At Cliftonville Primary we are excited by the new maths curriculum and look forward to building on our current practice to meet the challenges required.
The aims of the national curriculum for mathematics are to ensure that all pupils:
Cliftonville Primary School progress towards Maths Mastery
In September 2014 we implemented the new curriculum, following the same structure as the renewed numeracy framework, by dividing the objectives into units of 2 or 3 weeks and revisiting these units each seasonal term.
Alongside these changes we have been developing our understanding of mathematical mastery. Our aim is to achieve deep sustainable learning, which can be built on further by the children. We want our pupils to reason about a concept and make connections to other concepts, all the while having a good understanding of how and why it all works.
During 2014 – 2015 some principles of mastery curriculum were introduced e.g the bar method for representing calculations and problems, greater development of practical resources e.g place value counters, and above all the children were given more time to develop a greater understanding of a topic before moving on. The impact on maths lessons was that there was a greater use of concrete materials and more time given to speaking and listening. In books there was more practise of skills, but also a development of problem solving involving these skills. In some cases the pace of the lessons seemed to be slower, but the pace of learning has been improved, through deeper thinking.
During 2015- 2016 we are going to work further on the principles of mastery. In years 1,2 and 3 we are going to use the medium term plans from the maths mastery website. This will mean that in year 1 for example the children only work with numbers to 10 in the first term. The year will also see us trying to ensure all children develop a growth mindset this will be particularly evident in their maths talk and questioning. We will be developing the “build it, draw it, write it” principle to help the children understand the abstract concepts. Teachers from year 1,2 and 3 will attend training on maths mastery and there will be a series of 3 staff meetings across the year to develop maths in the school. We will also use opportunities of Cliftonville shorts to promote mathematical activities that develop deep understanding. A maths mastery action plan has been developed.
During 2015 – 2016 we will be trialling a new intervention method. TAs will have a maths slot in the afternoon whereby they can take children who have experienced difficulty with the maths being taught in the morning. This additional boost will enable the child to keep up and be able to access the learning in the next lesson. Our rapid graspers will be set additional challenges to use and apply the skills they are learning more deeply – often this will involve problems from the nrich website, or our own problem solving resource bank.
Progress will be tracked using the key objectives grids and assessed formally at the end of each seasonal term using PUMA (progress in understanding maths assessment). Data will be collected on SIMs and pupil progress discussions will happened termly during PPIs.
We have decided to structure our maths learning by dividing the yearly curriculum into 5 blocks, each block having 3 units of work. The children will be taught a unit from each block each seasonal term and will therefore be revisiting subjects on a regular basis throughout the year, each time moving forward with the learning in order to achieve the age expected target or above by the end of the year.
One focus for our work will be the teaching of skills, methods and facts to enable pupils to solve problems. The children will be required to learn number facts with quick re-call, so that when learning new methods they can concentrate on the process. The number facts they need e.g. times tables should not hinder their development. The children will be given time to practise skills so they become fluent in calculation methods and other mathematical skills e.g. using a protractor. However our focus will be on enabling children to use these skills to solve problems, as we feel there are limited reasons for children knowing how to do something if they do not understand when it is appropriate to use it. The expectation will be that children can explain their mathematical thinking; maths lessons should not always be quiet lessons, but interactive and fun, with children engaged in tasks, sharing ideas and solving problems.
While paying close attention to the whole mathematics curriculum, the priority in the classroom will be number work, taking up about 75% of the time. However the children will also cover work on shape, data handling and measures. We will use a variety of resources to teach maths, and make as many lessons as we can practical. Children will have access to number lines and hundred squares, as well as counting apparatus and place value equipment.
Year 1 maths games workshop
In January 2015, parents from year 1 were invited to attend a maths games workshop, aimed at helping children become fluent in basic number work. A record number of parents attended and were all given a games pack containing the resources and ideas for a variety of games which would enable the children to practise their number skills. After playing some games with other parents in the hall, the children came to play too. We all had a great time and enjoyed doing our number work. Thank you to all the parents who attended and to Lucie our Parent Support Advisor who translated for families who do not have English as their home language.
Year 4 took their classroom to the beach last week to learn about capacity. They all completed four activities that involved estimating or measuring capacity:
The children used a litre bottle of sea water to try and estimate the capacity of other containers.
They used measuring spoons to find the capacity of a variety of beach toys.
They had to order eight different sized and shaped buckets according to their capacities.
The children used measuring cylinders and jugs to measure how much sand a range of different containers could hold.
The children loved learning about capacity in this way and now have a very good understanding of what a litre bottle looks like and how much a teaspoon will hold. It took lots of organising by the staff, but they all reported it was invaluable in bringing this topic to life!
This week year 4 had a 'Shape, Space and Measures' day. The children spent all day working in groups doing practical activities that involved using the skills and strategies they had been learning in class. There were many activities that involved a variety of measures and the children had to weigh items, and measure capacity and length. Some of the children devised their own investigations with surprising results. Did you know that your leg is approximately 3 times the length of your foot? There were also activities with shape. They had to recall the names and properties of shapes they had been learning about in class to create 3D shapes. When talking about position the children were using coordinates and the compass points. The children thoroughly enjoyed this maths themed day and consolidated so much learning as well as adding new skills and strategies to their mathematical understanding.
Many thanks to Miss Pardo who organised this event for our children.
Year 5 have been using their maths, organisational and team work skills to design and make a board game to help Year 2 children with their maths. The children worked very hard and created some professional looking games with clear instructions. After testing them out on each other, they taught Year 2 children how to play them. All the children enjoyed the session and it was really great to see the patience and kindness of the older children in helping the younger children doing calculations. Thank you Mrs Arnold and Mrs McGeoch!
NSPCC Number Day and Fraction Week February 2016
The theme for this year’s Number Day was fractions. Throughout the week leading up to Number Day the children at Cliftonville school had been learning about fractions. Some had completed number investigations involving Lego, while others had used chocolate bars and pizzas to understand parts of a whole. A fraction orienteering course challenged our older pupils to think about how we need fractions to work out amounts in everyday life. In year 1 the children had a ½ party on Friday where everything they had was halved to share with a partner, this was really fun, with lots of laughs and smiles. As well as all the learning that went on a large amount of money was raised for the NSPCC, who organise National Number Day.
This year we were especially pleased that so many of our families got involved alongside their children using maths. We had a large group of parents playing maths games with their children and a few brave families battled it out on Friday after school to find the “Family Fraction Orienteering Champions”. The support from families is also really seen in the dressing up day where we had some amazing costumes and even a “ ½” plaited into one child’s hair. It has been a very special week with so much learning going on – fractions are certainly fun at Cliftonville Primary School!