Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?
At St. Augustine's School, we believe the basic skills of mathematics are vital for the future life opportunities of our children. Our aim is for all children to think mathematically, enabling them to execute basic skills fluently, reason critically and solve problems confidently; not only through their time at St Augustine’s, but also in their next stage of education. In order to do this, we access a range of resources, planning and activities to give children a broad maths curriculum.
Maths is taught through a way of teaching, known as ‘Stages of Learning’. These stages include the Teaching stage, Practise and Consolidation, Problem Solving, Reasoning and SATs style questions. The Stages of Learning in maths have been designed and implemented to support children in becoming competent mathematicians across all areas of a broad curriculum, whilst at the same time challenging and enabling them to do so at their own pace.
We aim for all pupils to:
· Be confident, independent and resilient; displaying a thirst for learning
· Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
· Be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of open-ended problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios.
· Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
· Have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.
What do we teach? What does this look like?
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision which aims to enable all children to be risk takers, mistake makers, independence seekers and committed life-long learners. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children. Click the link below to see our progression map. https://wrm-13b48.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/National-Curriculum-Progression-Primary.pdf
As a school, we have implemented ‘5 stages of learning’ where all children access fluency (stages 1&2), problem solving (stage 3), reasoning (stage 4) and SAT style questions (stage 5) on a weekly basis. On Friday's, the whole school completes number work either as practical work (KS1) or as part of an arithmetic paper (KS2). Analysis of these papers will inform arithmetic lesson plans in order to fill learning gaps. In addition to this, the children have exposure to multiplication grids (speed squares) every week – children have 10 minutes to complete a 12x12 multiplication grid and move on by either beating their score or their time. Maths is also cross curricular throughout school; it can be seen in different subjects such as, computing, DT, science and art.
In our F1 setting, children encounter maths at every opportunity – through whole class teaching on the carpets, to maths provision both indoors and out. All children access an adult led activity, at least once a week, which has a more abstract feel to their learning, and this is evidenced in books. At this stage in the children’s education, F1 focus on counting and shape so children are ready for moving into F2. As part of the whole school approach, F1 carry out 4 stages of the 5, which includes: fluency (stages 1&2), problem solving (stage 3) and reasoning (stage 4).
From their learning in F1, children are then ready to learn in F2. 4 out of 5 days, the children access approximately 1 hour of maths, split into teaching and provision, which is evidenced in books. Once a week, the children partake in ‘fun forest Friday’ which also incorporates maths, but in an outside setting. Children in F2 are divided into three groups, based upon the children’s needs – they access 4 stages of learning, where problem solving occurs through provision and reasoning happens through discussions.
In our Y1 classes, children are taught as a whole class for 45 minutes every day. Following the whole school approach, Y1 follow the 5 stages of learning; however there is a higher emphasis on fluency (stage 2) and problem solving/reasoning occur more through discussion, think pinks or at the beginning/end of their lessons. All children access independent work throughout the week and focus groups are used for those children who need more adult input.
Children are taught Mathematics for approximately 1 hour daily and are divided into groups to support the needs and learning of the children. Focus groups are used to consolidate learning for children who need more input. Y2 children are taught as a whole class and follow the 5 stages of learning up until KS1 SATs.
In our Y3/4 classes, Mathematics is taught for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, which includes 20 minutes of arithmetic. Arithmetic lessons are based around gaps in learning (from previous assessments) and teachers work in small groups to fill these gaps. Y3/4 follow all 5 stages of learning, including stage 5 (SATs style questions). These questions are based around the scheme of learning for the week and are from previous SATs papers.
Children are taught Mathematics for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes daily (split between two sessions: 50 minutes core maths and 20 minutes arithmetic). Lessons are matched closely to the
children’s abilities in order for the children to fulfil their potential as much as possible. The whole school approach is followed all year in Y5; however in Y6, more emphasis on SATs practise and consolidating learning takes place in the spring term. For arithmetic sessions, children are tested on the content of their scheme of learning, where questions are again from previous papers. Gap analysis is then used by the class teacher to inform planning for the following week, and fill gaps of the content children aren’t performing well in.
In all phases, support is determined during each lesson to ensure secure understanding based on the needs of the child. At our school, all children will be taught content from their year group only – differentiated by concrete, pictorial and abstract resources. Children who fall within the bottom 20% receive further support in the form of smaller, more focussed groups that have additional adult support. Challenge is visible throughout the stages, where children are asked to reason and prove their understanding at a deeper, secure level (even through stages 2 and 3, with the use of think pinks).
How is this working? What do we want our children to be able to do by the time they leave?
By the end of KS2 we aim for children to be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics with a conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They should have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. Children will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
In previous years, children at St Augustine’s have not performed well in reasoning papers; however, recent internal assessments show that there is a rise/improvement in scores, due to the implementation of 5 stages. As children are accessing problem solving and reasoning on a daily basis, as well as having more opportunities to access SATs style questions, they are now showing they understand the question, as well as the maths skills.
As a school we have many areas of strength; high expectations for arithmetic, emphasis on not only fluency, but problem solving and reasoning, understanding of key concepts such as place value and addition & subtraction, and the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract resources. However, as a school, we need to improve on plugging gaps, challenging the more able children and focusing more on areas the children struggle with, such as multiplication/division and fractions.