Our Vision for Mathematics
Mathematics is an important creative discipline that helps us to understand and change the World. We want all pupils in the federation to experience the beauty, power and enjoyment of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity about the subject.
At the Wye Forest Federation, we foster positive ‘can do’ attitudes, believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems before acceleration through new content.
We aim for all pupils to:
+ Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics (see Year Specific Curriculum Map) so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
+ Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios.
+ Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
+ Have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately.
Implementation - Consistent Teaching Principles
At the WFF teachers plan sequences of lessons using the carefully selected schemes of work: CanDoMaths at St Briavels and MathsNoProblem at Redbrook. Because of the complex nature of maths teaching, and the misconceptions that can arise, it is expected teachers use their professional judgement when working through a scheme of work, adopting a flexible approach guided by the learning of the children in their class. To ensure children are suitably challenged and supported, teachers also supplement these materials through the use of high-quality resources from quality-assured sources (for example: NRICH, NCETM, White Rose Hub).
Lesson DesignEach lesson focusses on a manageable step of new learning based on the National Curriculum statements.
Parallel Learning: Children of different ages are taught together around a common theme. Teachers differentiate for older/younger children through skillful questioning and through the tasks given.
Centre-based Learning: ‘Learning centres’ are created using age-related tasks. Children work in the appropriate centres and classroom staff roam around the room, scaffolding and supporting the learning of groups.
Streamed Learning: Children are grouped by year group and are taught separately, whilst the other group/s work independently.
Teachers model in every lesson, for every small step. Difficult points and potential misconceptions are identified and strategies to address them planned. Key questions are planned also, to challenge thinking and develop learning for all pupils.
Most lessons will follow a ‘Do it, Twist it, Solve it’ structure:
- Do it: Up to 5 examples aimed at developing pupils’ procedural fluency.
- Twist it: 1 or 2 misunderstandings aimed at developing pupils’ conceptual understanding.
- Solve it: Apply understanding to new problems, extending pupils’ mathematical thinking.
Most lessons will end with a hinge question, which is used to assess how well children have understood the lesson content, identify any existing misconceptions and inform future short-term and medium-term planning.
Whether working together or in separate year groups, it is expected that all pupils work together, practising the skill together with teachers providing appropriate support and challenge.
At the WFF, the use of manipulatives and various pictorial representations is pivotal to enabling pupils to develop a deep and secure understanding of mathematical concepts. Where possible, every unit of work will start with concrete experience. In line with the federation’s calculation policy, concrete and pictorial representations are chosen carefully to help build procedural and conceptual knowledge together.
In the daily maths lesson, the learning needs of individuals are addressed through careful scaffolding, questioning and appropriate rapid intervention where necessary, to provide the appropriate support and challenge.
The reasoning behind mathematical processes is emphasized. Teacher/pupil interaction explores how answers were obtained as well as why the method worked and what might be the most efficient strategy.
Precise mathematical language, often couched in full sentences, is used by teachers so that mathematical ideas are conveyed with clarity and precision. We value ‘mathematical talk’ and children get lots of opportunity to talk about and evaluate their mathematics during lessons.
Sufficient time is spent on key concepts to ensure learning is well developed and deeply embedded before moving on.
Deliberate practice sessions are planned for after the lesson and provides additional time for children to practise key concepts and skills. Additionally, teachers can use this time to provide 1:1/small group feedback before moving on to the next step, address misconceptions as they arise, pre-teach where appropriate and provide same-day intervention.
An example ‘Maths Burst’ structure:
Day 1: Arithmetic
Day 2: Arithmetic
Day 3: Deliberate Practice
Day 4: Deliberate Practice
Day 5: Fact Friday (number bonds/times table consolidation)
Number Bonds and Multiplication Facts
At the WFF, we believe that to achieve well in maths throughout school, children need to be able to recall number bonds and times tables (up to 12x) and answer within two or three seconds. This leaves no time for counting up to the answer and this is called ‘fluency’.
Children throughout the federation are encouraged to practise these facts online, at home using the apps ‘Numbots’ and ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’.
In terms of number bonds, in EYFS and key stage one, children will regularly practise age-appropriate number facts as part of the daily maths lesson or math burst session.
Teachers use their professional judgement to decide the frequency and duration which pupils will access these programmes in order to help them commit these essential facts to long term memory.
In terms of multiplication facts, every pupil’s progress will be tracked through the use of a termly baseline/progress check, with pupils’ scores and time being recorded. By adopting this approach, we aim for all pupils to achieve well in the National Multiplication Check at the end of year four.
In years five and six, pupils who have met this standard will be challenged to apply this knowledge to wider areas of the mathematics curriculum.
Further information about each school's approach to mathematics can be found below, including long term planning and our calculation policy.