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Mathematics

Intent

At Westfield we follow a mastery based approach for Mathematics. You will notice these key features when observing Maths learning around our school: 

  • Teaching the whole class altogether
  • Small steps in learning
  • Precise and accurate use of mathematical language by the teacher and the pupils
  • Pupils speaking in full sentences
  • Analysis of strategies
  • Lots of discussion by the children
  • Lessons have a small focus
  • Common misconceptions are addressed and planned for

At Westfield we strive to demonstrate a set of pedagogic practices that keep the class working together on the same topic, whilst at the same time addressing the need for all pupils to master the curriculum and for some to gain greater depth of proficiency and understanding. Challenge is provided by going deeper rather than accelerating into new mathematical content. Teaching is focused, rigorous and thorough, to ensure that learning is sufficiently embedded and sustainable over time. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through pre-teaching and same day catch up. More time is spent on teaching topics to allow for the development of depth and sufficient practice to embed learning. Carefully crafted lesson design provides a scaffolded, conceptual journey through the mathematics, engaging pupils in reasoning and the development of mathematical thinking.

During your time at Westfield you will see happy, engaged and enquiring learners. This will ensure:

  • Deep and sustainable learning.
  • The ability to reason about a concept and make connections.
  • The ability to build on something that has already been mastered.
  • Conceptual and procedural fluency.

Mastery is not just being able to memorise key facts and procedures and answer test questions accurately and quickly. It involves knowing ‘why’ as well as knowing ‘that’ and knowing ‘how’. It means being able to use one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations.          

We know as a staff body that a pupil really understands a mathematical concept if they can:

  • Describe it in their own words and explain it to someone else;
  • Represent it in a variety of ways (the CPA approach – Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract);
  • Make up his or her own examples;
  • See connections between it and other facts or ideas;
  • Recognise it in new situations.

Implementation

At Westfield, we believe that it is important to ensure that all children in EYFS develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age. In Nursery and Reception children learn about Maths through play and their daily experiences – the more meaningful to them and hands on it is, the better! Across EYFS, the children have the opportunity to start developing their early Maths learning which will underpin everything they will encounter as they progress in their Maths learning in Primary school: Cardinality and Counting; Comparison; Composition; Pattern; Shape and Space; Measures. In Reception, Number blocks is used to support the teachers in confidently helping children bring numbers and ideas to life in the real world around them. The resources support the teachers in drawing out and building on the Maths embedded through in the stories.

In KS1 and KS2, we follow the HfL Essential Maths planning. The sequences are written as a spiral curriculum in which learning is built upon step by step, sequence by sequence and year on year. It is aspirational and ensures progression and coverage through the primary phase.

At Westfield, children are taught as a whole class with scaffolding implicit throughout. In our classrooms, you will see scaffolded modelled examples, manipulatives to support understanding across all year groups, pictorial representations, small step progression and highlighted opportunities for pupils to explore concepts at greater depth.

Pupils in all year groups record daily in their Maths jotters and/ or books, providing them with many opportunities for practise and consolidation.  This provides children with a log that they can look back on to see how learning has progressed and developed within sequences and over time.

Scaffolding in Maths lessons is provided through questioning, speaking frames, highlighting and modelling key learning points and the use of manipulatives. A Westfield, out teachers focus on; ‘How can I ensure my pupils access the learning at an age appropriate level?’ This requires our teachers to know their pupils well and have strong mathematical subject knowledge.

Where there is a need to support pupils to catch or keep up this is provided through same day catch up or teaching. This is flexible and tailored to the children’s needs. There will be times when a start to the lesson can be used to provide a whole class pre-teaching opportunity, to cue pupils back into prior learning, reactivating and rehearsing this before building on this in the main focus. There will also be times when a carefully selected group of pupils require some tailored pre-teaching or same day catch up. For example, supporting pupils to access the language that will be needed. Where individual pupils or a small group are unable to secure the learning after teaching time. We aim for this to happen as close to the learning as possible. It may require re-explanation of the learning and rehearsal of the concept, or tracking back to a piece of previous learning which has been found to be insecure.

Where particular pupils have SEND and are unable to access the age related expectations, a more tailored curriculum will be provided. For individual pupils working well below the level expected, teaching sequences from previous year groups can be used to help to track forwards from the skills pupils have. This ensures the pupils build upon solid foundations, rather than adapting the age related expectations in a way that might create gaps or build an insecure surface-level understanding.

Teachers use questioning and observations during the lesson to assess understanding and this informs subsequent lessons.   Teachers will also use books to assess the children’s understanding, knowledge and ability to apply the skills that they have learned.  The destination questions will help to provide evidence that pupils have secured the related learning. As these often require some element of application or reasoning, this will indicate that the learning is deeper. Once in KS2, the children will complete mid and end of year summative assessments linked to the content cover of their year group curriculum. Additionally, each term, the children complete an Essential Maths diagnostic multiple-choice assessment, which looks for common misconceptions from the taught units of work. These summative assessments support teachers in planning and adapting learning appropriately for their children.

The Maths Coordinator will conduct learning walks, book reviews and pupil voice to ensure the overview of coverage and to ascertain pupils’ views of Maths. This monitoring allows triangulation of consistency, pitch and progress across the school.   

Along with regular in school Maths CPD, all our teachers have attended the HfL ESSENTIAL Maths training providing them with the knowledge and understanding of the theory behind our approach to teaching Maths. The Maths subject leader also attends the County Maths updates as well as termly local clusters in Berkhamsted.

Impact

Impact of our curriculum can be found through:

Pupil Voice: Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about their Maths lessons and speak about how they love learning about Maths. They can articulate the context in which Maths is being taught and relate this to real life purposes.

Evidence in Knowledge: Pupils know how and why Maths is used in the outside world and in the workplace. They know about different ways that Maths can be used to support their future potential.

Evidence in skills: Pupils use acquired vocabulary in Maths lessons. They have the skills to use methods independently and show resilience when tackling problems.

Breadth and Depth: Teachers plan a range of opportunities to use Maths inside and outside school.

As a result of using this approach to the teaching of Mathematics, we have seen a positive impact at the end of KS1 and KS2:

KS1

2017

2018

2019

EXS

83%

87%

87%

GDS

17%

33%

30%

 

KS2

2017

2018

2019

EXS

70%

77%

87%

GDS

30%

32%

40%

Long Term Plans

Although these plans show weekly coverage, the amount of time spent on each area will vary. This time will be informed from the the daily formative assessment of the children’s knowledge and understanding to ensure the learning needs of all the children are met.

Please download some useful maths resources below:

 

 

Maths explained!

We have created some videos which demonstrate the models and terminology that we use in Maths at Westfield. Please click on the link below which will take you through to our ‘Westfield Primary School’ you tube channel.

We hope that these video’s demystify Maths so you are able to support your child at home – we’d love to hear how you find them. Miss Branigan would love to hear your feedback! Although we plan to add to the selection of videos over the year, we want the videos to be helpful for you so if there isn’t a video which explains what you need, fill in a pink slip and let Miss Branigan know.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn-RMiNM-rsASZJM8Pm8heQ