Mathematics Curriculum Rationale
At St Luke’s we recognise that Mathematics is essential for everyday life and an understanding of our world. It enables the development of pupils’ natural ability to think logically and solve puzzles and real life problems. Children learn to think creatively and make links between mathematical concepts through exploring patterns in the number system, shape, measures and statistics. They make and discuss propositions, explaining their reasoning and justifying their answers. They develop the skills, knowledge and efficient methods of calculation necessary to support their economic future and problem solving in life.
Mathematics is an important creative discipline that helps us to understand and change the world. We want all pupils at St Luke’s to experience the beauty, power and enjoyment of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity about the subject with a clear understanding. At St Luke’s we foster positive can do attitudes and we promote the fact that ‘We can all do maths!’ We believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable steps. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems. At our school, the majority of children will be taught the content from their year group only. They will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways.
Problem solving is at the heart of all our mathematical learning and teaching. Every learning journey begins with a rich problem that is ‘discovered’ by the children. They identify what skills they will need to develop to be able to solve the problem and this is discussed alongside their peers. These skills are then developed throughout a series of following lessons using a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach (CPA). Towards the end of the learning journey, the children have the opportunity to solve the problem and others that require a similar skill. By constructing the learning journey in this way, the children are given the opportunity to see how mathematical skills can be applied to real life problems therefore giving them a context.
As well as adapting and using the Power Maths scheme in our Reception classes, the fundamentals of Maths are also delivered to our youngest children through the Mastering Number Programme. This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.
In Reception and Year 1, in addition to direct teaching, the carefully thought out continuous provision allows our children to build on skills which provide a strong foundation for their mathematical development throughout school. Both the environment (indoor and out) and skilled practitioners foster curiosity and encourage explorative play. Our children are motivated to use a variety of mathematical equipment to express their ideas. They are provided with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understand and use numbers, calculate simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures; and to problem solve.
At St Luke’s we follow Power Maths – a whole-class, textbook-based mastery resource that empowers every child to understand and succeed. This provides the children with carefully built sequences of lessons, which build their skills, as well as allowing the opportunities to apply prior skills taught. Each year group has a set of learning and assessment opportunities which allow for progression and mastery. In addition to this, we also teach a set of maths passport skills throughout each year group to support the teaching of number facts for recall and fluency.
Throughout each school year the teachers plan ample opportunities for children to apply their mathematical skills to other subjects. All subjects are taught discretely but staff make meaningful links where appropriate, for example, collating and interpreting data collected as part of research carried out in a traffic survey for Geography.
We use both summative and formative assessment information in every lesson. The teachers question the children with open and closed questions, encouraging the children to reason, explain and prove. We use the information collated from this to inform our future planning and provide intervention where necessary.
Assessment information is collated each half term and analysed as part of our monitoring programme, which includes book scrutinies, lesson observations, learning walks and pupil voice. This monitoring allows us to make sure that each child is receiving a comprehensive education in Mathematics.
Our maths books evidence work of a good standard; the range of activities demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our feedback and interventions support children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be.