Maths at St Laurence's
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
We aim for all children to be able to:
- Develop competence and confidence with numbers and the number system
- Become fluent in mathematics through varied practice
- Recall and apply mathematical facts rapidly and accurately
- Solve increasingly complex problems through decision-making and reasoning in a variety of contexts
- Make rich connections across mathematical ideas
- Recognise the importance of Mathematics in the wider world
- Use their Mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts
- Have a ‘can do attitude to Maths showing resilience and the ability to learn from mistakes
- Develop a rich mathematical vocabulary enabling them to explain and justify their findings
- Develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about Mathematics.
The national curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children become fluent, reason mathematically and solve problems (2014). At St. Laurence’s these skills are embedded in Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts.
At St. Laurence’s, we foster positive can-do attitudes and we promote the fact that ‘We can all do maths!’ We believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable steps. Mathematical talk is a key part of learning.
Children at St. Laurence’s will explore Maths in-depth, using mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain their workings. Consistent use of vocabulary is key to developing secure mathematical understanding. A wide range of Mathematical resources are used and pupils are taught to represent ideas using concrete resources before establishing ways of pictorially and formally representing their understanding.
We encourage our children to be resilient and we use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning. Children will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways. Above all we want children to have a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about Maths.
To ensure whole school consistency and progression at St Laurence’s we use the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme (White Rose Edition) supplemented by White Rose Maths. These two schemes are fully aligned.
In Maths lessons, new concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem in a real-life context, which children are able to discuss in pairs. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning. Problems are often presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use.
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 and children are allowed to practice concepts with guidance. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their skills further, before progressing to more complex related problems.
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Children will learn key vocabulary associated with each block of learning and learning will be revisited regularly through basic skills checks and linked units.
Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with all children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks within the lesson as appropriate.
The progress of all children, including SEND and disadvantaged children is closely monitored and the curriculum and subsequent interventions are designed to ensure gaps are closed. Mathematical concepts are revisited over time to consolidate learning and build fluency using Primary Assertive Mentoring Basic Skills Checks, Mastering Number and daily fluency sessions.
Our Maths curriculum is a high-quality mastery programme that is well thought out and planned to demonstrate progression. We measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Termly assessments that identify gaps in learning. The Maths lead will review assessment data regularly.
- Weekly basic skills checks – these checks revisit content already taught to show levels of retention.
- Regular book scrutinies and discussions with children and staff completed by Maths Lead.
- Learning walks and lesson observations completed by Maths Lead and SLT.
- Review of statutory assessment data – KS2 SATs, Early Years data and Times Tables check (Maths Lead)