Mathematics at WCS
These are all some of words and phrases our children said about Maths at Whitchurch Combined School in a recent pupil voice. So, if you want to learn a little more about how a Mastery Maths Curriculum drives the learning of the children in our school, then read on!
At Whitchurch, we strive to develop a true passion for mathematics. Through our rich and engaging curriculum, we encourage our children to become mathematical thinkers that thrive when problem solving. With mathematical talk as an integral part of our mathematics lessons, our children are encouraged to challenge answers and discuss alternative strategies, to help them to become masters of the subject. Each child is fully supported to develop at a level that is appropriate to them. Our lessons are structured to ensure children have the opportunity to showcase their fluency skills whilst also demonstrating their reasoning and problem-solving skills. Through the use of mastery techniques, we hope our children become confident and very capable mathematicians
‘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 mathematical education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’ (DfE 2013)
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice wit
h increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems.
• Can 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.
For more information, please see our guide to Fluency, Reasoning and Problem-Solving
We centre our planning around the 5 principles of Mastery:
We would like our children to develop into Mathematicians as identified by the six points below:
Marking and feedback
The children take an active role in their marking and feedback. The children themselves often mark exercises which involve routine practice with support and guidance from the teacher. We believe that this approach provides instant feedback to the children so that they can see where they have made an error and where they need to improve. It can also foster independence in the children, who can seek help if they are unable to locate and correct their errors. We also use a traffic light system where the children can identify how they have found the learning objective in that lesson. This self-assessment helps staff to create next steps and inform future planning. More information can be found in the Feedback Policy.
Formative Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and is a continuous process.
Teachers make assessments of children daily through;
These ongoing assessments inform future planning and teaching. Lessons are adapted readily and short-term planning evaluated in light of these assessments.
Years 1 to 6 are assessed at the end of each term using an NFER or previous SATS assessment and a summative judgement is made based on their attainment. This is recorded on our Sonar Tracking system, where the Maths Subject Leader will collate, analyse and report to SLT and Governors.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The mathematics subject leader is released regularly from his/her classroom in order to work alongside other teachers. This time is used to monitor and evaluate the quality and standards of mathematics throughout the school and enables the subject leader to support teachers in their own classrooms. Monitoring can take many different forms: from learning walks; book looks; pupil progress meetings or pupil voice discussions.
Findings are reported back to our dedicated mathematics Governor and shared in our Governors Curriculum Committee.
Times tables are fundamental to many aspects of mathematics and it is therefore very important for children to work hard to learn their times tables. Times tables form an integral part of the learning in our mathematics lessons. The Government has set out the following times tables that children should know in each year group.
The Government has requested that all pupils in Year 4 take a Times Tables Check to determine whether children can recall their times tables.