At Albion Primary School, it is our intent to ensure that all pupils are competent and confident learners, who relish the challenge of Maths.
We strive to foster a deeper understanding of the subject by developing fluency in the fundamentals of maths, alongside reasoning and problem-solving skills. We aspire to create reflective thinkers who can use their mathematical skills confidently in a range of contexts and have curiosity and appreciation of the subject.
Delivering mathematics, whilst simultaneously encouraging the development of growth mindset, we use a mastery approach in order to ensure that all pupils progress and achieve. Our child-centred lessons spark curiosity and excitement, whilst building confidence and resilience.
During maths lessons at Albion, children are given regular opportunities to deepen their mathematical understanding and are actively encouraged to explore different lines of enquiry in order to develop their own reasoned mathematical arguments. Children are able to explore mathematical concepts in a variety of ways and lessons are delivered using the Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract (CPA) approach:
- Concrete representation: Students are introduced to an idea or skill using real objects. This allows pupils to use manipulatives which helps to scaffold learning.
- Pictorial representation: When pupils have sufficient conceptual understanding, they move on to use visual representations such as bar models or part-whole models.
- Abstract representation: The final step in the learning journey is for pupils to now represent problems using mathematical notation.
As shown by White Rose Education, examples include:
- Addition in KS1
- Subtraction in UKS2
In line with the National Curriculum for mathematics (2014), we aim 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
At Albion Primary School, we believe that all pupils are capable of developing passion and understanding in maths and foster a culture which ensures strong and secure learning alongside pupil engagement.
Mathematics teaching takes place on a daily basis across all key stages, using a mastery based approach. We use the Power Maths scheme (which has been created in partnership with White Rose Maths where each lesson aligns with their resources) with professional fidelity, adapting lessons to the needs of the pupils. We enhance the scheme through making links and generalising in lessons, teaching specific problem
solving skills and further reinforced by special events such as Maths days and competitions. The teaching for mastery structure allows for pace, creates flow and allows opportunities to teach creatively, give feedback and assess learning regularly.
We have chosen this approach for the following reasons:
- the programme aligns with our mastery principles;
- Power Maths is DfE recommended and provides a coherent structure and supports teacher subject knowledge;
- the pupil workbooks provide rigour through a consistency of pedagogy, expectations and pictorial representations across the school;
- leaders can be confident children are regularly exposed to the models, images and representations consistent with the mastery approach including procedural and conceptual variations and regular opportunities for mathematical reasoning;
- the programme significantly reduces staff workload and pupil 'admin time' so that teachers and learners can focus on mathematic concepts and quickly addressing misconceptions.
At Albion, we want learners to view mathematics as being relevant to their everyday experiences and therefore we ensure that maths is used across the curriculum, for example in Science through the use of statistics and D&T with our Year 6 restaurant project. Pupils develop a broad understanding of all areas of mathematics and are provided with a wealth of opportunities to apply their knowledge and skills.
Further to our work in school, we actively encourage the participation of parents and carers in their children's education. Workshops take place regularly in order to support understanding of new methodologies and pupils are also encouraged to use online resources such as Mathletics and Times Tables Rock Stars, in order to further their learning at home.
At Albion we understand the importance of early encounters maths and our staff provide a range of both adult and child-initiated activities that provide a positive start with strong foundation in pattern seeking and the concept of number. Counting is particularly important in the EYFS, and through this, children learn how each number refers to the quantity of things it represents e.g. the 'threeness' of three as well as to subitise confidently. Concrete manipulatives are a key resource for scaffolding learning in Nursery and Reception and our resources include of a wide range of interesting items including natural objects for counting and representing. We use the Power Maths in scheme in Reception as in KS1 and KS2. Planning in Nursery is supported by 'Birth to Five' to help children progress towards achieving their Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception. The two key Early Learning Goals for mathematics are:
- Number: Number composition, subitising, recall of bonds to 5 and 10 and doubling
- Numerical Pattern: Verbally count beyond 20, compare qualities, explore and represent patterns.
Teaching for Mastery at Albion in underpinned by the NCETM's 5 big ideas:
- To provide opportunities for mathematical thinking which allow children to make chains of reasoning connected with the other areas of their mathematics.
- To ensure representation and structure ensure concepts are explored using concrete, pictorial and abstract representations.
- To ensure coherence is achieved through the planning of small, connected steps to link every question and lesson within a topic.
- To use both procedural and conceptual variation within lessons alongside an emphasis on fluency with a relentless focus on number and multiplication table facts.
Progress and attainment is monitored in a variety of ways in Mathematics. The Power Maths lesson structure allows for teachers to more readily identify misconceptions and areas for development, within the lesson, through short tasks and discussion. As a result, instant feedback and support can be given to pupils who may be struggling with a concept, with intervention groups used to help consolidate understanding. The lesson structure also allows for higher attaining pupils to be identified and appropriate challenge to be given. Feedback is given in the form of: verbal feedback, live marking, peer and self-marking, 1-1 and group conferencing and formal written feedback.
Summative assessments come in the form of end of unit assessments as well as arithmetic and reasoning tests at the end of every term. Year 2 and 6 pupils are assessed using previous SATs papers to identify pupil attainment. Year 1, 3, 4 and 5 pupils complete NFER papers. Using the standardised scores from these papers teachers make a teacher judgement each term. Both of these are added to Insight and tracked by senior leaders as well as to inform target setting and for reporting to parents.
Our aim is to create an engaging and stimulating environment, where pupils feel confident in their skill set and participate actively and enthusiastically in Maths lessons. At Albion, we strive to develop critical thinkers, preparing them for the future.
Time-Limited Precision Interventions
We prefer a 'keep up' to a 'catch up' approach in terms of supporting our less confident mathematicians. However, we recognise that there are times when significant gaps in learning have been identified and time-limited precision interventions are necessary to address these, for example 'Catch-up Maths'. For children with diagnosed needs we provide more bespoke support based on advice from specialists such as educational psychologists.
We monitor the quality and impact of our mathematics curriculum through a range of approaches including pupil book study, book looks and learning walks.
Help for Parents
White Rose Maths have teamed up with TV presenter, teacher and parent Michael Underwood to bring you a mini-series called Maths with Michael. We understand that many parents feel like maths has changed and can sometimes find it difficult to keep up to date with modern teaching methods in maths. Follow the link below to find out more about White Rose Maths and the way it is taught: