At East Ardsley Primary Academy, we strive to find everyone’s talent as Mathematicians. Maths is vital skill for future career paths, so our lessons harness the ideas of ‘imagining the possibilities’. We want children to realise that mathematics has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
We are committed to ensuring that all pupils master the key concepts of mathematics, in order that they make progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning. Assessment for Learning, an emphasis on investigation, problem solving, the development of mathematical thinking and development of teacher subject knowledge are therefore essential components of the East Ardsley approach to this subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics intends 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
At East Ardsley Primary Academy, children study mathematics daily covering a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics. We follow the Power Maths scheme of work which drives the mathematics curriculum, and this is supported by recent and relevant CPD for all members of staff. White Rose Maths resources are also used to supplement and provide additional resources.
The children are taught in their class so that work to support and enhance the learning and teaching of mathematics can be planned for more effectively and efficiently across with the curriculum with a focus on raising children’s attainment to age related expectations. Both staff and children understand the need to ‘keep up, not catch up’. The staff are supported in doing this with the new implementation of the Power Maths scheme of work. Each teacher and teaching assistant has access to online, expert and detailed planning and lesson resources. All classrooms have a variety of concrete resources and teachers, and pupils are actively encouraged to use pictorial representations to support their learning with the movement towards the abstract method.
A variety of teaching and learning opportunities provide the children with active and stimulating learning experiences:
- Teachers share learning objectives via a problem solving (discover) activity at the start of each lesson.
- Carefully chosen, mixed ability talk partners are used to create speaking and listening opportunities for children to explain their thinking in mathematics. Mathematical talk and specific mathematical vocabulary are a non-negotiable. Children are expected to speak in full sentences when explaining a concept or procedure.
- Children may work individually on a task, in pairs or in small groups, depending on the nature of the activity.
- To develop secure and deep conceptual understanding, staff are expected to plan for the use on concrete resources, representations and structures (outlined and guided through Power Maths) to reinforce learning objectives, to support pupils and to challenge pupils in a ‘prove it’ style activity.
- Lessons are planned to engage and encourage the full participation of all pupils. The planning materials used by staff, within the Power Maths scheme (or other approved supporting resources), promote intelligent practice and as well as developing our own staff subject knowledge, children have opportunities to develop their mental arithmetic skills within most lessons. Staff also included a ‘Flashback 4’ at the start of each maths lessons, which is a quick, arithmetic based fluency starter.
- Differentiation is seen through the concrete resources used, and/or the reliance on the representations and structures within a lesson to help embed a mathematical concept. All children are expected to be exposed to age related expectations and staff allow the time to plug gaps if they are not yet ARE within an area of mathematics. Staff understand what ARE and mastery looks like for each objective (power maths practice books) and plan for how their children will get there. In order to meet the needs of all pupils, children working above ARE within an area of mathematics have ‘going deeper’ opportunities planned by staff.
- Children who are working significantly below ARE (those children who are assessed using Bsquared objectives) are planned for carefully, with clear links to the main lesson so that they too are included in the lesson, but this is carefully tailored to their level.
- Teachers create an ethos in which all children feel they can contribute and feel valued.
- Teachers place a strong emphasis on the correct use of mathematical language.
Every class (from Year 2 – 6) takes part in a fifteen-minute arithmetic sessions three times a week where they are given opportunities to practise basic arithmetic skills and multiplication and division facts needed. Arithmetic sessions are made up of three key components:
- Key Skill – this starts our arithmetic sessions. From assessment paper analysis, teachers choose a number or calculation objective that children have been taught in the past but are still finding difficult. Teachers and other adults will model the skill and then children will have time to practise independently. These skills will change on a regular basis and teachers will use the analysis of test papers throughout the year to identify the key skills that children need to work on.
- Arithmetic – children will then have some general arithmetic questions to have a go at. These could be calculations, fractions, decimals or percentages. In this part of the arithmetic session, we are aiming for children to be come faster and more fluent with these skills. This also incorporates number bonds and times table knowledge.
- Times Tables – Children will then finish their arithmetic session with some times tables questions or games. For Years 2 and 3, this will be a focussed times table linked to the national curriculum. For Year 4 onwards, this will be a mix of multiplication and division questions practising a range of times tables. Children are expected to know their times tables up to 12x12 and should be able to answer any question at a given time. Again, this session aims to increase the accuracy and speed in which children can recall the answers.