their knowledge and understanding of a concept. This will include solving varied fluency, reasoning and problem-solving questions. Those children who have not yet fully understood the concept being taught will be supported in a variety of different ways including, but not limited to, same day and next interventions, the use of concrete and pictorial resources and in-class support. Each child will be confident in the objectives being taught before moving on to additional content.
From Years 1 to 6, children also have a weekly arithmetic lesson which helps consolidate their understanding of different mathematical operations, becoming more fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics.
Each week children from Year 2 to Year 6 are set a new ‘Learn by Heart’ to practice outside the classroom. Learn by Heart focuses on key facts that the children are expected to know and will help them to access the curriculum. The children are tested on their Learn by Heart each week.
In preparation for the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) in Year 4, and the importance of fully knowing times tables in order to access the curriculum in Years 5 and 6, we follow a systematic approach to teaching times tables, including the use of ‘Times Table Rockstars’ and the ‘timestables.co.uk’ website. As well as practice within the daily Mathematics lesson, additional time is given during weekly cross-curricular computing sessions for children to further develop their times table knowledge.
Throughout each lesson, formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children, typically through live marking. Teacher’s then use this assessment to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a Mathematics curriculum that will allow each child to progress. The teaching of Mathematics is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. Each term children from Year 1 to Year 6 complete a summative assessment to demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. Summative assessment takes place in the form of Rising Stars (Years 1, 3, 4, 5) and previous SATs paper (Years 2, 6). The results from both the formative assessment and summative assessment are then used to determine a child’s progress and attainment.
Long Term Plan
If your child ever comes home and is unsure of a method that they have been learning, you can follow the link below to look at the school’s calculations policy.
Wellington Maths Calculations Policy 2022-2023
It is well documented that children can often under perform in Mathematics because they think they ‘can’t do it’ or are not ‘naturally good at it’. Our approach addresses this. Wellington Primary School has a nurturing ethos and our approaches, as outlined above, support our children in becoming confident, resilient mathematicians. Our children regularly experience challenge and success in Mathematics, developing a solution-seeking approach to the discipline. In addition, our curriculum is designed to ensure that children enjoy and are enriched by their Mathematics learning, being able to use their knowledge, skills and understanding; what they know and what they have remembered; in a range of different circumstances, both within and outside of school.
These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of Key Stage 2 above the national average, with a number of children working at a greater depth standard. Beyond this however, and most importantly, we are able to ensure that our children become mathematicians who can understand and apply what they have been taught. We regularly ‘check in’ with our children to ensure they have understood what they have learnt and have, most importantly, enjoyed what they have learnt.
This is our Mathematics journey at Wellington Primary School.