Our children are taught maths in sets. Any child who has achieved year group expectations in class is then given the opportunity to work on these objectives in greater depth.
National curriculum objectives are placed in our long term planning, to ensure there is adequate coverage throughout the year. Content is determined by the National Curriculum, and by our gap analysis, based on termly summative assessments. We incorporate daily “Closing the Gap” teaching (based on formative assessments) in our morning maths. Year group targets can be found in the front of every child’s maths book, and these are monitored by the children and teacher. Targets are signed off when there is sufficient evidence. Evidence is gathered via observation, marking and feedback.
Our children benefit from a structured maths week, which includes three stages of topic teaching, matched to national curriculum objectives, followed by one stage, applying to test style questions and a day is given to practising arithmetic (testing and gaps). However, if children have not understood sufficiently, with the majority meeting year group expectations within that week, then the learning will continue during the following week.
Maths is also timetabled for fifteen minutes every morning between 9:00 and 9:15. In these five, “Morning Maths” sessions, years three and four focus on times table recall and application. Years five and six focus on revisiting key learning to embed knowledge using “5 a Day”
The overriding aims of the national curriculum: fluency/ reasoning and problem solving are addressed in all areas of maths. In every lesson, there is the opportunity to apply learning, reason and problem solve within the “Steps to Success”. Problem solving is specifically addressed when completing test-style questions after each unit of work. Fluency is developed through varied and frequent practise in morning maths sessions.
The national curriculum states that by the end of year four, children should know their multiplication facts to 12 times 12. We encourage children to learn their tables through a times table reward scheme. This allows children to sit a test for a bronze/ silver/ gold or Forest View Award badge, once they have the relevant stickers on their class times table chart. “Times Table Rock Stars” is used across school to improve attainment and recall.
Bronze – 2,3,4,5,8,10 times tables.
Silver – 6,7,9 times tables.
Gold – 11,12, times tables, and multiplying/ dividing by 10/100/1000
FV Award – Multiplying 2 by 1 digit.
Multiplying and dividing whole numbers by decimals.
Maths skills are used in other areas of the curriculum at Forest View. Applying in this way encourages learning at greater depth. For example, during science and geography topics, measure and data are incorporated when presenting results or looking at temperatures. In history, looking at timelines and dates reinforces children’s grasp of number. In P.E. we encourage children to measure, whether this is distance, time or repetitions, much of our work in D.T. incorporates measuring activities also. During theme weeks such as, “Enterprise Week” children produce maths work related to the theme. Cross-curricular maths is displayed in school, and these displays are changed half-termly. Teachers engage children in “Learning outside of lessons” throughout the day (eg calculating the fraction of children having a school dinner)
Our aims in all of the maths we teach in school are to: improve fluency (speed and accuracy), encourage reasoning (through talking and justifying) and to solve a range of problems by applying content.
We teach by firstly using concrete objects to model ideas to children/ allow children to explore. Then we represent maths using pictures and diagrams, and finally we use mathematical symbols. This approach is reflected in our calculation policy shared with parents on our school website, which can be accessed via this link, and resources are provided in each classroom to facilitate this approach.
Differentiation can be seen in all maths sessions, through our “Steps to Success” Children are not moved on to new content until they are secure in what they are learning. The “Steps to Success” are a means to achieving age related expectations, while a starred step target provides opportunity to learn the same objective at greater depth. Therefore, if a child has achieved the steps in a session, they may begin the following session on the “Starred Step” which allows for applying in a different way.
Our children are taught in maths sets matched to their ability, whilst allowing the opportunity for all to apply learning once it is embedded using the “Starred Step”
Flexible interventions aim to ensure progress for any children who have not understood an element of maths being taught that day/ week, teachers use guided group work to address gaps in lessons. The aim is to ensure at least good progress is made. After school booster sessions are provided for year six children, to prepare them for their SATs tests in May. The “Power of Two” scheme is used in school with children who need extra support in basic number.
Our more able mathematicians take part in the annual, “Primary Maths Challenge”. During our annual “Puzzle Week” our more able mathematicians run the puzzle stalls for the year three, four and five children.
The methods and strategies used to teach maths are having a positive impact on learning. 2020 predicted scores showed that 80% of children were expected to achieve the national standard or above (25% working at greater depth).
Maths at Forest View is constantly evolving, as we face the challenges of closing gaps in learning in academic year 2020-2021 while covering a demanding curriculum. We are looking forward to working with the motivated children we teach, and to another successful year of maths.