QUEEN’S CRESCENT SCHOOL

MATHEMATICS POLICY

Rationale

Maths in key stages 1 and 2 is a subject which involves confidence and competence with numbers and measures.  It requires a secure understanding of the number system, a repertoire of computational skills and an ability to solve problems in a variety of mathematical contexts.  A good understanding also demands practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered by counting and measuring and is presented in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.

We, as a school, recognise that these are fundamental necessities for children to be able to fulfil their potential in their academic lives and in society as a whole, allowing them to meet challenges and function properly in life.  In primary education, we supply the foundations for everything that will follow.

The school’s policy for maths is built around the 2014 National Curriculum.

Aims

As a school, we place great emphasis on the children learning as much as possible through their own first-hand experience, in order to properly understand and acquire their knowledge and skills.  We strongly value offering the children opportunities to use models and images to support their thinking.  This philosophy permeates everything about our teaching and how the children encounter mathematics in school.

Each child should be able to think and solve problems mathematically by using appropriate skills, manipulatives, concepts and knowledge. Children should be provided with rich and enjoyable experiences related to both individual needs and the wider requirements of society

We aim for the children to:

  • Have a positive attitude to mathematics
  • Have self confidence in their ability to deal with maths
  • Be able to work systematically, cooperatively and with perseverance
  • Be able to think logically and independently
  • Experience a sense of achievement regardless of age or ability
  • Understand the appropriate underlying skills, concepts and knowledge of number, measurement, shape, space and handling data.
  • Effectively use manipulatives to support thinking, learning and understanding.
  • Be able to apply previously acquired concepts, skills and knowledge and understanding to new situations both in and out of school.
  • Understand and appreciate pattern and relationship in mathematics.
  • Be able to communicate with peers (‘talk trios’) and adults, ideas, experiences, questions, clearly and fluently, using the appropriate mathematical vocabulary.
  • Be able to explore problems using the appropriate strategies, predictions and deductions.
  • Be aware of the use of mathematics beyond the classroom.
  • Encourage the use of mental calculations and efficient strategies to work out solutions to enable them to develop procedural fluency alongside their conceptual understanding.

For Parents to:

    • Be actively involved in their children’s mathematical learning both in school and at home.

Approaches to Teaching

Teaching Time

To provide adequate time for the development of mathematical skills each teacher will usually provide a daily maths lesson. This may vary in length but will usually last for an hour. Links will also be made to mathematics within other subjects so pupils can develop and apply their mathematical skills (e.g. through topic work).As part of their broader experience, children will also be involved in longer ‘Maths Missions’ where they will work in mixed ability groups utilising a range of maths skills in a practical context.

Class Organisation

From Year 1 pupils are set for mathematics dependent on ability. Within these lessons there will be a good balance between whole- class work, group teaching and individual practice to provide further differentiation within a set.  These groupings are flexible dependent on the topic being taught and on children’s different learning needs throughout the year.

A Typical Lesson

A typical lesson will usually be structured as follows:

  • Mental Oral Warm Up

This will involve whole-class work to rehearse, sharpen and develop mental and oral skills, often involving a counting activity.

  • The main teaching activity

This will provide both teaching input and pupil activities and a balance between whole class, grouped, paired and individual work based on ability.

  • Mini Plenaries throughout the lesson

This could be with the whole class or a specific group, and can be used to identify misconceptions, ensure progress, summarise key facts, assess against the success criteria for the lesson, to make links to other work and discuss the next steps in learning.

  • Plenary

An opportunity to make links between a sequence of sessions, reflect on learning against the success criteria and practise taught skills.

Home Learning

Homework is used to provide opportunities for the children to practice and consolidate their skills and knowledge, to develop and extend their techniques and strategies and to prepare for future learning. Home Learning is set at the discretion of the class teacher across Key Stage 1.  Regular homework is set for Key Stage 2 children who are also encouraged to engage in ‘Mathletics’ (a mathematical internet based learning programme) at home.  Home learning may take the form of a game or investigation. Children are expected to practise counting and times tables at home throughout the year.

