Our intent is to deliver the National Curriculum for mathematics. At St Stephens, the curriculum is accessible to all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. We deliver lessons that are creative and engaging. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects. We want children to know that maths is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. As our pupils progress, we intend for our pupils to be able to understand the world, have the ability to reason mathematically and have a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
At St Stephens, the Maths curriculum has been organised to ensure progression across key areas. This allows the children to build upon previous learning and develop an understanding of how mathematical ideas build on one another.
- In EYFS, children develop firm mathematical foundations that are fun and engaging. Maths is introduced through the use of the Number Sense programme where children are taught to count confidently and understand the composition of numbers by subitising. They develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10 and the relationships and patterns within those numbers. Through continuous provision, activities are based on practical real-life context to encourage inquisitive minds and critical thinkers. In addition, the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. These provide strong foundations for maths as the children progress through the years.
- Children are taught to develop their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills through the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. Within teaching and learning, the children develop both their procedural and conceptual fluency as they develop the how and the why. They move fluidly between the concrete, pictorial and abstract to ensure that their mathematical concepts and relationships are deepened. Bar modelling is also used to support children in problem solving to help connect their understanding between the concrete mathematical experience and the abstract representation. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding through additional practice and intervention, before moving on.
- Children are taught the basic number and times-tables facts to develop a strong sense of number relationships. Through ‘intelligent practice’ tasks, children develop their skills in recognising patterns, structure and mathematical relationships to deepen their fluency and conceptual understanding. In developing children’s ability to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately, they are taught different mental calculation strategies. They are encouraged to choose the most efficient method when solving problems. The introduction of practical approaches and jottings with models and images are used so children can carry out calculations as they develop and secure their mental strategies and formal written methods.
- Children develop informal methods of recording calculations initially to help develop their fluency with formal methods of recording. Different apparatus (e.g. ‘Base 10’ and Place Value Counters) are used to support the development of fluency and understanding. When solving calculations and problems, children are able to choose the most efficient and reliable method to help them solve problems.
- Children are encouraged to ‘talk their Maths’ to help develop their mathematical vocabulary, present their mathematical justification, argument or proof. The children are encouraged to engage in discussion when they explain their methods and strategies to the class or their peers. Through the use of stem sentences, support and modelling, children are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others. They are encouraged to use the correct mathematical terminology and to express their mathematical reasoning through complete sentences which deepens their understanding.
- Questioning is used to develop and support children’s mathematical reasoning, understanding and address misconceptions. Within the classroom a range of questions are asked to encourage the children to explain and justify their mathematical reasoning.
- Across the different key areas of the Mathematical curriculum, children who are making slower progress are quickly identified for additional 1:1 or group intervention sessions and misconceptions are addressed within the lesson or the next day.
- Across all areas of Maths, children draw upon their mathematical skills and knowledge by making connections. Children have the opportunity to practise their maths skills across other curriculum areas such as Science and Design and Technology. Children can also apply and practise their fluency skills through different applications and platforms such as Times Tables Rockstar, Numbolts and Mathletics both at school and at home.
- Big Maths is taught through daily ‘CLIC' sessions. This stands for ‘Counting’, ‘Learn Its’, ‘It’s Nothing New’ and ‘Calculation’. Sessions last for approximately 20 minutes to focus solely on these skills in a fun and engaging way. They are taught in addition to the maths’ session.
Once a week the children complete a CLIC challenge which covers the steps that have been learnt during that week. This allows us to identify any learning gaps and then focus on them during the CLIC sessions or within small groups.
At St Stephens, we believe that ‘excellence is in everyone’. Therefore, we have organised our curriculum to ensure that children are both supported and challenged in their learning to achieve the best outcomes. The impact of using concrete, pictorial and abstract approach ensures that children are both procedurally and conceptually fluent. Moving between the concrete and the abstract helps children to make connections and helps them understand the how and the why. Children’s skills and knowledge are strengthened and they are able to draw upon their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills across all areas of maths and other curriculum areas. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants ensure that children build secure foundations and intervene swiftly to help children address any misconceptions or deepen their learning. Through questioning and probing discussions, misconceptions are addressed and mathematical knowledge and skills are deepened further. Children are closely monitored through personalisation plans and the school tracking system to ensure they achieve to the best of their potential, regardless of their starting point. The impact of our Maths curriculum ensures that children at St Stephens are confident and have a positive attitude towards maths. They leave school, fully prepared to succeed in the next stage of their education.