At Barley Lane Primary School, we believe that mathematics is a core and essential part of the National Curriculum. Mathematics plays a fundamental role within our everyday lives whether it be working out how much an item costs; reading time and time tables correctly and a multitude of other reasons. It is therefore a necessity that we ensure mathematics has a fun, engaging and knowledge based curriculum, that puts number at its heart, whilst making links with the other curriculum subjects.
Through the study of mathematics, children are able to develop a wide range of essential skills, knowledge and understanding that they will be able to use as they progress through their school careers and into their adult lives. Maths is not merely about number and calculations, but also teaches children how to analyse a problem and consider how to approach it in an effective way. With this in mind, maths is clearly a highly-connected discipline, which breeds resilience, that will improve the prospects of many of the children within Barley Lane.
Mathematics is essential to everyday living in the respect that it is critical to science, technology and engineering; necessary for financial literacy and is required for most forms of employment. In Barley Lane Primary School we aim to build up their mathematical knowledge by embedding number skills across everything that they do. By putting the emphasis on number the entirety of the maths curriculum will become more accessible. Through these approaches, maths fits with our overall curriculum intent of children becoming resilient learners, who are then able to apply their existing knowledge to other subject areas, as well as to wider life eg, reading travel timetables and managing finances, enabling them to have a wholesome understanding of the world around them.
The National Curriculum clearly identifies three clear branches of the mathematics curriculum: fluency, problem solving and reasoning. Children will be provided the opportunity to develop their knowledge, understanding and skillset in each area from the early years till they reach year 6. It is vital, we believe, that they are provided with the correct resources - pictorial, concrete and abstract - to ensure that all children make progress within the three areas.
At Barley Lane Primary School, we follow a scheme of learning called the White Rose Maths Hub (WRMH) in order to achieve the aims outlined in the national curriculum. In their vision, the WRMH explains that they desire to develop a new culture of deep understanding, confidence and competence in maths - a culture that produces strong, secure learning and real progress. In addition, it shares the Barley Lane desire to create independent, reflective thinkers, whose skills not only liberate them in maths but also support them across the curriculum.
The aims of teaching mathematics, as outlined in the national curriculum are to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The WRMH ensures that we get a broad balance of these three key areas and enables year groups to spiral back upon previous learning in order to consolidate and build upon it. Across all year groups and key stages, the WRMH enables children to gain a firm foundation in number and the four forms of calculation. By doing this, when the children are faced with problems about area, perimeter and shape they can apply their number knowledge to simplify the more complex areas.
The principle focus of mathematics in Key Stage 1 is to ensure that all children in Barley Lane develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This will involve working with numerals, written representations and the four operations. It is expected they will be provided with concrete objects - such as numicon - to develop their competence in these areas. Additionally, at this area of their development, pupils should develop their ability to describe, draw, recognise and compare different shapes using the appropriate vocabulary to do so. Teaching should also feature a range of measure to describe and compare different quantities such a length, mass, volume, time and money.
By the end of Key Stage 1, pupils should be fluent in their number bonds to 20 and show precision in their work and understanding of place value. There should be an emphasis on fluency at this stage and this can be accomplished through continual practice and consolidation. Even in Key Stage 1, it is important that there are high expectations regarding their use of mathematical vocabulary and it should be consistent with their reading and spelling level.
Lower Key Stage 2 (Year 3 & 4)
The principle focus of mathematics in Lower Key Stage 2 is to ensure that children build upon their knowledge in Key Stage 1 and become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This will feed into the children developing both their written and mental strategies and their confidence in applying this to increasingly complex numbers. Learning will develop at this stage to encompass more problem solving including with simple fractions and decimal places.
Teaching should ensure, regarding geometry and statistics, that the children can draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their relationships and confident describe similarities between them.
By the end of year 4, pupils should be able to recall their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in relation to this. This will ensure that they are successful in the new times table test. In Lower Key Stage 2 there should continue to be an emphasis on using precise and accurate mathematics vocabulary.
Upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5 & 6)
The principle focus of mathematics in Upper Key Stage 2 is to extend, and build upon their understanding of the number system and place value. They will also improve their understanding of fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio and be able to apply their place value knowledge to do so. Pupils should be able to, therefore, solve a wider variety of problems which demand the efficient use of mental and written methods.
The firm foundation with number, that they have built across the school, will inform their ability to deal with the introduction of algebra and more complex geometrical problems. By the end of Key Stage 2, pupils should be fluent in the written methods for all four of the calculations and be confident in using complex vocabulary.
Throughout all Key Stages it is expected that teachers follow the school calculation policy to ensure that progression is made in incremental stages and to ensure that children understand what is transpiring within the written methods.
Progression in mathematics will be assessed throughout each key stage through a mixture of formative and summative assessment. Both forms of assessment will assess the children’s ability to know and apply maths knowledge in the relevant programme of study.
- End of Key Stage test in Year 2 and Year 6. In order to improve the children’s confidence in these it is expected that pupils will be involved in mock tests and be exposed to test styled questions
- Times table test in at the end of Year 4. In order to improve the children’s confidence with this it is expected that the children be provided with opportunities to practice their times tables whether it be for homework, in the lesson or on the computer.
- Opportunities to complete the WRMH assessments. They have end of block assessments and end of term assessments. It is expected that Year 1, 3, 4 and 5 complete the end of term assessments.
- Observing children at work during mathematics lessons including discussions with the children about how they find their maths.
- Marking the work produced by the children and providing them with next steps in order to both consolidate and accelerate their learning.
- Careful consideration of homework activities in order to build upon class based learning
- Book monitoring to ensure progression within Key Stages and year groups