Our Maths Rationale
Rationale for Maths at Shakespeare
At Shakespeare Primary School, we aim to teach our children a rich, progressive and sequential maths curriculum which develops their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems, enabling them to make sense of the world around them. We aim to provide high quality mathematical learning experiences in order to develop children’s mathematical skills and understanding. Children are encouraged to explore maths through practical experiences and investigative work, building a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
We aim to give all of our pupils, particularly the most disadvantaged, the knowledge, experiences and ‘cultural capital’ necessary to become educated citizens and to succeed in life.
The aims of teaching Maths, as outlined in the National Curriculum, are 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 Shakespeare, we believe that all children can be successful in the study of mathematics. We use mixed ability groupings and do not group children by prior attainment, except for where significant gaps in learning exist.
In order to achieve mastery, our expectation is that through quality first teaching, all our children will successfully access the learning. We expect the vast majority of pupils to move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, for children who lack fluency, we provide opportunities to consolidate their understanding through additional scaffolding (this could be through adult support, concrete resources or adapted work).
Across the school daily maths lessons are taught where children:
- practice fluency and the ability to recall and apply knowledge accurately and quickly
- develop reasoning skills by following a line of enquiry, generalising or justifying proof using mathematical language
- develop competence in solving increasingly complex problems
Early Years Foundation Stage
In EYFS, teachers use the Power Maths curriculum to structure units of learning. These are matched to the National Curriculum Early Learning goals. In the Early Years, maths is a specific area of learning in the Development Matters Curriculum. Play based opportunities are carefully planned and provided by staff. The learning environment both inside and outside, is set up to create a stimulating space where children feel confident, secure and challenged in their mathematical thinking. Learning experiences provide children with the opportunity to explore, use their senses and become independent in their mathematical learning.
Year 1 to Year 6
In Years 1-6, we follow the National Curriculum, using the Power Maths curriculum to structure units of learning for curriculum planning to ensure progression across the year groups. It builds every concept in small, progressive steps and is built with interactive, whole-class teaching in mind. It provides the tools needed to develop growth mindsets, check understanding throughout lessons and ensuring that every child is keeping up. The Power Maths Curriculum covers units of learning in Number, Measurement and Geometry, Statistics, Algebra and Ratio and Proportion.
At the heart of Power Maths is a progressive lesson sequence designed to empower children to understand core concepts and grow in confidence.
In addition, we use White Rose, NCETM mastery resources and other resources to challenge our more able children and deepen their understanding.
Numbots is used both at home and in school by children in EYFS and KS1 to practise their basic number bonds and improve their addition and subtraction skills.
Times Tables Rock Stars (TTRS)
TTRS is used by children in Years 2-6 in order to practise their quick recall of times tables. It is an online resource which children can also access at home.
From years 1 – 6, there is a big focus on the develop of multiplication facts. We use weekly times tables passports where children practice their times tables and are tested to see if they can fly around the world. These tests are sent home weekly as part of their homework.
Assessing the impact of teaching
At Shakespeare, we assess maths in the following ways:
- Daily formative assessment which is used to inform next steps planning.
- In EYFS, observations are recorded in children’s learning journals and next steps are identified.
- Weekly retrieval quizzes in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
- Weekly times tables quiz from Year 2 to Year 6
- Termly teacher assessments
- Termly NFER / practise SATs in Years 1-6.
The impact of our maths curriculum is that children become confident and successful learners’ who can achieve regardless of their starting points. Assessments show that maths knowledge and skills are developing and children are able to apply their skills and knowledge to more challenging problems.
Children across the school have positive attitudes towards their learning in maths and enjoy maths lessons.
Children make progress in maths from their starting points on entry and are closing the gap towards attaining national expectations. They are given opportunities to enable them to achieve the greater depth standard. It is our aim that all cohorts will achieve in line with or above national expectations and that they make good progress.
Four of our Year 6 children spent the day at All Saints Academy to take part in a primary maths challenge. They worked as a team of four to compete against ten other teams from across Plymouth to answer a series of maths challenges. The team of four demonstrated excellent reasoning skills and manners throughout the day and finished in second place, just 5 points behind the winning team.