Intent, Implementation & Impact
As with all other subjects at St Paul’s, we want pupils to develop the characteristics of learners outlined in DESIRE. We want our pupils to enjoy maths, to develop resilience and to be determined to solve the problems they approach. We believe all pupils can be successful mathematicians and we strive to ensure that girls and boys all attain the highest standards possible.
Our intent is that all children will develop fluency in maths through lessons that enable them to understand and remember mathematical knowledge, concepts and procedures. We place a lot of emphasis on children learning number facts and know that children have to have time to practise using new procedures to ensure that they are embedded and remembered.
In Reception, children’s early understanding of number is developed through carefully sequenced learning about individual numbers and their patterns. In KS1, learning takes place in blocks to give children the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the basics of number & arithmetic, as well as other aspects of maths, to ensure they have a firm foundation on which to build. Children in Reception & KS1 also participate in Mastering Number sessions to help to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children. Throughout KS2, topics are regularly repeated and revisited to further ensure overlearning, resulting in rapid and accurate recall and confident mathematicians. From KS1 on, one lesson a week is dedicated to practising arithmetic skills. In KS2 children’s knowledge of times tables, arithmetic and number facts (‘Measures’) are reinforced weekly to ensure that knowledge is retained and that children can apply their knowledge to problems that require reasoning.
The expectation is that the vast majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. All children are expected to be exposed to age related expectations. Regular and ongoing formative assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to enable the success of each child. Timely intervention is key for children identified as falling behind or with SEN. This may be done as early morning work or children will be taken out if a smaller group focus is required. If there is a significant SEND that means the child cannot access any of their year group’s learning, a different approach will be used and this will be set out in their IEP / EHCP. Other children with SEN may have maths targets in their IEP that are worked on in addition to class lessons, ensuring exposure to year group expectations is still in place when appropriate.
Reasoning and problem solving are an integral part of maths lessons at St Paul’s, enabling children to use, develop competence in, and deepen understanding of, the prerequisite mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills that are necessary to succeed in the tasks set. In KS2 this is done partly through the use of ‘Think Pink’ questions or mastery extensions. In KS1 it is usually done through questioning during lessons, during plenaries or as next steps in marking.
New content is introduced in manageable steps, lesson by lesson, carefully building on previous steps. Appropriate sequencing is key to successful learning in maths. Concrete then pictorial models and images are used before moving onto abstract methods to help children to understand new content so that pupils learn more, remember more and can do more.
Formative assessment takes place in lessons and planning is flexible so that gaps can be addressed promptly to enable children to keep up with their peers wherever possible or be moved on to deepen understanding if learning is quicker than expected. Teachers use questioning within lessons to identify and help children needing extra support within that lesson wherever possible. Marking also informs teachers of children’s understanding and any gaps that need filling are quickly addressed with the whole class or groups as necessary, either during the next lesson or during an intervention group.
In Reception, assessment is ongoing. In KS1, cold and hot tasks will be used to assess children’s knowledge at the beginning and end of each block. KS2 use Rising Stars tests half termly to assess what children know and remember. All teachers have half termly pupil progress meetings with the Head, and pupils behind age-related expectations are identified and strategies are put in place to help them to learn the mathematical skills and knowledge necessary to catch up with their peers.
We know teachers must have sufficient mathematical and teaching content knowledge to deliver topics effectively. We are confident that this is strong throughout the school. We strive to maintain an open and cohesive working environment as staff at St Paul’s so that teachers and teaching assistants are confident in asking their team leaders or the maths subject leader for advice when it is required. Team planning and team meetings also provide opportunities for support to be provided if and when it’s required.
Children at St Paul’s enjoy maths and our KS2 results are always above National & the Local Authority.