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.