At Padiham Primary School, we believe in teaching for mastery to give all children the best possible opportunity to achieve the three aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving. We recognise that pupils need to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and acquire fluency in procedures, alongside developing conceptual understanding if they are to be able to solve increasingly complex problems in life and later in the workplace.
Underpinning the teaching for mastery pedagogy, is a belief that all children can achieve in maths. We believe in promoting sustained and deepening understanding by employing a variety of strategies, with teaching for conceptual understanding at the heart of everything we do. Our approach aims to provide all children with full access to the curriculum, enabling them to develop independence, confidence and competence in order to be independent mathematicians who are well equipped to apply their learning to the wider world.
The national curriculum for mathematics 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.
Mathematics mastery places emphasis on the cumulative mastery of essential knowledge and skills in mathematics. It embeds a deeper understanding of maths by utilising a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
Staff have high expectations of all pupils and teach interactively using a ping-pong approach. The use of talking partners is encouraged to create a vocabulary-rich environment that promotes mathematical thinking and the mathematics is made accessible for all through by providing different tools to scaffold learning and questions to challenge deeper thinking.
Lessons are carefully designed considering The Five Big Ideas for mastery in small, progressive steps using high-quality resources from the NCETM, White Rose Maths and Primary Stars. We follow the White Rose Maths overviews as a foundation for our long term planning, whilst using the government's Ready To Progress criteria and the NCTEM's Curriculum Prioritisation resources to ensure that significant time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. Mathematical connections and structures are emphasised throughout the curriculum so that pupils’ learning can be sustained. The curriculum is progressive meaning children are exposed to similar representations every year with increasing difficulty. Reasoning and problem solving opportunities are embedded in lessons.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
In Reception, planning is based on White Rose Maths, Development Matters and the Early Learning Goals (Number and Numerical Patterns). We supplement our planning with the NCETM Numberblocks materials and have begun to use Number Sense. Lessons are delivered as appropriate in practical and engaging ways to individual children with thought to where the children are and their next steps. In EYFS, teacher observations are used to inform ‘in the moment’ planning based on observed knowledge or interest of the children within continuous provision to continuously build on prior knowledge.
In addition to books, EYFS record informally within continuous provision through teacher observations using a class iPad.
At Padiham Primary, there is an emphasis on the importance of developing fluency within mathematical facts. We believe that if a child is fluent in number facts, then they are able utilise their working memory to tackle complex maths more effectively as opposed to using their working memory to calculate the basic facts.
We believe that children need to be taught strategies to derive the facts. Teaching strategies are more effective in securing fluency in addition and subtraction facts than taking a rote memorisation approach.
- Quick recall of facts and procedures
- The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
- The ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics
All mathematics lessons include elements of fluency and children in Years 1 to 6 participate in a daily 15-minute fluency session outside of our regular maths lessons. A concrete-pictorial-abstract approach is followed beginning in Early Years and is supported by a range of resources to develop pupil's basic number facts.
In Years 1 to 3, we use the Number Sense programme to develop fluency in addition and subtraction facts. We also use the Number Sense programme as an intervention for children who are not fluent in these number facts. Children in Reception will begin to use Number Sense in Autumn term 2.
In Years 4-6, our skills sessions focus on:
- multiplication and division facts supported by resources such as Times Tables Rockstars
- arithmetic skills provided by My Mini Maths, Fluent in Five, Ninja Maths skills, and teacher-created resources
- the Ready To Progress criteria, which identifies the key skills children require to progress to the next year group.
Teachers use assessment data to plan and inform future learning and to identify children who may need support to keep up with their peers. Children receive feedback during lessons and books are marked regularly. At the end of each block of learning, children complete an End of Block Assessment. Summative maths assessments are carried out at the end of each term. At the end of Year 6, pupils sit their SATs exams which include one Arithmetic test and two Reasoning tests. Year 2 SATs exams are optional and may be used to affirm teacher judgements and assessment.