At Hill View, the aim of our mathematics curriculum, which values ‘going deeper’, is to ensure that our children develop a secure knowledge of mathematical concepts. To this end, we have adopted a mastery approach in the teaching and learning of mathematics. Our aim is that pupils at Hill View are able to access age-appropriate ideas and do not see gaps open in their learning over time. Integral to this is the school’s vision for mathematics which, ‘…rejects the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths,’’ [and aligns with the] ‘belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed.’ NCETM – ‘The Essence of Maths Teaching for Mastery’ (2016)
We recognise that in order for children to learn at a deeper level, build on prior learning and retrieve information confidently at a later stage, they need to have the opportunities to use both long and short term memory skills. Practise and consolidation play a central role in pupils’ learning experiences. Further challenge is provided to all children through use of problem solving, which may be linked with a real-life context.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at Hill View reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
- The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace.
- Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.
To ensure whole school consistency and progression, use the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme (from Year 1). Power maths is structured around a whole class interactive teaching model that focuses on helping all children to build a deep understanding of maths concepts and confidence in maths. It fully aligned with the White Rose Maths scheme and the school’s ongoing engagement with the DFE funded Maths Hubs programme continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the mastery approach. Our Early Years use the White Rose Reception Scheme of Learning.
Power Maths Lesson Structure:
- Discover: A typical Power Maths Lesson will start with a practical, real-life problem designed to arouse curiosity. The discover section will often involve children working in pairs with concrete objects.
- Share: In the share section the teacher will model -highlighting different methods that may have been used to solve the problem.
- Think together: In this section of the lesson the teacher will both model and guide pupils to answer the questions posed. The children may also be given similar examples to work on independently on a white-board.
- Practice: During this part of the lesson the children will be working independently with the teacher checking on progress (live marking). Children who are struggling may be scooped up and given further support.
Marking – We follow the school marking policy and NCETM guidance published in April 2016. Children’s work is marked with a green or pink pen, and a comment will only be made if this is necessary to move learning forward. The most valuable feedback will be given immediately, during lessons. Immediate feedback is shown in books by the letters VF, as per the school marking policy.
In terms of assessment, and in order for the mastery approach to work, we understand the particular need for children to achieve key objectives for their current stage of learning. Such assessment links with day-to-day Assessment for Learning, which informs teachers about the elements of learning pupils need to develop further. In lessons, teachers use precise questioning to check conceptual and procedural knowledge. They formatively assess how misconceptions can be used as growth points in learning, whilst also diagnosing who requires intervention, meaning that all children are expected to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch-up.’ Assessment gathering is kept meaningful and is viewed as a diagnostic tool whereby collated information is used purposefully when planning pupils’ next-steps.
It should be noted that varied use of practical resources, structures and representations, plus questioning that requires deeper reasoning is used to ensure all children are supported/challenged appropriately. A progression in key representations and structures, leading to understanding of sometimes complex and abstract concepts, has been defined and is exemplified in the school’s calculation policy. This in turn supports the delivery of consistent approaches and equity of access for learners.
At Hill View, when you walk into a maths lesson you will see
- Enthusiastic children who are focussed on their learning
- Learning broken down into small steps, ensuring that all children can achieve
- Scaffolds provided for children where needed
- Children making connections between current learning existing knowledge
- Children working cooperatively with one another
- Children explaining their ideas using clear mathematical language
- Questioning from adults which develops and deepens children’s understanding of their learning
We measure the impact of our mathematics curriculum through:
- Reflecting on standards achieved against planned outcomes
- Discussions with pupils about their learning
- Regular learning walks
- Moderation of pupils’ work – both internal and external
- The tracking of progress as measured by PUMA tests (completed 3x per year)