RC Primary School, Stevenage
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Our Learning / Maths
At St. Margaret Clitherow School we aim to provide a high-quality mathematics education, providing an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity in mathematical learning. We believe that all our children can succeed at maths and want all of our children to enjoy mathematics and have a positive attitude towards it. We want our children to develop the necessary skills to think deeply about maths and have the time to really understand the concepts they are being taught rather than superficial learning of sets of rules or procedures.
How is our curriculum delivered?
We follow the Essential maths sequences designed by Herts for learning at St.Margaret Clitherow School. The teaching sequences support the delivery of a spiral curriculum, in which learning is built upon step by step, sequence by sequence and year on year. The materials are aspirational and ensure progression and coverage throughout the primary phase in Years 1-6. We supplement the Essential Maths sequences with additional materials as and when needed, including White Rose Maths, NRICH, andNCETM.
The learning sequences are designed to cover National Curriculum statements and key concepts, through small learning steps with a mastery approach. They aim to develop conceptual understanding and procedural fluency in parallel, including speaking frames, practice examples, games and problem-solving opportunities for the children to build upon their prior learning.
Teachers deliver careful modelling using a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach when teaching new concepts; the children are provided with multiple representations of new concepts to ensure they have a deep and secure understanding of the new learning. Pupils actively participate through purposeful questioning, whole class discussions, talk partners, and by using their own resources to demonstrate their thinking. Regular recording opportunities encourage pupils to represent and internalise their learning, and the children are encouraged to use models, drawings, symbols and concrete resources.
All learners are given access to the same challenges so that the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth and teachers do not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of the mathematical concepts being taught. Those pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided with additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on. Developing reasoning skills, particularly through the use of talk frames and vocabulary prompts is a key aspect of the children’s learning. These enable the children to articulate their thinking using accurate technical vocabulary, and support core skills such as conjecturing and generalising to investigate and problem solve.
‘Destination Questions’ are used throughout each learning sequence. These ensure that pupils have exposure to a variety of different question types and potential misconceptions at each stage of their learning. They allow teachers to check that pupils are secure in their understanding, before moving on to the next step and help to map each pupil’s learning journey against age-related expectations. As well as their daily maths lesson, the children take part in a daily, 10-minute ‘fluency’ session. The aim of these quick sessions is to revisit and secure previous learning, close gaps and build confidence. Children have the opportunity to remember and embed mathematical learning and secure fluency.
Learn more about fluency here:
Times Table Rockstars is introduced in Year 3 and used daily throughout KS2. Times Table Rockstars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice to ensure children become fluent in their times table facts.
All teachers have a strong knowledge of the maths curriculum and undertake regular training to update their knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. Effective formative assessment allows teachers to embed and consolidate learning and to identify gaps and misconceptions. Clear feedback is provided through the marking policy and children are given regular opportunities to respond to marking. Opportunities to mark learning during lessons are encouraged so that misconceptions can be addressed as they arise. Summative maths assessments take place termly at school, ensuring accurate and robust assessment.
Please click on the links below to find out what is covered in each year group. More detailed information on the topics covered during each term is available on the ‘Overview’ document on each class’ page.
- The Year 6 Learner
- The Year 5 Learner
- The Year 4 Learner
- The Year 3 Learner
- The Year 2 Learner
- The Year 1 Learner
Every year we celebrate Number Day to raise money for the NSPCC. This year, as well as taking part in lots of maths activities in our classrooms, the Youth Leadership Team designed and ran maths activities outside for us to take part in.
How can I help at home?
1. Model a positive attitude to maths
Lots of us have a negative attitude towards maths, perhaps having had a bad experience of maths teaching during our own time at school. If we have the attitude that we are ‘bad’ at maths ourselves we can pass this same attitude on to our children.
Try to model an attitude which supports the view that Maths is not just about getting things “right” every time. A lot of Maths involves problem solving which is not a quick and easy exercise, as such pupils need to build up persistence and resilience. Parents can support this by encouraging mistakes being made and viewing this a normal learning process, rather than a negative experience. This kind of approach to learning will help to enable our children to develop a growth mindset; making a mistake isn’t something to be ashamed of - it’s an opportunity to learn and try again.
2. Support your children at home with home learning tasks using our school’s written calculation policy to help
Lots of parents want to help their children but are not sure how, or they try to teach their children the methods they learnt at school which may be different from those we currently teach. Our calculation policy details the how we use a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach to support our children’s understanding of each strand of calculation. Our aim is for our mathematicians to be able to move seamlessly back and forth between the three representations. If the children can represent their understanding in each of these three ways, they should have a deep and secure understanding of the concept.
Please ask your class teacher for a copy of our maths written calculation policy.
3. Play maths games
Games can be a really positive way for children to learn. Many games involve maths and can help children with counting, problem-solving, learning shapes and spatial awareness.
Find lots of maths games to play at home here:
Prior to Year 2 (and revising beyond), learning pairs of numbers that make 10 and 20 (e.g. 6+4 = 10 or 14+6 = 20) and keeping these instantly recalled is vital. Once children begin learning their times tables, remember to keep revisiting number bonds so that they aren’t forgotten!
The NRICH website features a wide variety of activities, games, features and maths problems. The site is aimed at pupils and teachers, but the games section provides hundreds of games for parents and children to play together. The games are grouped by age range (lower primary and upper primary).
Ictgames offers a wide variety of online games that are tablet and desktop computer friendly, but don’t work on smartphones. The games are aimed at children between the ages of 5 and 8. The games can be played independently but a child may need help with the initial instructions.
A free collection of printable board, counter and dice games, including how to play instructions, equipment needed and coloured layouts.
The Topmarks website includes a wide range of maths games. The games are categorised by age group, and then by category. Each game can be played online, and states if it is tablet-friendly or uses Flash.
4. Find maths in the every day
Whether it’s weighing ingredients for a cake recipe or measuring a fence for the garden, it’s really important that children understand how maths works in the real world.
Find a list of suggested activities for finding maths in the everyday for each year group here:
- Maths Everywhere Year 1
- Maths Everywhere Year 2
- Maths Everywhere Year 3
- Maths Everywhere Year 4
- Maths Everywhere Year 5
- Maths Everywhere Year 6
Nimble with Number
A guide to some of the mental strategies we use at school