The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
- Are able to reason mathematically
- Solve problems by applying their Mathematics
At St Mark’s Primary Academy, these skills are embedded within progressive, structured Maths lessons and are developed consistently over time. Our ultimate goal is to enable our children to solve unfamiliar problems in a wide variety of contexts and develop skills that are required for them to succeed at the next stage of their education as well as successfully participate as an active global citizen within the world in which they live. To do this we recognise that children need to acquire fluency in procedures to become confident mathematicians and to be able to apply these skills to more complex, varied problems. We also encourage children to develop their conceptual understanding allowing them to make connections, draw comparisons and make explicit links between different mathematical representations. Finally, we look to embed mathematical language and communication and provide opportunities for children to use subject-specific vocabulary in an accurate and articulate way to explain and reason effectively.
We are also committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, enabling them to access a wide variety of tasks and problems that will allow them to confidently demonstrate their learning. This includes creating enjoyment of Mathematics and showing its central role in the world around us.
All children must move through the concrete, pictorial and abstract stages in their learning. In doing so, children will be able to become fluent mathematicians. Children also need to be able to explain and show their thinking through reasoning and problem-solving.
- Concrete stage: All children should start at the concrete stage when learning a new concept in maths. Practical resources and real-life examples must be available and used in all classrooms during a lesson.
- Pictorial Stage: Children can draw pictures to solve the answer to the question. They rely on their knowledge they learnt from using concrete resources and represent their understanding through pictures or drawing. Bar modelling is an excellent strategy for children to represent their thinking in the pictorial stage. When children are comfortable at this stage they become abstract thinkers.
- Abstract Stage: Children are introduced to abstract concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division symbols (+ - x /)
These stages are not age specific: they should be part of normal classroom practice throughout all the year groups in the school.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at St Mark’s Primary Academy reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
- The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace.
- Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all children keep up.
- Children’s explanations and their proficiency in articulating mathematical reasoning, with the precise use of mathematical vocabulary, are supported through the use of knowledge organisers, working walls and an encouragement to discuss their Maths.
To ensure whole school consistency, we follow the White Rose Scheme of learning and carefully constructed long-term overviews, which ensures learning is sequenced effectively, builds on previous learning, and provides opportunities for consolidation and revisiting of previously taught concepts. These overviews also carefully map out the teaching of vocabulary to ensure children can articulate their Maths confidently using correct terminology as well as access age-appropriate content. They also identfiy where small steps relate directly to the DFE’s ‘Ready to Progress’ statements.
At St Mark’s Primary Academy, we are continually assessing our pupils and recording their progress. We see assessment as an integral part of the teaching process and aim to make our assessment purposeful, allowing us to match the correct level of work to the needs of the pupils, thus benefiting the pupils and ensuring progress. Assessment is carried out on four levels:
- Formative assessments take place on a daily and weekly basis and are closely matched to the teaching objectives. These are used as a way of ensuring children are understanding new concepts before moving on. They also inform future planning and provide support and challenge where necessary.
- Medium-term and long-term assessments are carried out termly. The purpose of these assessments is to review and record the progress the pupils have made, measured against the school and national targets. This is done by drawing on class records of key objectives and any supplementary notes that have been made, as well as through the use of termly assessments: PIXL, Rising Stars tests and SATs papers are used. All data is analysed by senior management, the maths leader and the Inclusion team.
- Short end of unit assessments is also carried out that closely relate to the content that has been taught. They are used to inform medium-term planning and ensure children have acquired the specific knowledge taught during that unit.
- At the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 each pupil’s level of achievement against national standards is included as part of their annual written report