At Fairlawn, we strive to put the magic into learning so that pupils develop mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills, and of course a love of number! We promote a love and enjoyment for maths and believe that all children can achieve.
At Fairlawn, we strive to put the magic into learning so that pupils develop mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills. We promote a love and enjoyment for maths and believe that all children can achieve.
Our vision for the teaching and learning of mathematics at Fairlawn Primary School is underpinned by the principles of “mastery”. Our intention is:
- to provide stimulating and engaging maths lessons which meet the needs of all children;
- for children to have a resilient and positive ‘can do’ attitude towards mathematics;
- for children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
- for children to develop a range of mental and written strategies, selecting the most efficient method when answering questions;
- for mathematical language to be embedded throughout our curriculum;
- for children to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- for children to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions;
- to provide opportunities for children to make connections between mathematical concepts;
- to have the CPA approach built-in to our lessons, using a range of models and manipulatives to develop both procedural fluency and conceptual understanding.
At Fairlawn Primary School, we use a mastery approach in the planning and teaching of maths. Our maths curriculum is designed to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts from Early Years Foundation Stage through to the end of Year 6.
We use the expectations outlined in the National Curriculum, the DFE Ready to Progress Criteria and the NCETM Prioritisation Curriculum to ensure coverage and progression in mathematical knowledge and skills across the school. This allows pupils to build a deep understanding of concepts, which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations. Please see a snapshot of our KS1 and KS2 curriculum progression below.
At the beginning of the year, each year group teacher is given a long-term overview of the mathematics units for the year. This ensures all concepts are built on previous knowledge so that foundations are fully secure. Children spend longer on key mathematical concepts, most noticeably number. Significant time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning.
These documents have been designed with the guidance of the National Curriculum, NCETM Prioritisation Curriculum, DFE Ready to Progress criteria and White Rose SOL. Our curriculum is flexible on timings to ensure we meet the needs of all children. There are opportunities planned throughout the curriculum to revisit previous learning to ensure it is deeply embedded in pupils’ memories.
Within the curriculum map, each unit is broken down into small, logical steps, enabling connections to be identified and built upon. These steps are explored through clear mathematical representations and real life contexts.
We use the NCETM’s ‘5 Big Ideas’ to support the planning and teaching of maths.
We have a strong emphasis on mental calculation. Key facts, such as multiplication tables and addition facts within 10, are learnt to automaticity to avoid cognitive overload in the working memory and to enable pupils to focus on new concepts. We plan to develop children’s understanding by connecting new knowledge with existing knowledge. We have 3 x 15 minutes additional fluency sessions in KS2 and 4 x 10min additional fluency sessions in EYFS and KS1 each week. This year, we are taking part in the ‘Mastering Number’ Reception and KS1 project with the NCETM.
Daily maths lessons are delivered though quality first teaching. Children are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all children working together on the same lesson content at the same time. During these lessons, children are supported to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems, as well as giving all children the confidence and resilience to achieve this. The 3 aims of the National Curriculum are highly connected throughout children’s learning to ensure children develop conceptual and procedural understanding.
Fluent in Five
We have a strong focus on developing fluency in arithmetic skills. In Year 2-6, we start each maths lesson with ‘Fluent in Five’. Children are provided with a range of quick, daily arithmetic questions to build number fluency and confidence with mental strategies and written methods to complete in five minutes. It recaps prior learning from the current year and previous year groups.
Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract (CPA) approach
There are opportunities for children to develop their understanding of concepts through the use of concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations alongside numbers and symbols – this helps them to visualise, understand new concepts and make connections. Initially, and when appropriate, we provide children with concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations to secure their early understanding of mathematical concepts. Careful planning goes into ensuring that the most appropriate representations are used to develop children’s conceptual understanding. Children are given lots of opportunities to discuss, explore, practise and apply mathematical concepts using these resources. We carefully consider when these manipulatives and representations are removed so children can develop automaticity of the concepts.
Language in Mathematics
During maths lesson, there is a focus on the acquisition of mathematical language so, where appropriate, generalisations and stem sentences are generated. These are then displayed around the classroom to support future learning. This also supports the children when they are reasoning and justifying their answers in problem solving, as they can explain their understanding using correct mathematical language.
Examples of STEM sentences
Vocabulary and STEM sentences are also displayed on flipcharts and independent learning sheets.
Models, vocabulary and STEM sentences will also be displayed on learning walls for children to refer to.
STOPs Problem solving
At Fairlawn, we believe that “Problem Solving” is at the very heart of the maths curriculum. Although problem solving is taught throughout the curriculum, we teach an explicit problem solving lesson each month. We use STOPS ‘8 problem solving strategies’ to develop children’s skills in completing a range of problems. The skills learnt in these sessions support children with problem solving in everyday maths lessons.
Meeting the needs of all
At Fairlawn, we are an inclusive school, that is creative in supporting children to access the learning in class, providing adaptations where needed. Support or early intervention is provided for children who do not grasp a concept, and challenge (rather than acceleration) is provided for those children who can explore concepts at greater depth. These children are challenged to reason at a greater level that is required or with a rich and sophisticated problem when appropriate. Furthermore, at Fairlawn we do not “set” for maths lessons.
