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Maths St Helen's Catholic Primary

What Is Our Vision?

At St Helen's, we aim to provide our children with the skills to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to be able to reason mathematically and solve problems by applying their understanding of mathematics. These skills are embedded within lessons and established over time to develop consistency. We deliver lessons which are rich in mathematical language and provide our children with opportunities to work collaboratively to deepen their understanding of new concepts.

Our mastery curriculum promotes deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding enabling our children to become confident and fluent in calculations helping them to grow in confidence, to reason mathematically and solve problems successfully.

Through collaboration and our mastery approach we aim to ensure all children develop resilience to become life-long mathematicians.

Each unit enables children to be numerate, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. We encourage all of our children to develop a Growth Mindset as learners and to see mistakes as the first step in learning a new skill, this is reflected in our approach to maths where children embrace their mistakes as an opportunity to learn and develop resilience through unpicking their mistakes.

Throughout our curriculum we aim to develop positive attitudes towards the subject. We promote an enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to develop understanding of concepts, before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges.

Our Approach

To ensure whole school consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme. This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths Hub scheme. Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. We offer a 'no ceiling' approach to our curriculum, with the large majority of children progressing through the content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved through individual support and intervention.

Problem solving, fluency and relational understanding are at the heart of our approach to maths. We use the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach and allows pupils to spend enough time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it with practise, before moving onto the next one. All ideas are built on previous knowledge and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between topics. Knowledge and skills are constantly revisited and refreshed to ensure that they become embedded. To aid understanding, subject specific vocabulary is taught explicitly within every lesson.

New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss as a class, with their partners or with an adult. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, with children being encouraged to make connections to their prior learning. Children are encouraged to share their ideas, with reminders that even our mistakes are an opportunity to learn, and build on the ideas of others to help them find a solution to the problem. In KS1 these problems focus heavily on the use of objects (concrete manipulatives) for the children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Through the use of careful questioning, teachers draw out children's discussions and their reasoning before leading them through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Children will then move on to independent work providing a means for them to apply the strategies demonstrated and develop their fluency before progressing to more complex and challenging reasoning and 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 more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems. This is achieved through procedural and conceptual variations in the questions children are approaching which are designed to challenge children's application of the skills and strategies they have been taught.

Assessment at the start of each topic and regular, ongoing assessment throughout the topic informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child.

In addition to our daily maths sessions we also have a range of additional programmes in place each week to develop and embed mathematical skills including Big Maths Beat That sessions, Time Table Rock Stars sessions, arithmetic tests and use of CLIC & SAFE tests to foster repetition of skills to keep them fresh in children's memory.

Curriculum Impact

The impact of our curriculum will be monitored through on-going assessment in daily Maths lessons, focusing on the children's ability to work collaboratively and the development of fluency and verbal reasoning skills during lessons.

Teachers will carry out pre and post unit assessments to determine the gaps in knowledge at the start of a unit and the impact they have had at the end of a unit. At the end of each unit children will also complete an end of unit check, which can be used to plan further interventions if required.

We carry out termly formal assessments throughout school which are then combined with teacher knowledge and evidence in children's books to form our teacher judgements against age related expectations. This allows us to monitor the impact of the curriculum across the school and make interventions if necessary.

We will measure the impact of science through:

  • Pupil attainment data
  • Pupil voice
  • Learning walks
  • Lesson observations
  • Work Scrutinies

In our maths lessons some of the things you will see are:

  • High expectations for pupil outcomes.
  • Children working collaboratively to solve problems.
  • Pupils using a range of strategies, including concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations to solve problems.
  • Pupils developing questioning skills.
  • Pupils returning to prior learning.
  • Pupils developing new knowledge and integrating this with their previous understanding of topics.
  • Lessons rich in mathematical vocabulary.
  • The use of Power Maths to develop children's mastery of the mathematics curriculum.