Our Maths Rationale
We teach maths at our school in a way that enables all the children to think clearly about how to tackle a problem, have better reasoning knowledge and skills that they can utilise as they progress through their education and life, and work fluently and efficiently. Rather than having one method to solve five questions, we want our children to learn five methods to solve one question. This mantra has helped shape our approach to teaching maths.
Maths lessons are structured in a variety of different ways to ensure that the children in our school make the best possible progress and have a secure understanding and knowledge of different concepts.
As many of our classes are mixed age, it is important that we adapt the way that we teach lessons to suit the learners at our school. For some lessons, a mastery approach is adopted. When teaching using the mastery approach, all the children learn about the same concept and develop their knowledge together; learning is extended by asking questions that deepen a child’s understanding. Teaching maths for mastery is a transformational approach to maths teaching which stems from high performing Asian nations such as Singapore. When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures.
Due to the class structures at our school, there are other times when lessons are planned and delivered so that different groups of children are provided challenge at different levels. This enables our teachers to challenge each child at the appropriate level. It also ensures that the children receive full coverage of the curriculum and are able to make progress.
During all maths lessons, we adapt the Lancashire Plans and incorporate a wide range of resources from: The White Rose, Maths No Problem, Testbase etc. We incorporate reasoning and problem solving into all lessons so that the children apply their maths knowledge and skills. Sometimes, lessons are taken outside of the classroom so that the children can practise what they have been learning in the ‘real world’. An example of this is when our EYFS children work in our Forest School and use non-standardised measurements such as sticks they have collected to compare different lengths.
When teaching times tables, the inverse facts are also taught so that the children understand what times tables mean and how to use them effectively when they have to apply their knowledge. When completing arithmetic/problem solving/reasoning, the children are encouraged to approach calculations as follows:
• Do I know the answer?
• Can I calculate it mentally?
• Can I use a jotting?
• Formal written method
We utilise this approach so that children have the chance to develop fluency and can work in the most efficient way possible. It also assists them when problem solving/reasoning.