Magical Maths

What We Intend To Do

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth but supreme beauty.”
– Bertrand Russell, mathematician, and Nobel Laureate

We aim for all of our children at Sherborne CofE Primary School to enjoy Mathematics and be confident in the subject. Children should be fluent with number, be able to reason mathematically and appreciate the importance of mathematics in everyday life and work.

The school intends for children to:

• enjoy mathematics
• be confident in numeracy
• become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
• develop their thinking skills to reason mathematically
• recall and apply their knowledge confidently and efficiently
• solve problems in real life contexts and through all areas of mathematics logically, systematically and accurately
• use initiative and be motivated to work both independently and in cooperation with others
• communicate confidently, where pupils ask and answer questions, openly share work and learn from mistakes
• connect different areas of mathematics together
• use mathematical language effectively and confidently
• apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects

How We Teach Maths

Every child receives a high quality Maths lesson every day. These lessons are delivered by well-trained and skilled teachers and are supported by knowledgeable teaching assistants.

The school's approach to teaching Maths is to use the CPA approach, that being Concrete (children using physical resources), Pictorial (children using pictures, images and diagrams) and Abstract (children working with numbers without any physical resources are pictorial representations). Teachers use this approach - regardless of age - each time a child is taught a new concept or where they need extra support.

To support teaching and learning at the Concrete phase, children use a range of resources. However, the school’s ‘go to’ resources are:
1. Numicon
2. Number tracks and number lines
3. 100 squares
4. Place value cubes (diennes apparatus)
5. Place value counters
6. Place value cards

To support teaching and learning at the Pictorial phase, children use a range of pictures, images and diagrams. However, the school’s preferred image is the bar model.

To support teaching and learning at the Abstract phase, children use formal written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

It is usual practice for teachers to use literature - both fiction and non-fiction - to support the teaching of mathematical concepts.

From Year 2, each child will receive access to Times Tables Rock Stars, a platform which allows children to develop their recall of multiplication and division facts. This does not however replace the need for the child to be taught the times tables first.

The Maths undertaken by children in Reception may look very different from that done by those in Year 6 (although there is still plenty of Maths a Year 6 child could do with a water trough and a sand pit!). Whereas Reception-aged children will be mainly using physical resources and following a more child-led approach, older children will be working in the abstract more. Their learning is still underpinned by objects, models and images, and staff will resort back to these if a child is finding a concept challenging. Similarly, children may use these resources without being directed by the teacher if they wish.

To ensure every child receives high quality teaching and learning every day, the school uses the following providers to help teachers plan sequences of lessons, provide accurate and language-rich delivery of teaching, and to scaffold activities: White Rose Maths, NCETM, NRich.

Teachers may make use of materials from other providers if they are unable to locate the materials that they feel will best allow the child to demonstrate their understanding.

To ensure that children develop a sound understanding of basic number, all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will take part in a 20-minute daily session from the Mastering Number programme. This programme has been developed by the NCETM and local Maths Hubs.

If a child falls behind in their Maths learning, they will receive additional support outside of Maths lesson time to help them catch up. This may involve working 1:1 with an adult or in a small group when teaching or support is needed, or working independently using an app or website to practise a taught skill. The school runs two intervention programmes: Numicon – Barriers to Learning and Numicon – Big Ideas. These are longer blocks of support and are used when children need to be taken back to a particular stage in their mathematical understanding.

How We Know Children Are Learning Well

How successfully the school's aims are met are monitored every day by class teachers and teaching assistants. This is done through observation, marking and feedback, discussions with the child and information gleaned from online platforms.

The Maths subject leader will monitor standards through lesson observations, pupil conferences, book moderations and planning audits.

Three times a year (before Christmas, Easter and then end of the Summer Term), teachers make formal judgements of the children's attainment and progress in Maths. This is submitted to the Headteacher for review. A meeting takes places following this, where children in need of support over the next twelve weeks are identified.