Quality of Education
At Uplands Junior School, Mathematics is a fundamental part of each day. We believe that Maths teaches us how to make sense of the world around us. We aim to provide children with the skills in order to develop the ability to calculate, to communicate, to reason and to solve problems. This enables children to explore, understand, and appreciate relationships and patterns in both number and shape in their everyday life. Under our “Respect For All” ethos, we believe all children can achieve in mathematics. We wish to promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, cross-curricular learning, exploration and discussion. We aim to promote confidence, resilience and competence with numbers and the number system through children working hard and pushing themselves to achieve.
We deliver the programme of study that meet the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014. We offer progression within fluency, reasoning and problem solving and in turn aim for children to become true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways. We provide opportunities for children to challenge themselves, to develop communication skills, independence and co-operation when solving problems in order to take responsibility for their learning. This in turn will equip children with learning behaviours that will support them into their adult life.
Key mathematical skills and knowledge are taught in the daily lesson and every effort is made to link mathematics with other areas of the curriculum. Mathematical possibilities are identified across the links between mathematics and other curricular work are made so children see that mathematics is not an isolated subject.
Maths vocabulary is used in the correct way in order to develop children’s knowledge. Children are encouraged to use the correct mathematical language and terminology to discuss their mathematics and to explain their reasoning.
To provide adequate time for developing maths skills, each year group will provide a daily maths lesson. Lessons are taught with a balance between whole class work, group teaching, practical tasks and individual practice to encourage mathematical talk, support and independence. Maths lessons are taught in order to teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts. This is delivered in small, manageable steps. ‘Cold Task’ assessments are completed before the start of each unit. From this, staff will identify any gaps in learning and any opportunities for pre-filling knowledge. Teachers use the outcomes of cold tasks to produce a weekly plan that states objectives which will be covered in each lesson and gives details of how they are going to be taught. These ‘small step’ are planned using the White Rose resources. White Rose blocks have been adapted and moved to different points within the term and some units have been speared into smaller blocks of learning. This is to provide time for reflection and revision of previous learning, as well as engaging children with a variety of topics over a term.
All children work within mixed ability class groups. Pupils are seated in mixed ability groups; however, teachers may group children by ability if they feel it best suits the needs of the children within that lesson. A typical lesson will include the following elements: pre-filling – addressing misconceptions, identifying prior learning links with new learning and introducing key vocabulary; main teaching activity including progression in fluency, reasoning and problem solving tasks. Independent tasks are set for all children to access. A scaffold is provided for children who may need support (e.g teacher/TA support, use of apparatus, smaller steps). Challenge tasks are set each day to stretch and apply thinking in a variety of contexts. These challenges are placed in ‘Challenge Boxes’ within classrooms.
There are opportunities outside of the main lesson for children to revisit and revise prior learning. ‘Morning Maths Skills sheets’ are used as children arrive during registration time. These tasks include questions covering all topic areas of the maths curriculum that have already been taught. Mental maths sessions are also planned to cover oral work and mental/arithmetic calculations – this will involve the whole class in tasks which again aim to revisit and revise previous learning. These sessions are planned at some point during the teaching day according to year group timetables.
By implementing the intent, children should be confident in the following areas:
being fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
solving problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios
reasoning mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
having an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.
The assessment of maths is through a ‘cold and hot task’ process for units of work followed by medium and long term assessments. Wolverhampton baseline/midline/endline assessments are used for teachers to identify elements in children’s independent work judging them as working towards, expected and greater depth within their current year group. Throughout the cycle the teacher will be responding to children’s work providing praise, support, encouragement and future thinking points to move their work forward.
It is the role of the maths champion to ensure continuity and progression across the whole school. This is carried out through the following opportunities: book trawls, learning walks, pupil voice and moderation meetings (both in school and with LA schools). Pupils progress meetings are also held within team meetings on a regular basis and middle managers report to SLT. This information is used by the maths subject leader to amend any intervention groups and ensure that those children who are not working at age related expectations are provided with the support they need.