Overview of Mathematics in Witton-le-Wear Primary School
The teaching of Mathematics in Witton-le-Wear Primary School is a clear, whole-school vision of teaching, learning and assessment that promotes high expectations and consistency from EYFS to KS2 and beyond. We believe that everyone can do maths, through taking small steps in our mathematical journey and working hard – every child can succeed at maths.
In Early Years, children start to develop their understanding of number while utilising their everyday surroundings and its mathematical meaning. Carefully designed activities are provided through continuous play to enhance the children’s classroom-based learning. Number Blocks, White Rose resources and concrete manipulatives are all used to enhance maths in EYFS.
From Year 1 onwards, mathematics is taught daily. This incorporates a discrete arithmetic session as well as a mathematics lesson. Arithmetic sessions allow children to practise recently learned number skills as well as to revisit previous objectives. Time is given to allow for mathematical discussion and links are made clear.
Mathematics is taught in progressive short blocks which are pedagogically sound sequences of lessons to ensure consistent mastery progression for each mixed-age class.
Short teaching blocks provide a loose spiral curriculum, allowing children to revisit each topic within a fairly short time span. This ensures that children’s confidence is boosted by regular encounters with a specific skill or concept and, in turn, aiming to reduce the need for re-teaching.
Each short block states the main daily focus of teaching as well as the outcomes for each day. Medium term plans include links to suitable weekly mathematical investigations.
Daily lessons consist of whole-class teaching where children are taught and brought along together in short, sharp bursts (ping-pong style). They are given opportunities for mathematical talk where they are encouraged to use correct mathematical terms in their discussion and reasoning. Concrete, pictorial and abstract representations are used to support main teaching as well as independent work. Children work independently, in pairs, groups or in teacher-led groups, on mathematical activities to develop their skills, knowledge of concepts and their reasoning abilities.
Daily lessons underpin children’s conceptual understanding through the development of a consistent set of images and models; they engender procedural fluency, and provide frequent opportunities for reasoning and problem-solving. Extra support and interventions are given the same-day/next-day to pupils individually as well as in groups, to address misconceptions and to strengthen conceptual knowledge. Problem solving and reasoning questions allow the assessment of children’s understanding of the unit’s objectives and whether they have fully integrated the skill or concept into their understanding.
Our curriculum is complemented by White Rose through the use of Concrete to Pictorial to Abstract, which underpins our approach to calculation, as well as that of the Maths Hubs and White Rose. A developmental approach to models and images, provides consistency and enables children to progress from concrete experiences through to visual and finally abstract understanding.
Promoting consistency in mathematical models and images within the framework of our whole-school calculation strategy, strengthens pupil’s own learning and assessment practice in maths.
By having a clear and consistent curriculum strategy throughout the school, our teachers can ensure that children are hearing consistent language and using progressive methods that build from one year to the next, without requiring them to confront new pedagogy at every year or key stage transition. All teachers aim to work progressively using complementary and pedagogically sequential language, models and images.
The Calculation Methods document sets out methods of mental and written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division from Year 1 through to Year 6. Articulated for each year group, these methods ensure consistency of teacher input and progression in pupil learning as well as a framework to help parents and carers, when supporting their child/children, in maths. They include the steps that children need to take to master these four operations. The Calculation Methods document shows progression in calculation methods from Year 1 to Year 6. By ensuring that the language is pedagogically correct, the strategy helps teachers promote understanding in Key Stage 1, while laying the correct building blocks for understanding with greater sophistication in Key Stage 2.
The addition and subtraction methods cover place value and models mental and written addition and subtraction methods from Year 1 through to Year 6. Counting on, counting up, number facts and compact and expanded column addition are progressively described and illustrated.
The multiplication and division methods cover mental and written multiplication and division methods from Year 1 through to Year 6. Clever counting, grouping, doubling and halving, grid multiplication and short and long written division are progressively described and illustrated.
Pairs of operations are presented as complementary functions that facilitate explanation and comprehension.
Visual representations, produced through White Rose, also complement daily teaching and learning.