What do we want to achieve for our children?
At Culworth Primary Academy, we believe that mathematics is an important creative discipline that helps us to understand the world we live in and we endeavor to ensure that all of our children know the purpose behind their learning and can apply it to their everyday lives. At Culworth, we value a mathematics curriculum that is creative and engaging. We want all pupils at Culworth to experience the power and enjoyment of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity about the subject.
Through a ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach, we foster a positive attitude towards learning mathematics and encourage the belief that every child can succeed with their mathematics learning. Inspired by our school vision, we encourage all pupils to believe in themselves and others, respectfully supporting each other to fulfil their full potential. We teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts and build these through manageable steps. Concrete resources and scaffolds are promoted across the whole school as an important tool for developing understanding of the structure of mathematics both during whole class teaching and as opportunities for our children to explain their thinking. Deep thinking is encouraged across all strands of mathematics using their strong knowledge of maths facts and quick recall to help. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding through additional practice before moving on. Each lesson builds in opportunities for children to reason and explain their answers to ensure that they have a deep understanding and are secure in the processes required in each step.
We aim for all pupils to:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so they conceptual understanding can be developed through quick recall and the accurate application and explanation of knowledge.
- Solve problems by applying their mathematics knowledge to a variety of problems with increasing depth, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios where possible
- Reason mathematically by justifying their answers and explaining their processes, including where a misconception has been addressed
At Culworth Primary Academy, we believe that consistency and coherency of approach is vital to allow children to progress smoothly through the school. By following a mastery-based curriculum, the children are constantly building on knowledge and skills through small steps. Due to this approach, we spend greater time on each area of mathematics which allows for a deeper level of understanding and success for the children in each year group.
Our teaching for mastery reflects the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM)’s 5 Big Ideas.
Opportunities for Mathematical Thinking allow children to make chains of reasoning connected with the other areas of their mathematics.
A focus on Representation and Structure ensures concepts are explored using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, the children actively look for patterns as well as specialise and generalise whilst problem solving.
Coherence is achieved through the planning of small connected steps covered in lessons which build in to the children’s overall progression within that mathematical area.
Teachers use both procedural and conceptual Variation within their lessons to ensure concepts are understood and embedded fully. There is an emphasis on Fluency with a relentless focus on number and multiplication table facts as appropriate.
The use of manipulatives in lessons, irrespective of a children’s ability or age is fundamental to being confident moving from the concrete, to the pictorial then abstract. Teachers draw on mastery resources from a range of sources including both text books and online resources which are adapted to the needs of the children in their classes.
Children are taught the knowledge and skills for their year group, as required by the National Curriculum Programme Of Study for Mathematics. Teachers assess against a given framework produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessments.
As all the classes at Culworth are mixed-age, teaching may take the form of a variety of approaches depending on factors which may include the cohort numbers, individual children’s needs and the area of maths that is being taught. All teaching approaches are carefully considered for all children to progress and develop their knowledge and skills in mathematics.
What will this look like and how will it support my child now and in the future?
The mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics developing in our school means 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 step. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems rather than any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
All children will become increasingly more articulate in their use of mathematical language throughout their primary schooling and show confidence, fluency and progress, with embedded skills ready to be transferred into secondary school and beyond.