Maths at St Michael's
The Curriculum Leader for this subject is Mrs Hudson
At St. Michael’s we believe that all pupils can achieve in mathematics. We believe that at each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate deep, conceptual understanding of a topic and build on this over time. We want children to be able to not only recall and use the maths taught but to also be able to transfer and apply it in different contexts, being able to reason and problem solve. This deep learning is what we are aiming for by teaching maths using the mastery approach.
Our maths curriculum is split into year group specific units that are taught in a sequence whereby previous learning can be used to support new learning. The sequence in which the units are taught also supports the teaching of, and the children’s ability to create links between different concepts and therefore deepen their understanding.
Each unit is then designed in small, carefully sequenced steps that pupils should aim to master before moving on to the next stage. When designing these small steps, the concepts of mastery underpin the lesson planning to ensure children have a deep conceptual understanding of what is being taught. The objective is explored using a range of representations and structures; fluency is developed as well as the flexibility to move between different contexts; variation is used to develop deep and holistic understanding and children are encouraged to think mathematically throughout.
A typical maths lesson at St. Michael’s may begin by activating prior knowledge that children may need to access from their long term memory to help them to learn the new concept of the day. The lesson will then progress through a number of small steps to develop understanding of what is being taught. These small steps may introduce the concept using a range of representations, may use conceptual and procedural variation to explore the concept further and will encourage the children to respond in complete sentences using the correct mathematical vocabulary.
As we believe that all children can achieve in maths you will not see ‘typical differentiation’. Instead you will see support mechanisms put in place to ensure all children can access the lesson and that challenges are put in place to ensure children can deepen their understanding.
You will also see daily ‘Number’ sessions delivered across school. Number sessions are mini daily maths lessons that last approximately 15 minutes and are aimed at building number fluency. Number fluency is the ability to quickly recall calculation totals meaning students can visualise problem solving, perform calculations quickly, and are flexible in their mathematical strategy. These are all skills that we feel are incredibly important in ensuring children are successful in the understanding of mathematics.
Teaching staff and support staff use a wide range of formative assessment tools during the lesson to judge the impact that the teaching is having on the children’s learning.
A lesson is delivered at the beginning of a unit to gauge children’s prior understanding of a topic. This lesson is then used to show children what new learning will take place in this unit providing opportunities for children to make connections between their prior understanding and what is coming next. Post assessments are then completed at the end of a unit to inform the teacher what has been learned. Where assessments have shown that understanding may not be as deep, these ideas are covered further in either small group intervention sessions or through further coverage in number sessions.
As well as this, teaching and support staff also judge the success of each individual lesson. Where it is believed that children have not developed a deep understanding of a concept, they will attend a maths master class the following day. This is a chance for the children to work in a small group to explore the concept further and address any misconceptions that may have arisen during the lesson. Where no children are identified for a master class, pre-teach sessions can be delivered to small groups of children where a concept is introduced to them in preparation for the next session. This approach is designed to allow the children to ‘keep up’ with their learning rather than having to ‘catch up’.
To further measure the impact of maths teaching and learning we also deliver summative assessments at the end of each term. This is a helpful tool to measure how deep the children have learned a concept when it is assessed out of context and at a later date to the initial teacher input. Question level analysis is then completed of these tests to measure this impact and help inform planning for the next term.
Below are some links to websites that you may like to try out with your children:
All Children have access to Purple Mash. They each have a username and password that they can use to practice at home.
BBC Bitesize - This link will take you to the Bitesize homepage. From here click on the correct key stage button and it will lead you to some great maths resources linked to what your child has been learning.
Maths Zone - A great website full of games.
Cool Maths - Another website full of interactive games.