‘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.’ DfE Purpose of Study
At Bromley Heath Junior School, we recognise the importance of developing children’s understanding of mathematical concepts in all the different domains of maths as it is essential in preparing them for the next stage in their education – secondary school, college and university – and as preparation for their adult lives, including potential careers. Our goal is for every child to be confident in maths and to enjoy the challenges that the subject presents – given that they are likely to use mathematics, in some way, every day of their lives. We aim to do this through a curriculum that is accessible to all and maximises the achievements of all learners, adding ‘value’ to the progress of our children so that, for example, we increase the number of children working at the greater depth level as they move through the school. Through the teaching of fluency and reasoning, we are committed to developing their ability to solve increasingly complex problems and use their mathematical skills in a range of different contexts, making connections between the different domains and with other subjects within the key Stage 2 curriculum. We celebrate the work of mathematicians and mathematics in real life, representing diversity of our pupils and the wider world including challenging stereotypes, and link to other subjects where possible, such as through compiling spreadsheets in IT or presenting data in Science. Furthermore, we understand the importance of parents and careers in supporting their children to develop fluent numerical skills and encourage the use of ‘TT Rockstars’ at home, so that children can test and improve their own skill in a rewarding and fun way – also encouraging competition with others. Ultimately, we aim to develop children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics.
At Bromley Heath Junior School, maths is taught daily for an hour in the morning and there is an additionally arithmetic lesson at least four times a week for 20 – 30 minutes.
In order to ensure coverage, our planning is guided by the White Rose schemes of learning with reference to the National Curriculum Programmes of study. This has the benefit of breaking the learning down into manageable units; ensuring all objectives are covered over the year; building concepts up in small steps and ensuring new knowledge and skills build upon what has been taught before, towards clearly defined end points.
Arithmetic lessons take the format of 10 -20 questions set covering range of arithmetic skills previously taught to be completed in an exercise book for arithmetic, separate to the maths exercise book. Support is provided by the teacher through aerial and targeted monitoring during the session and there is an extension activity for those who are more able. Before the end of the lesson, the teacher models answers with particular reference to mis-conceptions.
For the main maths lesson, our planning overview for each unit takes a format which reflects the benefits of following White Rose as outlined above. It identifies children who need additional support and those that need support at greater depth. The units are broken down into a series of small steps, often in line with White Rose, and for each step relevant stem sentences, support and extensions are identified. This is set out in planning documents for each unit.
Our lesson planning is evident in the detailed flipcharts that are created for each year group. These lessons take the format of a warm up activity to refresh concepts taught previously or reinforce understanding where misconceptions have been identified. The lesson objectives are clearly identified from the small step planning and displayed on the flipchart. The lesson follows the format of –
‘I do’ – the teacher models how to approach the skill being taught, clearly explaining their thinking and reasoning. A new concept will begin with fluency questions followed by how to apply this in a problem solving context;
‘We do’ – the pupils have a go at a similar question, working collaboratively if they wish, using oracy to help them complete the task, recording it in their book as a model for independent learning;
‘You do’ – the children complete a set of independent tasks in steps designed to build their understanding. The tasks are broken down into 3 steps –
- Step 1 – Fluency overlearning, often with visual aids/manipulatives to support understanding
- Step 2 – Fluency with reasoning, varied fluency putting the still into context and using intelligent practice to develop a deeper understanding of the concept
- Step 3 – Problem solving and reasoning – a variety of multi-step problems some of which require understanding of other mathematical domains.
Evidence from the ‘We do’ stage, from previous learning and/or from a hinge question informs the teacher as to when and from which step in the independent learning children can begin the ‘You do’ stage.
In order to increase independence and aid long term memory, there are maths working walls in each class that are wipeable so that modelled examples, key vocabulary and stem sentences are clearly be displayed for learners to refer to unit by unit.
Practice of the key skill of times tables is encouraged at home as part of the weekly set home learning. Pupils have access to TTRockstars as a fun way of embedding this key skill. Children achieving well in this are celebrated on maths displays throughout the school.
Assessments are carried out 3 times a year (term 2, 4 and 6) using the White Rose End of Term Assessments in years 3 -5 and past SATs papers in year 6 (in terms 1,2,3,4). This data is used to track children progress and inform future in class actions, support at home and intervention. Additionally, end of block assessments from White Rose are carried out approximately a week after the unit has been completed; this helps inform teachers about elements that need further focus for individuals or cohorts.