Maths at Altofts Junior School
At Altofts Junior School we are committed to ensuring that all children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards maths that will act as a foundation for the next stage of their education and adult life; to accumulate cultural capital in terms of developing the essential mathematical life skills required for most forms of employment, financial literacy and the challenges that the world presents.
We want all of our children to:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics 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.
- solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including persevering in seeking solutions.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 mathematics curriculum and the maths curriculum at Altofts Junior School reflect the features that characterise the mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics and how it is implemented:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
- The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace.
- Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Practise and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring support, so that all children keep up.
To ensure consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme which is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths framework.
New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s thinking and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving a variety of similar themed problems. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems.
Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
Each week, we enhance the opportunity to consolidate prior learning and provide additional challenge through the implementation of a ‘Blue Book’ – where on a Friday teachers: address misconceptions identified during the week, basic skills work is undertaken as required; and additional opportunity is provided to carry out interventions at whole class or small group level as a result of a Question Level Analysis. The impact of all this has been that there is a consistent approach to the teaching of maths and gaps in learning are quickly identified and acted upon.
Alongside this, our pupils regularly have the opportunity to practise their mental and written calculations. Mental maths is recalled at the start of each maths lesson in the form of 5 – 10 quick fire questions. Written calculation practise takes place in a weekly arithmetic session separate to the maths lessons.
As a school, we recognised the importance of times table recall speed and the link to later success in maths. We therefore teach and practise the multiplication tables as well as using the programme ‘Times Table Rockstar’ in and out of school to improve their recall speed. Children are also given the opportunity each week to recall previous learning in the form of a ‘flashback’ which revisits questions taught last year, last term and last week.
Altofts has a supportive ethos and our approach supports the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills. Children in general can sometimes underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The Power Maths programme addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset.
The impact of teaching and learning of mathematics at Altofts Junior School will result in our pupils:
- knowing that maths is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life.
- feeling confident and enthusiastic about their mathematics learning.
- developing more resilience and willingness to take risks.
- becoming fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics by recalling and applying knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- being able to reason mathematically.
- being able to solve problems with increasing sophistication.
- being able to articulate their mathematical thinking.
Running alongside the Power Maths lessons children also have weekly sessions to support fluency and recall of number facts. Times Tables are explicitly taught to Years 3 & 4 while Years 5 & 6 concentrate on appropriate number facts and mental arithmetic. This is supported through daily Times Table Rock Stars practice using tablets and a weekly times table test together with board tasks during morning or afternoon registration. Times Tables Rock Stars is also used by all year groups for weekly maths homework.
Parent Information to support your child
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