Mathematics is a way of communicating. It is a language through which ideas can be explained, explored and developed, relationships can be expressed, hypothesis can be made and tested and pattern can be identified. It is essential to everyday life and gives children a way of coming to terms with their environment. Mathematics equips children with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. These skills are a necessary tool of everyday life. In addition, Mathematics is critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment.
A high-quality mathematics education, therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. At Richard Coates Primary we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them beyond their time at our school.
At Richard Coates, we aim to develop lively, enquiring minds encouraging children to become self-motivated, confident and capable in order to solve problems that will become an integral part of their future. It is vital that a positive attitude towards Mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our children in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in our society.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
We aim to provide children with a Mathematics curriculum and high-quality teaching to produce individuals who will:
We also wish to:
Our Mathematics curriculum is diligently sequenced to ensure that knowledge gained is cumulative; this aids apt progression as well as frequently providing pupils with the opportunity to draw on knowledge from previous year groups through our bespoke spaced retrieval strategies. Through this, our pupils understand the importance of the knowledge they gain through their Mathematics lessons while at Richard Coates and how it can be transferred to all areas of the curriculum. Providing pupils with these opportunities to put it into practice what they have learnt, we aim to ensure they are not only secondary school ready but can apply what they’ve learnt from primary school to their future career paths.
In Early Years Foundation Stage our children develop a strong grounding in number so they acquire the necessary building blocks to progress mathematically. Our focus is on children being able to count confidently and develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10. Children also explore the relationships and patterns within those numbers. Children are provided with frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding. These opportunities range from using manipulatives, such as small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting, to reciting songs, poems, rhymes and stories. Through these strategies we aim for our children to develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition to this, we plan a wealth of opportunities for our children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. From the very beginning of their educational career, we foster an environment where children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and are not afraid to make mistakes.
In Years 1 - 6, our lessons begin with an interleaving activity. Interleaving is the practice of giving children activities that contain questions on a variety of different mathematics topics; essentially, mixed exercises. This retrieval practice is a strategy we use to give children opportunities to remember things they have learnt previously. Regardless of the context and numbers in the question, children approach the question knowing the strategy they need to execute to solve it - things they may have begun to forget. It is quite simply giving children a task where they have to try and retrieve an answer or strategy from their long-term memory. Interleaving has been shown to increase the retention of children’s learning and their ability to transfer it to other contexts.
In Key Stage 1, these interleaving activities are supplemented with a lot of oral counting and recall work to ensure children develop basic skills securely e.g. number bonds to 20, counting in 2's, 5s or 10s etc.
The remaining part of the lesson focusses on whole-class delivery where:
In terms of planning, we use the White Rose Maths scheme as a framework. This is supplemented with a number of other online resources, such as MyMaths, Times Table Rockstar, Numeracy Workout and TestBase.
We also seek opportunities for our children to showcase the skills they have acquired through entering national competitions such as the Primary Maths Challenge.
The Mathematics curriculum at Richard Coates is sequential, relevant, interactive, engaging and designed in such a way as to support consolidation and retention of knowledge and skill:
Teachers assess impact both formatively and summatively:
The results of assessments allow teachers to evaluate whether children are being adequately supported and challenged. Where required, teachers will act swiftly to amend their planning and approaches to ensure that any gaps in learning are covered.
If misconceptions are identified, interventions will immediately be introduced to ensure there are no barriers to learning.