At The Wilfred Owen School, we strive for all children to have a positive attitude towards Mathematics, to be fluent across the fundamental mathematical concepts and to have a secure and deep understanding of their mathematics so that they can reason and apply their understanding to problem solving situations.
As a mathematician, a child at The Wilfred Owen School will develop these essential characteristics:
- An understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics.
- A broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics.
- Fluent knowledge and recall of number facts and the number system.
- The ability to show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts, including the new or unusual.
- The ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with challenges, showing a confidence of success.
- The ability to embrace the value of learning from mistakes and false starts.
- The ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions.
- Fluency in performing written and mental calculations and mathematical techniques.
- A wide range of mathematical vocabulary.
- A commitment to and passion for the subject.
A deep understanding is achieved by learning each topic in greater depth. Children master concepts rather than learning procedures by rote. Number sense and place value comes first and is of great importance as it underpins everything mathematical. We recognise that fluency is not just about remembering facts but being able to apply those facts to all areas of their mathematical learning and beyond.
Each unit of work, for example place value, fractions or algebra, will be introduced with a pre-test. This will be a short, focussed test on the area of study to inform teacher’s planning, to identify gaps in learning and discover misconceptions. Pre-tests take place throughout a term in accordance with the long term plan of the class. At the end of each unit, a post-test will be used to assess the learning throughout the block, measure progress and identify targets for children in subsequent units of work. A tracking grid, linked to each area of study will be added to each child’s book upon completion of a pre-test and a post-test. This will highlight the progress made and immediately inform the next steps for learning.
In addition to this, each class completes a series of termly NFER maths assessments linked to the children’s arithmetic and reasoning ability. These will be used to monitor and support children’s performance. These assessments will also be used at whole school level to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, to identify where interventions may be required and to work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and expected attainment.
In The Early Years Foundation Stage, within 6 weeks of the child starting they will be given a ‘baseline’ assessment. In Reception children will be assessed using NFER Baseline Assessment. Towards the end of reception children are then assessed against the maths early learning goals. Similarly, at the end of Key Stage 2 children’s abilities are formally assessed through SATs. During a week in May the children in year 6 will complete three maths assessments; arithmetic, reasoning paper 1 and reasoning paper 2. These will be marked externally.
Children’s attainment and progress will be discussed at Parent Evenings which take place during the school year. Teachers are also available for informal consultation if parents wish to discuss their child’s learning at other points. End of year reports will comment on children’s attainment and progress and key assessment data will be included in these reports.
At The Wilfred Owen School, we teach the three aims of the National Curriculum, fluency, reasoning and problem solving, through the White Rose, mastery approach.
The mastery approach is a belief that:
- all children are capable of understanding and using Mathematics;
- children who are efficient in their fluency skills are able to apply them to a range of increasingly complex problems;
- children who have access to concrete resources, are able to represent through pictures and diagrams and as a result access abstract symbols to create a depth of understanding;
- all children are challenged at their own level, with support being given to struggling learners, and explorations of concepts at greater depth for the children exceeding at their age level;
- Mastery learning is transferable to a range of problems, teaching children to think outside the box, be efficient, be resilient, make connections and apply real life contexts to their learning.
At the beginning of the year teachers at The Wilfred Owen School adapt the White Rose long term plans to suit the needs of their class. We believe this is important as it personalises the learning for our pupils. By doing this we aim to support children to achieve to their highest ability by building upon their foundation blocks. These long term plans include the main topic being taught, an oral or mental starter and a problem solving skill focus. We use a starter focus to ensure we revisit concepts throughout the year in order to move them into the children's long term memory. In addition to this we use the White Rose Flashback 4's at the beginning of every lesson for year's 1-6. These work in a similar way to the starter focus but they also consolidate learning from previous year groups.
Teachers then use the White Rose Medium term plans to plan daily maths lessons. Each lesson will have a fluency, reasoning or problem solving focus. Every week, each class will focus on a specific problem solving skill such as; working systematically, pattern spotting, conjecturing, trial and improvement, working backwards, reasoning logically and visualising. We strongly believe that exposing children to key problem solving skills will enable them to become confident and competent problem solvers who are able to apply their enquiry skills to a range of different contexts.
In addition to this, in each class, we focus on embedding and developing key number facts. Therefore, children are given a maths fact and number fact booklet to work through during their time at The Wilfred Owen School. The children begin these books in reception class. Children are encouraged to learn the facts at home and in school. Our staff in school will then test the children weekly to ensure they have learnt the facts. Every child who completes a number fact book successfully is presented with a Wilfred Owen bear in our Friday assembly. The first set of books are related to number facts, such as, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The second block of booklets develop general Maths facts and information linked to the National Curriculum for each year group. These can include shape, measure, time and other key areas of Maths.
At The Wilfred Owen School, we use two main maths focussed games called Times Table Rockstars and Numbots. Times Table Rockstars is used to support the children's quick recall of their multiplication tables. The children begin to use Times Table Rockstars when they start year 2. They continue to use this app throughout their time at The Wilfred Owen School. Each week certificates are awarded to the children who gained the most coins, improved their speed the most or gained the quickest speed in their class or key stage. Numbots is aimed at boosting addition and subtraction skills for all aged children. The children begin logging in to Numbots in Reception. Children are encouraged play little and often at home and in school as this will significantly improve their understanding of number bonds and addition and subtraction facts. Numbots cleverly adapts to a child's strengths or weaknesses. If a child is struggling with a particular objective, Numbots will adapt the game to support the child through their learning process.
Our school also have maths ambassadors. A group of children are at the forefront of promoting Maths throughout the school. This team of children will meet regularly to work alongside the maths subject lead to undertake some of the following responsibilities:
- Run and manage whole school maths competitions.
- Support children in KS1 with basic mathematical recall facts (number bonds etc.).
- Run a drop in session for children in KS2 who need further support with their homework.
- Facilitate a lunchtime club that will focus on a variety of different skills, including problem solving.
- Help to upkeep the new Maths display
- Update the maths blog.
- Take visitors and school Governors on maths themed learning walks.
The Maths Ambassador Team will meet regularly to discuss various items.
Our rationale will be implemented through the following coverage:
- Know and use numbers
This concept involves understanding the number system and how they are used in a wide variety of mathematical ways.
- Add and subtract
This concept involves understanding both the concepts and processes of addition and subtraction.
- Multiply and divide
This concept involves understanding both the concepts and processes of multiplication and division.
- Use fractions
This concept involves understanding the concept of part and whole and ways of calculating using it.
- Understand the properties of shapes
This concept involves recognising the names and properties of geometric shapes and angles.
- Describe position, direction and movement
This concept involves recognising various types of mathematical movements.
- Use measures
This concept involves becoming familiar with a range of measures, devices used for measuring and calculations.
- Use statistics
This concept involves interpreting, manipulating and presenting data in various ways.
- Use algebra
This concept involves recognising mathematical properties and relationships using symbolic representations.
This concept involves building the bridge between fluency and problem solving, enabling children to apply logical and critical thinking to maths.
- Problem solving
This concept involves exploring the seven problem solving skills and enhancing children’s mathematical understanding and development through completing a variation of problems.