Resources

Each class is resourced with appropriate equipment, with many resources kept centrally for all to use regularly. Many different types of physical apparatus are used including  Numicon, Base 10 apparatus, number rods (Cuisenaire), bead strings, Dienes, counting sticks and number lines to aid pupil’s learning by the use of models and images.  ‘Talk It, Solve It’ books support children’s mathematical speaking and listening and are used from Year 1 to Year 6, alongside regular use of ‘talk partners’ or talk trios.  Games resources such as Wiltshire 27 and Bare Necessity resources are used weekly to encourage and develop problem solving skills and mental skills.

Planning

Long term and medium term planning is structured consistently as a school, using the appropriate year group objectives. Guidance is also available from the document ‘Planning Support for the Mathematics National Curriculum’.

Within planning, teachers include Key objectives (What), Success Criteria and ladders (How), key activities and ability groupings to provide differentiation, resources, vocabulary, assessment questions and use of support when planning. Teachers are also encouraged to annotate their planning when reflecting on the lesson taught and the learning that has taken place to inform further sessions.

A Calculation Progression for numerical written methods is used throughout the school to ensure that number operations are taught in an agreed format, consequently ensuring progression and continuity across the school. This is made available to parents on the website or in paper format if requested.

Mental Maths

Mental Maths ‘Superhero passports’ are used on a regularly basis to improve mental skills. Passports provide individual mental maths targets for children to achieve in order to move onto a more advanced set of targets on a new passport. Parents are informed of new targets when their child has achieved their current targets – this is done through a celebratory certificate presented in weekly ‘Good learners’ assemblies.

Assessment

The school’s assessment policy gives a detailed account of how assessment is carried out in the school.

Assessment will take place at three connected levels: short term, medium term and long term. These assessments will be used to inform teaching in a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessment.

Short- term assessments will be an informal part of each lesson to check understanding and give the teacher information, which will help to adjust day to day lesson plans. All teachers use the School Pupil Tracker Online to monitor achieved objectives of each individual child and regularly track progress, and to inform their planning and teaching. It enables teachers to evaluate the stage of a particular child’s learning and what steps will be required next in order for the child to make progress.

Medium-term assessments will take place each term. Each term, formative and summative teacher assessments are used to inform this. Expectations for attainment are discussed at target setting meetings with the Headteacher to assess individual and cohort progress and set targets for future improvement.

Long Term assessments will take place towards the end of the school year to assess and review pupil’s progress and attainment. These are currently made through compulsory National Curriculum tests for pupils in Year 2 and 6.Teachers will also draw upon their class record of attainment against key objectives and supplementary notes and knowledge about their class to produce a summative record. Timely and informative reporting to parents occurs twice each academic year, in February and July before this information is thoroughly handed over to the child’s next class teacher, or when appropriate, next school.

Self-Assessment – possible strategies

  • Wherever possible children will be involved in assessing their own work through effective questioning and dialogic talk with their peers.
  • Traffic lights - How did they find the work (red, yellow or green)
  • Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner, Expert self-assessment
  • Thumbs up or down
  • How (Success criteria) - linked to the objectives/ success criteria
  • Success ladders at the beginning and end of a section of learning to evaluate their own understanding and progress.
  • Peer Assessment

Curriculum links

This policy is supported by a range of whole school policies on, for example, learning, assessment, marking and special needs that will guide and support the work described in this policy.

Equal opportunities

All children will have an equal opportunity to work within this policy area. Account will be taken of their needs and where appropriate support for them will be accessed through the special needs policy.

Roles and responsibilities

This policy has been developed through consultation between staff and between the subject leaders, head teacher and governing body. The head teacher, deputy and subject leaders monitor and evaluate the work achieved by the children in this area. The leaders identify areas for development, resource needs and help in the moderation of standards across the school.  The leaders work with the linked subject governor so that they are aware of such issues. The leaders also liaise with the link governor about their visits to school. The linked governor will also keep the governing body informed about developments in this area.  

Monitoring and evaluation

The monitoring and evaluation of the achievements made in this area of the curriculum is carried out through the guidelines on monitoring and evaluation. These set out how the head teacher, deputy head and leader use a range of strategies to assess the quality of achievements.  The class teachers however, have a key role in monitoring and evaluation of their work and that of the children in their class.  The Headteacher works with the governing body to inform them about the work carried out within the school. The periodic reports either through the Wiltshire School Improvement programme’ or OFSTED inspections give independent and outside views on the standards achieved within the subject area.