At Queensway Infant Academy and Nursery we recognise that mathematics underpins much of our daily lives and therefore is of paramount importance to use to ensure that our children have the best possible grounding in mathematics during their time with us. Our maths curriculum is designed to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts.
All pupils can achieve in mathematics! A typical maths lesson will provide the opportunity for all children, regardless of their ability, to work through Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving activities and to develop the skills to work independently.
At Queensway Infant Academy, Children study mathematics daily covering a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics. We focus not only on the mathematical methods but also focus on mathematical vocabulary and are implementing STEM sentences into our lessons and working walls.
In our lessons:
- Children start the lesson with retrieval practise to support the development of long term memory
- Teachers clearly model using direct instruction
- Children have the opportunity to practise processes and skills
- Teachers and teaching assistants ‘live mark’ to provide instant feedback and to move learners on where necessary
- Work is pitched to enable individuals to be stretched and challenged
- Once knowledge and process are acquired children move onto reasoning questions
We aim for each child to be confident in each yearly objective and develop their ability to use this knowledge to develop a greater depth understanding to solve varied fluency problems as well as problem solving and reasoning questions.
Objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols ae everywhere. The mastery approach which we are developing incorporates all of these to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding. Together these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they have learnt.
Maths is a journey and long-term goal, achieved through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time. At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic and be able to build upon this over time.
There are three levels of learning:
- Shallow learning: Surface, temporary, often lost
- Deep learning: It sticks, can be recalled and used
- Deepest learning: Can be transferred and applied in different contexts
The national curriculum, alongside the principles of Power Maths 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.
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
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 pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
In Early Years, developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically.
Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers.
By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding – such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting – children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built.
In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures.
It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.
Key Stage 1
The National Curriculum (2014) states that:
The principle focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources (for example, concrete objects and measuring tools).
At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.
Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through marking and next step tasks to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. 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 Maths is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations.
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.