At the Wye Forest Federation (WFF) we believe that mathematics is an important creative discipline that helps us to understand and contribute to our ever-changing World. Our aim as a federation is that all pupils experience the beauty, power and enjoyment of mathematics and that we ignite a sense of curiosity about the subject. We want the children to see that maths is an interconnected subject, making connections across different areas of maths and the wider curriculum.
Across the federation, we foster positive 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 - allowing these to be made by all without fear of failure through showing respect, support and compassion - and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems before acceleration through new content. We want children to feel confident about expressing their mathematical understanding through communication, collaboration and reflection.
At the WFF we have opted to follow the ‘Maths – No Problem!’ scheme of work. This has been carefully selected to ensure we are offering our children a spiral curriculum whereby the children will build and reflect upon prior learning across their entire school journey, with an emphasis on problem solving, and will therefore become more confident and fluent mathematicians by the end of their KS2 learning. It also offers opportunities to learn through use of manipulatives, using the concrete- abstract – pictorial approach across both key stages, allowing children to secure their understanding of concepts fully before being made to apply them across the wider maths curriculum. Each child will have access to two textbooks (one between two) across the year which replicate the materials from the online teacher guide, displayed on the interactive white board for the children to see also. The children will also be equipped with two workbooks each across the year with sets of activities for each lesson as well as a blank maths journal.
We aim for all pupils to:
+ Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly, accurately and independently.
+ Solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model diverse, real-life scenarios.
+ Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language, abstract written methods, pictures or diagrams and concrete manipulatives.
+ Have an appreciation of number sense and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately.
+ Become confident, resilient mathematicians without fear of mistakes or failure who embrace and enjoy challenge, reflect upon their prior learning and generalise using what they know to find out what they don’t know.
Each lesson focuses on a small, manageable step of new learning based on the National Curriculum statements. Throughout the federation it is expected that teachers carefully craft lessons that provide a step-by-step, conceptual journey through mathematical concepts, engaging pupils in reasoning and the development of mathematical thinking, following the structure provided by the Maths – No Problem! scheme. Each lesson should, on the whole, follow the same structure for consistency:
In Focus: In the first part of the lesson, children will be presented with a problem and given the opportunity to discuss, collaborate and actively use manipulatives to explore and present their ideas.
Let’s Learn: After sharing the children’s thoughts and ideas from the ‘In Focus’ task, children will read and explore a variety of methods from the mathematicians in the textbook. This is an opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t work with a variety of pictorial representations of different methods that the children might wish to choose from during independent practice.
Journalling: At this point in the lesson, children are given the opportunity to explore maths in their own way, taking ownership of their learning and promoting independence. Children are encouraged to do the following:
+ Create their own title for their learning in that lesson.
+ Use pictures and/ or diagrams to show what they have understood of the methods taught so far.
+ Explore a method or methods that particularly interested them during the lesson.
+ Use stem sentences and key mathematical vocabulary to explain their thinking and show reasoning.
+ Present their knowledge in their own way in a format that suits them – younger or less able children may wish to cut, stick, fold other paper to stick into their journals (when learning about fractions for example), whereas older or more able children may wish to use stem sentences, write notes about ideas and thoughts, and show exploration of concepts in their own way.
Guided Practice: This is a point in the lesson where the children can safely explore and investigate the methods and concepts that have been taught that lesson. The activities have been constructed with careful systematic variation in mind to develop and deepen children’s understanding as they progress through the activity. This is the time where children make connections and relationships within their prior knowledge and new learning. It is to be recorded in an informal way either on whiteboards, in journals or through discussion.
Independent Practice: This is the final stage in the lesson where children are given the opportunity to consolidate their learning through activities provided in their workbooks.
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’. By adopting this approach, we aim for all pupils to achieve well in the National Multiplication Check at the end of year four.
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.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Mathematics
As a Federation we follow the EYFS curriculum guidance for Mathematics. We are committed to ensuring the confident development of number sense and put emphasis on mastery of key early concepts. Pupils explore the ‘story’ of numbers to twenty and the development of models and images for numbers as a solid foundation for further progress. Teachers use the ‘White Rose Maths Hub’ EYFS materials where they feel appropriate, using their discretion to stretch and extend children where appropriate. The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to conceptual development is key at this stage.