The Intent, Implementation and Impact of Mathematics at Victoria School
At Victoria School our intent is that all pupils are confident with their Mathematical ability and understanding.
Pupils should have the skills to: develop their conceptual understanding, problem solving, and strengthen fluency in order to have secure reasoning skills allowing them to become ‘deep thinkers’. Pupil should acquire maths skills that can be recalled and transferred quickly in order for them to be applied in different contexts developing mathematical curiosity.
Mathematics in the Early Years involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure
The Early Years curriculum aims for a child to achieve the following statements before they move into Key Stage One:
- Children count reliably with numbers from one to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.
- Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them.
The National Curriculum states the following aims within Mathematics:
- 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.
Mathematics in the Early Years must be implemented through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity.
Play is essential for children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore, to think about problems, and relate to others.
Children learn by leading their own play, and by taking part in play which is guided by adults. There is an ongoing judgement to be made by practitioners about the balance between activities led by children, and activities led or guided by adults. Practitioners must respond to each child’s emerging needs and interests, guiding their development through warm, positive interaction. As children grow older, and as their development allows, it is expected that the balance will gradually shift towards more activities led by adults, to help children prepare for more formal learning in year 1.
In planning and guiding children’s activities in Mathematics, practitioners in the Early Years must reflect on the different ways that children learn and reflect these in their practice.
Three characteristics of effective teaching and learning are:
- playing and exploring - children investigate and experience things, and ‘have a go’
- active learning - children concentrate and keep on trying if they encounter difficulties, and enjoy achievements
- creating and thinking critically - children have and develop their own ideas, make links between ideas, and develop strategies for doing things.
At Victoria School we follow the Maths Mastery approach as outlined by the NCETM.
We implement the Maths No Problem! scheme from Years 1 to 6 which is based on how Mathematics is taught in Singapore and is a DFE approved Textbook scheme. The core principles of the mastery scheme are to:
- to raise standards in Mathematics through using a proven teaching style.
- make Maths more exciting and engaging.
- Instil positive attitudes towards Maths in our pupils, parents and school staff.
- Strengthen the use of Mathematical language through increased mathematical self- confidence and collaboration with peers.
In the scheme, every lesson starts with a problem called an ‘In Focus’ task. Children are given a few minutes to discuss the problem and then feed back to the class about what they have found.
This leads into the ‘Let’s Learn’ section where methods are discussed and the main learning is introduced. There will then be a ‘Guided Practice’ activity where children get to try their learning on a few carefully selected questions. This provides opportunities for staff to carefully identify children that may not have grasped the concept and need further intervention within the lesson.
Finally there is the workbook element of the lesson where children work independently to practice their learning. Lessons may be supplemented with a range of challenge activities from a number of different sources.
Basic arithmetic skills are practiced regularly in order to give children the opportunity to increase fluency. This is often tasks set by teachers using Mathletics, TT Rock-stars, Math-seeds or use of resources such as Rapid Recall Boards.
To support parents, schools will host a number of open mornings/afternoons where parents will be invited into school to try out certain elements of the scheme.
The school operates an open door policy for parents if they wish to discuss the mastery approach. There are also a number of supporting documents and clips on the school website which parents can access in order to provide the best possible support to their children at home.
We have a Teaching For Mastery Specialist who trained in 2016 through the NNW Maths Hub and who is also an Accredited Professional Lead. This is supporting the implementation of mastery approaches using the Maths No Problem scheme across Victoria School. We are following a lesson study approach in each year group building teaching and learning skills.
At Victoria School teachers ensure that pupils are ready for their next stage of learning through providing a well-constructed, well-taught curriculum that is based on the mastery approach allowing pupils to reflect and build upon what they have learned.
Through a wide range of pedagogical and assessment strategies, teachers will ensure that pupils retain knowledge, understanding and vocabulary so that they not only achieve their age-related expectation, but are also confident in overcoming the challenges and barriers that mathematics presents.
Inclusive opportunities will improve the well-being and self-confidence throughout the learning journey of each individual pupil and ensures that all disadvantaged and SEND pupils acquire the relevant knowledge and cultural capital necessary to succeed in life.