Maths at Haslam Park Primary School
Maths Subject Leader - Miss E Fenwick
At Haslam Park Primary School, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Essentially, our ethos is that all children (particularly disadvantaged pupils and pupils with SEND) can be successful in the study of mathematics. We do not accept that ‘some children cannot do maths’ or that children should be limited by prior attainment. Maths is for everyone! We teach the skills to ensure our children are resilient learners who become life-long mathematicians. We aim to deliver an inspiring and engaging mathematics curriculum through high quality teaching. In order to improve our mastery approach and improve the quality of our maths teaching, we use the Power Maths approach to support our teaching of Mastery, alongside White Rose Hub. Our Maths Lead will support and embed this new approach into school and will also develop their knowledge of maths mastery by attending sessions with the maths hub.
The Power Maths approach enables children to be numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. Children should not be afraid to make mistakes and should fully embrace the fact that mistakes are part of learning! A mastery curriculum promotes a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject, so that children become fluent in calculations; possess a growing confidence to reason mathematically and hone their problem-solving skills.
The intention of the Maths curriculum at Haslam Park Primary School is for children to be excited about maths! Developing a positive attitude to this subject is essential. Teachers promote children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. We ensure that challenge is provided for all children, whatever their understanding. Children are encouraged to be brave and push the boundaries, deepening their understanding further.
The only way to learn Mathematics is by doing Mathematics!
At Haslam Park Primary School, we recognise that children need to be confident and fluent across each yearly objective. To ensure consistent coverage, teachers follow the Power Maths scheme of learning to support their planning. Teachers are also developing their understanding of mastery whilst working within the Maths Hub. Teachers of pupils in Year 1 and Year 2 are members of a national programme called 'Mastering Number' which is designed to help children embed good number sense. The programme is supported by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and the Maths Hubs Network. It aims to develop solid number sense, including fluency and flexibility with number facts, which will have a lasting impact on future learning for all children. It also involves high quality professional development for teachers.
High quality resources are used in conjunction with Power Maths, such as White Rose, NRich and NCETM to support, stretch and challenge all children within the classroom. In addition, the school’s calculation policy is used to ensure a coherent approach to teaching the operations across our school. Our curriculum builds on the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach. By using all three, the children can explore and demonstrate their mathematical learning. Together, these elements help to cement knowledge so children truly understand what they have learnt.
All children when introduced to a new concept for the first time are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols. Throughout Haslam Park Primary School you will see these three methods being used:
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using these pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid by using the concrete and pictorial methods the children can move onto an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Vigorous monitoring means that children, who need extra support with their learning, receive high quality intervention time with a teacher or teaching assistant.
At Haslam Park we begin each Maths unit with a diagnostic piece, such as a test, a set of questions, a class discussion or another approach to diagnosing the current position of learners. At this point, and not before this, the unit plan for Maths will be done based on the results of the diagnostic test. Teachers will then address the gaps in knowledge or skills indicated by the diagnostic work. Throughout lessons, formative, low stakes assessment will take place in the form of questioning, marking and feedback, discussions with groups of pupils, SLT work scrutiny etc. Summative assessment takes place at the end of each unit and children’s progress and attainment are discussed by teachers and the Head of School.
Formative assessment takes place on a daily basis. Teachers adjust planning accordingly to meet the needs of their class. In addition to this, we place a strong emphasis on the power of questioning: this enables us both to explore topics together as a class as well as verbally develop reasoning skills during our lessons. Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning through self- and peer- assessment and learning coach activities. Leaders monitor the effectiveness of teaching frequently through lesson observations, book scrutinies and pupil interviews. Learning opportunities are then be planned for the rest of the unit of work; learning opportunities added to the original plan or omissions made as necessary.
A final end of unit NFER assessment will allow teachers to summarise the growth that has taken place across the unit and support accurate planning for future learning. This assessment will take place at a distance from the learning that has taken place in order to demonstrate retention of knowledge and skills, relearning will be necessary if children have not retained the knowledge from that unit.