By the time all children leave at the end of Year 6, we want them to have a fluent understanding of fundamental mathematical skills built on solid foundations. Children need to be able to reason mathematically, use mathematical vocabulary to solve problems and apply their mathematics to a variety of contexts and real-life scenarios – regardless of their starting point.
All children will take on learning positively, showing perseverance to enjoy challenges that stretch their understanding.
Here at South End Junior School, we believe that providing all of our children with strong mathematical knowledge is non-negotiable: they are compulsory life skills. That is why each year group have their own set of non-negotiables – learning statements which children are expected to achieve each year.
Maths is a journey, achieved through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time. At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic and be able to build on this over time.
Maths is a subject specific lesson, which builds upon previously taught knowledge, skills and vocabulary. We aim to develop children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. Lessons include: reviews of previously taught skills; opportunities to learn in a concrete and pictorial way; knowledge and vocabulary; and reasoning and problem solving at all levels.
Despite the need for our children to be able to apply their mathematical understanding to reasoning and problem-solving challenges, we believe a focus on basic number skills is of paramount importance: this underpins everything. At SEJ, we use Question Level Analysis to personalise learning and teach the children exactly what they need. Our team do not follow a published scheme – they plan each lesson based on the current achievement of each child to ensure suitable scaffolded and personalised learning, supplemented with resources from various providers such as White Rose. This specific learning journey is further supported by the use of Check-ins and Check-outs. Children are given progressive questions on their new chapter, so the teacher can see common misconceptions and gaps in learning. This means Medium Term Overviews can be written specifically for that cohort.
Through embedded assessment techniques, we are able to evaluate the success of each child before, during and after each lesson and shape our teaching to match their next steps. Daily planning helps with identifying those children who are ready to try reasoning and problem-solving challenges and those children who need more time to develop their fluency in that area. Lessons on each topic will contain activities which develop the children’s fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills.
Each Maths lesson begins with mixed arithmetic questions which are intended to activate prior learning, consolidate ideas and develop fluency. Once a week, children also have an arithmetic session to further consolidate this. Times tables are also frequently practised using Times Tables Rock Stars.
The opportunity for children to address any errors or misconceptions in their learning is built into every Maths lesson across the school. Adults live mark throughout lessons, ensuring all children are spoken with about their learning, and are supported or moved on as necessary. Children use their purple pen when responding to feedback and address any issues identified with the support of the teacher.
In each classroom, children have access to Maths Markets. These stalls are home to a wealth of concrete and pictorial resources that children may need in their maths lesson to support their learning. This includes times table target boards, 3D shapes, 100 squares, Unifix cubes, Cuisenaire rods, digit cards, number stacks and so much more.
No hands up rule enables targeted questions. Our positive discrimination approach means pupils with SEND and Pupil Premium are targeted more regularly and given additional adult focus time to accelerate progress.
Every year, we celebrate World Maths Day with a focus predominantly on geometry or statistics. Where possible, we incorporate everyday maths skills into our Maestro projects to make the learning meaningful and contextualised.