Regular ongoing and end of term assessments take place to support teachers in tracking progress. We adapt our own End of Unit assessments, using the NCETM assessment questions (which closely link with the RTPs), Testbase and White Rose end-of-block assessments. The assessments help identify any gaps in learning and check that children have grasped concepts at an appropriate level of depth. Teachers can use these assessments to determine gaps in children’s knowledge and use them to support future planning and provide interventions.
At the end of a term, each child in years 1- 6 will complete the NTS End of Term ‘arithmetic’ and ‘reasoning and problem solving’ assessment papers. These scores are recorded on our MARK tracking spreadsheet. We use SHINE to identify any necessary interventions for individual children or groups of children for what has already been taught. We use this data to support future planning.
These assessment are used to support teachers’ judgments on pupil progress and attainment.
Where appropriate, pupils will be self-marking with a calculator and / or peer-marking throughout the lesson. Teachers and TAs will also mark throughout the lesson individually or whole class. This gives pupils instant feedback and allows them to act upon errors and misconceptions during the lesson. It also gives teachers a clearer picture of progress through the lesson and at the end of the lesson. These in-class assessments also inform planning for the coming lessons.
When marking, we use the following stampers:
This stamper is used when pupils are secure with their learning and ready to move on.
This stamper is used when pupils are doing well but require further practice.
This stamper is used when pupils are struggling with a piece of learning and require further input. This could take place in the next lesson or as a separate intervention.
This stamper would be used if you have reached the end of a maths unit and the pupil has still struggled to grasp a secure understanding. Children will then receive an intervention for this in the future.
Our Green Pen Learning (GPL) stamp is only to address misconceptions or expand on reasoning. There should be NO next step.
Our maths books show what children have learnt individually and independently. It will show whether pupils have understood a concept that they have been taught and the level of depth to which they have understood it. This helps us make decisions for our future planning. For example, reteach something in a different way or move on to the next learning.
Not every lesson will have evidence in children’s books. Sometimes, particularly at a start of a sequence of lessons, we may spend more time on learning and may not record in books. The learning evidenced in books is progressive and shows conceptual and procedural variation.
In our books, you should also be able to see, that some children have been given more support and some children are challenged to reason at a greater level of depth than others, and some children at a greater level of depth than is required of all pupils in that year group.
Maths interventions are fluid and rapid, ensuring that children’s misconceptions are dealt with as soon as possible. If children need further consolidation, they may receive a same day or next day intervention.
In KS1, all children have a maths passport that focuses on their fluency skills. This is also continued where appropriate in KS2.
Third Space Learning is an intervention we use in Year 5 and 6.
At Fairlawn, we believe that home learning should be enjoyable, collaborative, interesting and challenging. Home learning should not be stressful or onerous and should not lead to conflict between children and parents. We encourage and support our parents to enrich their children’s maths learning through promoting a love of maths outside of school. It is important that children see the connections of maths in their everyday lives. A range of ideas can be found on our parent handout packs found on our school website.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, we set weekly home learning for maths. The home learning will be a consolidation of what the children have been learning in class.
We also have subscribed to Sumdog, TTRockstars and Numbots to encourage pupils to practice their mental maths skills.
Continued Professional Development
At Fairlawn, we provide professional development for all staff that focuses on subject and pedagogical knowledge. Professional development is ongoing and is delivered in school through INSETs, staff meetings, team planning and team teaching. We also use the NCETM Professional Development materials to help develop teacher subject knowledge and enable teachers to deliver teaching for mastery with confidence. Additionally, we engage in onging professional development opportunities provided by the London South East Maths Hub.
The impact of our schools maths curriculum can be seen during learning walks, in children’s maths books and in discussions with our children.
What would you likely see if you were to walk into a KS1 or KS2 lesson?
- Children will be developing understanding of concepts through the use of concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations alongside numbers and symbols – this helps them to visualise and understand new concepts;
- You will notice that questions are carefully planned to ensure conceptual and procedural variation;
- There will be a balance of children and teachers explaining and reasoning mathematically;
- Children will demonstrate a secure understanding of how to reason mathematically, using appropriate mathematical vocabulary and STEM sentences in maths lessons with confidence, ease and accuracy;
- Children will recognise mathematical relationships and connections within concepts;
- You will notice that lessons may appear slower paced to allow children to move through the learning at broadly the same pace, developing a sound understanding as they do so. These lessons are taught in small cohesive steps to ensure they have a deep understanding;
- You will notice that most children are learning the same thing, with support or scaffolds for those learners that need it, and challenge for those that grasp concepts more rapidly when appropriate;
- You will notice that we start each lesson with ‘Fluent in Five’ to revisit arithmetic practice. Previous learning is also included throughout lessons to recap and allow children to make connections with new learning;
- Children will demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures, including multiplication and division facts, and apply this knowledge and understanding to real life situations;
- You will see children working in mixed attainment pairings;
- You will overhear teachers and additional adults giving immediate feedback to correct, consolidate or extend the learning.
To find out more about maths mastery and growth mind-set in maths, please download the following handouts:
NCETM prioritisation curriculum/ NCETM spines/ White Rose SOL/ DFE Ready to Progress criteria have all been used to support the planning, teaching and learning of mathematics.
To access the White Rose Scheme of Learning for Reception, please click on the following link:
To access the White Rose Scheme of Learning for Year 1 – 6, please click on the following link:
To access the NCETM prioritisation curriculum for Year 1 – 6, please click on the following link:
To access the Ready to Progress criteria for Year 1 -6, please click on the following link:
Helping your child with maths
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