At Monksmead, our aim is for children to leave us at the end of Year 6 as confident, skilled and resilient mathematicians who understand that maths is a fundamental part of everyday life and the world we live in.
We will give children real-life learning experiences and opportunities to ensure that they are confident to deal with the challenges the world presents. Maths is integral to all aspects of life and transcends cultural boundaries. With this in mind, we endeavour to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude, and a deep understanding, that will stay with them for life.
To this end, our curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- are provided with a positive and supportive learning environment in which all children can enjoy mathematics and feel able to rise to the challenges of developing competence and confidence in their mathematical knowledge withing their own ability, concepts and skills;
- develop mathematics by building from the concrete to pictorial and then to abstract across all years of the school;
- encouraged to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, as well as extending their knowledge of mathematical language. We provide varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly, logically and accurately;
- encouraged to use mathematical terms to explain processes in investigations or ‘play’ situations, using their ability to reason mathematically following lines of enquiry, investigating relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- enabled to solve problems by applying their maths to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions;
- develop an ability to use and apply their mathematics across the curriculum and wherever possible, relating mathematical experience in the classroom to ‘real life’;
- are working with others to carry out investigations and surveys;
- develop a curiosity and fascination of mathematics in helping them find mathematics all around, including the wider school environment;
- explore mathematical concepts through other subjects;
- use a range of appropriate mathematical programs on the computer;
- record and display work to share with other pupils.
The National Curriculum 2014 aims state that:
“Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.”
There are five main areas for development. These are facts, skills, concepts, processes and personal qualities. For example:
- Facts - number names and symbols, shape names;
- Skills - use of mathematical instruments, calculators or mental agility;
- Concepts - number, measurement;
- Processes - developing strategies to solve mathematical problems, using mathematical ideas to solve everyday problems;
- Personal qualities - working independently or sharing ideas with others, sustaining interest in solving a problem.
The National Curriculum is the framework for all the mathematics taught to our pupils and will be used as the basis for planning. The subject will be taught as a combination of discrete teaching and explicit contextual applications. Our day-to-day reference point (via our commercial scheme), it enables us to set appropriately high expectations for all pupils in our school.
At Monksmead we follow and adapt ‘HfL : Maths Essentials’ which ensures appropriate coverage and progression within and across each year group. The sequences are written as a spiral curriculum in which learning is built upon step by step, sequence by sequence and year on year. There is flexibility within the school to adapt the materials; ensuring it is appropriate for our pupils. This is a skeleton for class teachers to adapt to their children, preparing further activities, questions, etc to aid learning. It is used alongside a wide range of other resources. We also have calculations guidelines which are made available to staff and parents, and can be viewed on our website.
The main emphasis throughout the school will be on developing a range of mental and written strategies to solve problems, and the skill to apply appropriate strategies in different situations.
The Essentials maths programme provides opportunities for all children to experience practical activities to develop understanding, followed by opportunities to represent their developing knowledge and understanding through graphical recording, before finally moving to more conceptual understanding.
The following 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.
- Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
- Teaching is underpinned by the Essentials’ methodical curriculum design and is supported by lessons and resources which foster deep conceptual procedural knowledge.
- Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variations 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.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Children can underperform in maths because they think they can not do it or are not naturally good at it. We promote challenge and success in mathematics by developing a growth mindset, in order that our children will thrive upon conquering the challenges and puzzles that maths will bring and not be afraid to make mistakes.
By the time children leave Monksmead School at the end of Year 6 they will:
- be self-aware – they will be able to reflect on and understand their own mathematical needs and what their next-steps are. They will be confident to seek support when needed.
- embrace differences - through learning about role-models and influential key figures within the Mathematical and Scientific world they will understand that everyone has the potential to make a positive contribution to the mathematical world. They will respect the work of others/peers and will demonstrate respect in all communications.
- be ambitious to take the next step – children will be confident in their own ability to overcome mathematical challenges, believing that they will succeed. They will be excited about maths and will be able to apply their own knowledge and skills to each new challenge and will pro-actively look for support, when necessary, to help them succeed.
- be worldly-wise – our children will be able to confidently and successfully use and apply their mathematical knowledge within their daily lives.