At Monks Risborough C of E Primary School, we aim to inspire all children to reach their full academic potential whilst developing an enthusiasm for mathematics. The skills of mathematics are essential to everyday life and vital for financial literacy and most forms of employment.
At this school we aim to provide a high-quality mathematics education which allows children to:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
- be able to 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.
Maths is taught in line with the National Curriculum following the White Rose Scheme of Learning. We teach Maths for Mastery so that pupils develop a deep and adaptable understanding of the subject. Mastery implies being able to use one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations.
Through careful planning and preparation, we aim to ensure that children are given opportunities for:
- practical activities and mathematical challenges;
- problem solving;
- individual, group and whole class discussions and activities;
- open and closed tasks;
- a range of methods of calculating e.g. mental, pencil and paper and using a calculator.
From Reception to Year 6, a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach is central in classroom practice; this involves using a range of concrete and visual resources to help develop a deep understanding of key concepts.
Concrete: In this stage, the children are first introduced to an idea or skill by acting it out with real objects.
Pictorial: When a child has sufficiently understood the hands-on experiences, they can progress to relating them to different representations, such as a diagram or picture of the objects.
Abstract: This is the symbolic stage, where the children are able to represent problems using mathematical notations e.g. 10 ÷ 5 = 2.
We recognise the importance of children being fluent in number. This refers to the rapid recall of number facts, for example, knowing your times tables off by heart or knowing, without having to work it out, that 4 and 6 will make 10. The ability to quickly recall number facts is a vital aspect to becoming a fluent mathematician. Learning number facts will enable your child to:
(i) Move on easily to most other things in mathematics including division, fractions, decimals, percentages and algebra.
(ii) Answer questions more quickly and be able to focus on using other maths strategies in more complex problems.
(iii) Increase confidence levels as this part of the question is 'solved' instantly.
(iv) Play a vital role in their everyday life.
Therefore, at Monks, each class gives time for fluency development through dedicated lesson time, our daily Monks Mad Math Minutes and Cracking Times Tables programme in Key Stage Two. Targeted reinforcement programmes ensure all children develop these fundamental numeracy skills.
We encourage our pupils to become independent learners and to take responsibility for their own learning. Children take ownership of their tasks they complete through self-differentiation and are always encouraged to challenge themselves, understanding that we learn from mistakes. In Key Stage Two, it is regular practice for pupils to mark their own work and are expected to identify where and how mistakes have been made. Across the school, all children have regular opportunities to explain their reasoning verbally.
At the point in which children have secured their expectations in certain areas of the Maths Curriculum their thinking is challenged and extended through open ended, higher order questioning and problem solving activities.
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each topic, the vast majority of pupils will have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it; some pupils have a greater depth of understanding.
Pupils will have:
- Quick recall of facts and procedures;
- The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations;
- The ability to recognise relationships and make connections;
- The ability to apply their maths knowledge to real world contexts.
There will be an increasing enjoyment, engagement, depth of understanding and attainment in Maths.