The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
- Are able to reason mathematically
- Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics
At Pyrcroft Grange, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time and key stages. Teachers spend time developing their own pedagogy and understanding of mastery maths allowing us to ensure children are not only able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world but are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in a range of different contexts. We want children to have secure factual mathematical knowledge but we also want them to be able to reason mathematically. Additionally, we are determined that children recognise the importance of mathematics across a range of subjects which includes them experiencing the opportunity to apply their understanding in Science, History and Geography. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics, to experience success in the subject and to have an innate desire to challenge themselves through questioning and curiosity. We want them to see beyond the process of mathematics and appreciate the beauty and power of Mathematics in the world around them.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at Pyrcroft Grange reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These 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.
- The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. However, where appropriate, differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support within lessons and same day interventions.
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and teachers carefully craft lessons and make use of a wide range of resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Children are encouraged to see patterns and make links in their learning through a range of questions which encourage intelligent practice
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.
- To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school makes use of the DfES approved ‘Power Maths scheme. This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths scheme and the school’s engagement with the DfES funded Maths Hubs programme has ensured that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach. However, teachers confidently assess the needs of both the class and individuals when approaching a new block of teaching and will adapt materials as necessary to ensure all children are able to access the learning. Usually, new concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. In many lessons, children are guided through with teacher support using an “I do, we do, you do” approach. In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2 and this is seen as normal practice. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with rapid graspers being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
Pyrcroft Grange has a supportive ethos and our approaches scaffold the children as they develop their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Children readily celebrate the successes of others with genuine enthusiasm. Children can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The Power Maths programme addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mind-set. In addition, we use pre-teach sessions which have had a huge impact on the self-confidence of some learners. During these sessions, children are exposed to the concepts or mathematics that will be introduced during a lessons. This allows children who are less confident to feel prepared for and able to access the learning. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.