Intent : Why does our Mathematics curriculum look like this?

Intent: Why does our Mathematics curriculum look like this?

At Barley Fields Primary we recognise that Mathematics is a universal language which helps us to understand the world around us.  We aim to help our children understand that Mathematics has implications for important areas of employment such as; physics, architecture, medicine and business.  It is also critical to technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. 

We are committed to ensuring that our children become the problem solvers of the future.  To do this, they need a solid grounding in Mathematical fluency and regular opportunities to apply these skills creatively to reasoning and problem solving.  We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject whilst also developing their resilience, in line with our culture of growth mind-set.

We provide a high-quality mathematics curriculum so that all children:

  • have fluency in their declarative knowledge;
  • attain procedural fluency in a rigorous and progressive way across year groups and key stages;
  • engage in regular opportunities to demonstrate conditional knowledge through problem solving activities which allow children to work systematically and logically, choosing the most appropriate method.

We aim for our Mathematics curriculum to be current and research informed.  As such, it is regularly adapted to meet the needs of all learners and reviewed in response to best practice.  We have worked with the EEF and the National College on adaptive teaching in the classroom which underpins all our teaching practice and pedagogy.

Our curriculum characters have been designed to represent the curriculum end points as children progress through school.  Our children are regularly exposed  to the core skills and knowledge needed to develop as a mathematician with the use of the school curriculum character – Molly the Mathematician.   This character is regularly used to encourage children to reflect on the key skills and concept areas of Mathematics.

Implementation: How will we achieve this?

Our Mathematics curriculum has been designed to ensure children know more, remember more and can do more as they progress through our school. Our children follow a carefully structured, sequential and small step mathematics curriculum based on, but not exclusive to, that produced by White Rose (we also use ‘I see Maths’ pedagogy). We continually adapt this curriculum based on the needs of our learners.  If we are to create the problem solvers of the future, first we must ensure that pupils become proficient in core knowledge and that learned facts and procedures become encoded into long term memory. As a school we have determined that our definition of learning is change to the long-term memory and the way we implement our curriculum map involves repetitive teaching of the key concepts in Mathematics.  

To do this, our curriculum;

  • breaks down knowledge into smaller components to avoid cognitive overload;
  • has built in practise, retrieval and reinforcement of key concepts;
  • is progressive so that all teachers know their responsibilities within the overarching development of mathematicians;
  • is a promise from one teacher to the next on curriculum coverage;
  • is built on research based adaptive teaching methodology;
  • has formative assessment at its heart – at Barley Fields, assessment is planning.

Children engage in Mathematics daily and the structure of the curriculum promotes regular opportunities to embed declarative knowledge (facts/concepts) and develop procedural fluency (application of methods). We recognise that problem solving is not a generic skill that can be learned out of context. We believe that problem solving is an environment to be nurtured and as such, we provide regular opportunities for children to develop their conditional knowledge through the use of rich mathematical problems.

Our Teaching Approach

Our teaching approach incorporates three key aspects of Mathematics teaching designed to develop our children’s effective acquisition and application of skills:

  • Fluency
  • Reasoning
  • Problem Solving. 

What do we mean by Fluency?

Fluency in mathematics (declarative knowledge) is the bedrock of effective teaching and learning.  It encompasses a mixture of efficiency, accuracy and flexibility. Children will develop an understanding of all mathematical concepts through the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract). The use of manipulatives will be temporary and used as a ‘scaffold’ to aid understanding and skill development which can be removed once independence is achieved.

Within our planning structure fluency involves providing children with opportunities to:

  1. Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice od skills;
  2. Recall facts and procedures quickly and efficiently;
  3. Develop the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics;
  4. Recognise relationships, make connections and make appropriate choices from a toolkit of methods, strategies and approaches.

What do we mean by Reasoning?

We recognise that the ability to reason mathematically is the most important factor in a pupil’s success in mathematics.  Reasoning in Mathematics is the process of applying logical thinking to a situation to derive the correct strategies for a given question, and using known methods to develop and describe a solution.

Reasoning is seen as the glue that bonds pupils’ mathematical skills together; it is also seen as bridging the gap between fluency and problem solving, allowing pupils to use their fluency to accurately solve small step problems.   Reasoning activities allow children to apply their learnt skills and conceptual understanding in a variety of different contexts – word problems, multi-operational problems, graphically presented problems, SATs style reasoning problems etc. 

What do we mean by Problem Solving?

Ensuring competency in collaborative and independent Problem Solving is at the heart of our mathematics teaching.  We recognise that problem-solving cannot be taught – it is an environment, which must be nurtured.  If a child already has a readily available method to solve a problem, problem-solving has not occurred.  

Problem solving opportunities enable children to find a way to apply knowledge and skills they have to answer unfamiliar types of problems. children to apply their mathematical understanding to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication and persevere in seeking solutions. In developing problem-solving skills and strategies children will be encouraged to:

  1. Use and compare different mathematical approaches.
  2. Independently break down problems into a series of simpler steps;
  3. Persevere in seeking solutions;
  4. Work in logical and structured steps;
  5. Work collaboratively with peers;
  6. Reflect on, and communicate their problem-solving ideas and strategies to others.

In their approach, teachers purposefully select problem-solving tasks for which children do not have ready-made solutions or to which there is more than one approach and answer.  In promoting problem solving teachers use a variety of resources and support children with access to a range of practical equipment.  Teachers will need to use effective questioning to enhance learning, acting as a guide on the side and redirect the learning as appropriate.  Teachers may need to show and model to children how to interrogate and use their existing knowledge to solve problems. 

Full details of our long-term curriculum schemes of learning can be downloaded below.

Impact: How do we know that our children are achieving?

The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that children understand the significance and relevance of what they are learning in relation to wider world concepts.  Children know that Mathematics is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life both now and in the future.  Children will have a positive view of Mathematics due to learning experiences in a classroom where growth mind-set is at the heart of learning.

Our mathematics curriculum and our teaching and learning pedagogy leads to children who:

  • Are resilient mathematicians who don’t give up when they fail;
  • Are active problem solvers who have the conditional knowledge to solve a range of mathematical problems;
  • Are creative thinkers who work strategically and logically;
  • Enjoy and are excited about mathematical challenges because they have firm foundations to build on;
  • Understand the transferability of mathematics and the doors that mathematics can open for them in real life;
  • Are proficient in Mathematics and achieve well

We are proud of our children’s development of skills in Mathematics which in turn lead to excellent attainment outcomes.  We continually observe and formatively assess children against age-related mathematics objectives and use this information to plan the next steps in their mathematical learning and to challenge and consolidate their skills.  By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the skills and techniques specified in the relevant curriculum plans. 

In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:

  • A reflection on standards achieved against the planned outcomes;
  • A celebration of learning for each term which demonstrates progression across the school (Curriculum Floor book);
  • Tracking of knowledge in pre and post learning activities;
  • Pupil discussions about their learning (Pupil Voice);
  • The annual tracking of standards across the curriculum. In EY, KS1 and KS2
Mathematics Long Term Scheme of Learning
Mathematics Curriculum Progression Ladder
Mathematics Curriculum Pathway
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