‘‘Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.’’ – Albert Einstein
Purpose of study
Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education, therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
DfE Statutory guidance – National Curriculum in England: mathematics programmes of study. Published 11 September 2013
Holland Park Curriculum Intent Statement for Maths
At Holland Park we believe that all children can achieve and be successful in maths, especially disadvantaged children and those with SEND. Every child will enjoy maths, talking positively and confidently about their learning. They will acquire a deep, secure and adaptable understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures which they can use in real life contexts.
Teaching and Learning
All adults will have secure knowledge of the subject and the teaching of mathematics.
Lessons are designed to ensure that children are taken through the small steps needed for secure understanding and ensuring they develop the declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge required to be confident mathematicians. We use the National Curriculum as a starting point for our lessons, resourced from schemes such as White Rose and the NCETM. Staff plan for challenge and will also use a range of other resources including those for stretch from NRICH and Testbase.
Reasoning lessons will (as appropriate):
- include carefully planned questions which will give children the opportunity to discuss and think deeply;
- include carefully chosen concrete resources which will be modelled, available for children to self-select and used to support their conceptual understanding;
- include the use of sentence stems (golden sentences) to assist children with their explanations of the processes being taught
- include questions which challenge conceptual understanding aimed at the level at which the individual child is working
- include a range of carefully chosen pictorial representations, including bar and part-whole diagrams which will be used to model and support conceptual understanding;
- identify potential misconceptions which will be addressed, for example, by offering non-standard, non-concept or incorrect examples;
- identify the key facts children need to know and will incorporate opportunities for them to rapidly and accurately recall these;
- include carefully designed independent practice exercises which take children through the small steps and give them the opportunity to both rehearse their learning and challenge them to apply the skills learned;
- build on prior learning so that children can make connections and use what they know to work out what they don’t know;
- be differentiated through methods other than task and outcome, for example through the use of: resources, questioning to scaffold, adult support and depth of explanation.
- be taught together as a whole class using a ping-pong style of teaching.
During lessons, children are expected to speak in full sentences, using accurate, mathematical language. They will use sentence stems to help them explain their thinking and reasoning.
Arithmetic Lessons will:
- build on prior learning of the four operations, fractions, percentages, number bonds and other key arithmetical skills as appropriate to the year group.
- include a maximum of 10 questions per session presented in a range of formats (such as missing number, incorrect answers etc.) to challenge and deepen understanding.
- challenge children to think beyond their normal methods by finding alternative ways to answer the same questions (this can include opportunities to use concrete resources).
- be taught together with questioning offering challenge at an appropriate level for each child.
Classrooms will have a positive maths profile by displaying current learning including, for example, key vocabulary, sentences stems and modelled methods.
Teachers and support staff use the correct vocabulary at all times (only simplifying these terms to help with understanding).
Interventions are used to support children, when needed, so that gaps in learning are overcome quickly.
Feedback will be positive and timely (ideally verbally during the lesson), and will either: direct children to adult support in subsequent lessons; model incorrect examples for children to correct errors or consolidate their learning or challenge children to apply their understanding and move their learning on. Misconceptions found during marking of work will be addressed before new teaching is undertaken either in small groups or as a whole class.
There is a close focus on ensuring that children who are anxious with maths are supported to become more confident and that maths anxiety is avoided for other children. Children will be supported to do well and avoid making too many errors (which could cause anxiety). Testing will generally be low-stakes and when a formal assessment is undertaken, care will be taken to ensure that those who are working well below the expected level are not required to take these tests so as to avoid building on their feelings of anxiety.
Online resources (such as Numbots, Times Tables Rock Stars, Number Blocks and Prodigy) will be used to support understanding and develop fluency both in school and as a homework resource when appropriate.