Maths at Wallace Fields Junior School
At Wallace Fields Junior School we BELIEVE Maths learning should ignite curiosity, allow children to feel confident in their developing skills and allow children to have an appreciation of the beauty and power that Maths understanding holds. We want children to see how Mathematics links not only to a wide range of areas of the curriculum but also to their lives beyond the school gates. We want all children to become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics, be able to reason their thinking and solve problems by applying their mathematical thinking to a variety of routine and non-routine problems.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between a range of representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into discrete areas, but pupils will be given opportunities to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competency in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge across many areas of the curriculum, including science, design and technology, geography and many other subjects. The expectation for Wallace Fields Junior School is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Maths lessons in action
The Maths curriculum at Wallace Fields Junior School builds on children’s knowledge and understanding in small steps working through number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics. All children take part in an hour long lesson each day as well as an additional 15 minute fluency session outside of the lesson. In the lower school, the children also have an extra 40 minute fluency lesson to develop and deepen skills in number facts and mental strategies. When calculating, an emphasis is placed on mental maths for each of the four operations, building on mental skills, which provide the basis for informal written recording and jottings. Skills are taught, practised and reviewed constantly so that they can lead on to more formal written methods of calculation, which in turn builds fluency in the children’s thinking and working. We continue to reduce class sizes in Maths lessons to ensure that children are supported in the learning of their year group curriculum.
Our pedagogy is underpinned by:
- a mastery, small steps approach to the teaching of mathematics for understanding
- a spiral curriculum basing future teaching on the building blocks taught previously
- concepts that are broken down into small connected and structured steps enabling application to range of contexts
- variation to develop deep and holistic understanding
- procedural fluency and repetition of key facts to free up working memory and reduce cognitive load
- marking and feedback that informs planning and addresses misconceptions promptly
- questioning planned intelligently
- students who see error as a learning opportunity and are resilient in their learning
Good examples of Maths work
The school has a supportive ethos and we encourage the children to develop their collaborative and independent skills within their lessons, we use the F.A.I.L approach to develop empathy and recognise and celebrate the achievement of others. Students can underperform in Mathematics because they think they cannot do it or are not naturally good at it, so we celebrate successes regularly. We prompt, assess, question and discuss preconceptions to ensure that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics through growth mind-set.
The teaching of maths is monitored on a termly basis through book looks, learning walks and lesson observations. As well as consistent formative assessments taking place through well-chosen, targeted questioning and peer collaboration, the learning in maths is monitored through children completing termly summative assessments. This ensures children develop their testing approach whilst also allowing them to demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. The results from both formative and summative assessments are used to determine, track and monitor children’s progress and attainment in Maths. Ongoing assessments also inform planning and teaching, to scaffold and enable the success of each child, whilst also identify where targeted support or challenges may be needed. Maths groups are regularly reviewed using the ongoing assessments and groups are based on the support children may need for future topics. All of the above ensures that we are able to maintain our consistently high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average, as well an increasingly high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.
Maths Progression Map