How we teach Maths at St. Edward’s Catholic Primary School
Coverage of the Numeracy Curriculum is robust across all key stages and teachers use the White Rose Maths Scheme of Learning to support teaching for mastery. This offers challenge to all pupils and a wide variety of resources are used to engage the children.
Mastery means having a secure understanding of mathematical concepts and processes, combined with a genuine procedural fluency. A child who has mastered a particular skill is able to apply their understanding and solve different types of problems, including where the skill is either embedded in a different context, or where a choice of method has to be made. For example, a child who has mastered adding two 2-digit numbers should be able to identify where this is required, even when it is not presented in a straightforward way (e.g. ⬜ – 23 = 39) and also choose an efficient strategy for doing it (e.g. 40 + 22).
Some children will be able to achieve mastery with greater depth. This means that they are able to apply their understanding of a concept in a wider variety of contexts, some of which are more difficult. They can manipulate the facts they know and the skills they possess in order to solve more complex problems. More developed forms of mathematical reasoning are central to this process, and enable the recognition of a link between operations and processes. For example, a child who has mastered the addition of 2-digit numbers in greater depth will be able to explain why it is possible to add two numbers both with units digits greater than 5 and get answers with units digits less than 5 (e.g. 16 + 7 = 23). They may also understand why adding a number to its matching reverse (46 and 64) will always give a multiple of eleven.
Maths is taught daily in two parts: a discrete fluency section, lasting 15 minutes helps children develop a secure recall of key facts. Then follows the main maths lesson which lasts approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour. The lesson structure begins with a short task to retrieve prior knowledge, usually in the format of a question recalling learning from last lesson, last week, last unit and last term/year. This provides regular recall practice to build fluency.
The small step for the lesson is then shared with the children and they revisit key concepts from previous learning that support the key learning of the lesson. Children then solve contextual problems as a class, with the teacher that exposes the structure of the mathematical concept. In this part of the lesson, teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning and the children learn from misconceptions through whole class reasoning. To support this, the teacher will often use a stem sentence to scaffold children’s articulation of mathematical ideas and reasoning, and/or a generalisation that supports application of the concept.
The children then work independently to apply their knowledge through a variety of fluency tasks progressing to reasoning and problem solving. This gives pupils the opportunity to make useful connections between identified mathematical ideas or to anticipate practical problems they are likely to encounter in adult life.
End of unit tests are used to help assess whether children are secure at the end of a topic and help identify gaps which can be addressed before moving on.
Times Table Rock Stars has been made available to support and engage children with the recall of times table facts, this is timetabled regularly for each year group.
Apps which you can use at home
At St. Edwards, we encourage the children to develop their learning outside of school. There are two apps which school recommends to support children’s mathematical understanding: Numbots and Times Tables Rockstars. Your child should have their own personalised login details. If your child has lost their username or password, please speak to your child’s class teacher. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices or can be accessed on any modern browser by clicking on any of the links below.
Oxford Owl http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/maths-owl/maths
Maths 4 Mums and Dads http://www.maths4mumsanddads.co.uk/index.php
ict games http://www.ictgames.com/resources.html
I love maths games http://www.ilovemathsgames.com/
Maths is fun https://www.mathsisfun.com/index.htm
Maths zone https://www.mathsisfun.com/index.htm
Everything multiplication https://www.multiplication.com/
Primary games http://www.primarygames.co.uk/