Mathematics is all around us; it is an important part of the world in which we live and to function in society we need to able to think and communicate mathematically.
At Heber, we believe that every student should be encouraged to develop an enthusiasm and love for mathematics through experiencing a wide range of challenging activities. In order to achieve this we have developed a rich mathematical curriculum that is accessible to everyone but at the same time insists on challenge for all. With the guidance of the teacher, children take ownership of their learning, using their experiences of a topic area to inform their pathway through each and every lesson, by choosing bronze, silver or gold tasks that reflect their learning needs. This ensures progress for all children is optimised as a result.
Alongside a rigorous approach to developing each child’s building blocks of maths through developing their fluency in the subject, we invite our learners to make decisions, to explain their findings and to reflect. Teachers promote discussion and communication within each lesson, with an expectation that accurate mathematical vocabulary is used. Opportunities to problem solve and apply understanding to previously unseen contexts are regularly used to deepen each child’s understanding of a concept, before moving on to new content.
Our aim at Heber is to build passionate and resilient mathematicians who have a strong base in number and place value, and who have regular opportunities to problem solve and reason in order to deepen their understanding of concepts. We believe that every child, no matter what their starting point, has the right to a curriculum that enables them progress as a mathematician through exciting and engaging experiences informed by the National Curriculum.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. They should develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. This is an in which we strongly value the support of parents and carers and includes skills such as times tables, number bonds, and calculation for the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).
Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The main areas in the programme of study for mathematics are called domains. These are number (including ratio and proportion and algebra), measurement, geometry and statistics. Each area is divided into subdomains. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range – every year group has a unique combination of domains and subdomains.
At Heber we follow the ‘White Rose’ scheme of learning, which provides a termly plan for each year group from Year 1 to Year 6. Each term is split into twelve weeks. As part of each overview, a significant amount of time is devoted to developing key number concepts each year. This ensures students build their fluency as number sense will affect their success in other areas of mathematics. Students who are successful with number are much more confident mathematicians.
At Heber we recognise the importance of establishing a secure conceptual understanding before standard written methods are introduced. In order to support the teaching of our ‘challenge curriculum’,’ we have implemented the CPA approach (concrete-pictorial-abstract).
Each skill or concept is first modelled with concrete materials (e.g. unifix cubes, base ten blocks, beans and bean sticks, pattern blocks).
The mathematical concept or skill is next modelled at the representational level which involves drawing pictures that represent the concrete objects previously used (e.g. tallies, dots, circles, stamps that imprint pictures for counting)
The mathematical concept/skill is finally modelled at the abstract level (using only numbers and mathematical symbols).
Challenge Curriculum: Bronze, Silver and Gold:
Lessons give the children opportunities to explore concepts and tasks first, in order to inform the level of challenge they move on to. This ensures that teachers are reactive to the children’s needs before facilitating appropriate learning designed to enable progress for each individual. Pupils then choose their level of challenge (bronze, silver, gold), with guidance where necessary. Their choice of challenge may vary from day-to-day and topic-to-topic. This allows them to have autonomy over their learning but also be supported in developing their understanding of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Fluency in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the domains at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. They are provided with opportunities to practise and extend their skills in these areas and to gain confidence and competence in their use. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding, including additional practice if needed, before moving on.
Mathematics is taught as a discrete subject but every effort is made to link maths with other areas of the curriculum. We try to identify the mathematical possibilities across the curriculum at the planning stage. We also draw children’s attention to the links between maths and other curricular work so children see that maths is not an isolated subject.
At Heber we value strong partnerships with parents and carers. As a result, we put on a number of parent workshops designed to help parents support children in their learning. We also make use of online learning platforms (Mathletics and Times Tables Rockstars) in order to further foster a love for learning beyond the classroom and to give parents a better idea of what the children are learning about in their lessons:
Mathletics is a powerful learning resource which, when used regularly*, has a significant impact on every child’s progress and attainment. Your child has access to Mathletics at home and school through a unique username and password which is given to them by their class teacher. The class teacher can set activities to support home learning that your child can complete online using a computer or tablet. These activities are directly linked to the maths learning in class and should be completed with the aid of writing equipment in order for children to calculate answers if needed.
Parents and carers can sign up for a parent account at: www.mathletics.co.uk/parents. This will allow you to receive weekly progress reports about your child’s use of Mathletics and see where they are spending their time, their strengths and areas to work on.
(*Regular use is defined as students completing 3 or more curriculum activities per week which can equate to as little as 20 minutes. It is recommended that 5 minutes is spent on ‘Mathletics live’ for their mental maths skills and then 15 minutes on curriculum activities)’
Times Tables Rockstars
This online learning platform for times tables is a favourite with the children! Children are provided with unique log in details and can customise their rock avatar before using online games, printables and interactive tools to deepen their conceptual understanding of times tables and develop quick recall of times table facts. The times tables questions each child is presented with can be customised in order to give our children the best chance of making progress in this area of fluency. In addition, a fortnightly ‘Battle of the Bands’ pitches year group classes against each other, with results shared and celebrated in our weekly merit assembly. Children who improve their recall are also celebrated as their ‘Rock Status’ develops over time.
Maths home learning is set weekly on a Friday and includes the following:
A paper based number bonds task (Year 1) or a paper based times tables task (Years 2-6).
A fluency task linked to the previous week’s learning (through Mathletics or paper based).
Please encourage your child to complete both tasks. It is particularly important that children are meeting age-related expectations with regards to times tables, as so much of the maths curriculum depends on fluency in this area. Please contact your class teacher for any home learning queries.
A link to our Times Tables Policy can be found here.
Assessment and Interventions
Teachers make regular use of assessment within lessons in order to inform each child’s pathway through a lesson, reacting to needs and facilitating progress. Purpose - Continual progress for all. Because all children learn differently and progress at varying rates throughout their time in school, we also make use of summative assessments (end of unit or end of term assessments). These assessments help us to identify children whose progress may have begun to plateau. We then make use of consultation with the child’s teacher, as well as a deeper analysis of the child’s assessments and learning to date, in order to inform narrowly focussed and impactful interventions that keep children from falling behind.
Times tables assessments
Children also undergo half termly times tables assessments from Year 2, at the point which the tables are introduced through our curriculum. This prepares children for their statutory times tables assessment in Year 4, and is used to inform teaching of the tables moving forward. Progress is celebrated and recorded internally at the school. There are four assessments your child might complete half termly depending on where they are in their learning journey:
|Times Tables Included||Time Limit|
|Bronze||48||2, 3, 4, 5, 10||10 minutes|
|Silver||95||Bronze plus 6, 7, 8, 9 (with related division)||8 minutes|
|Gold||95||Silver plus 11, 12 (with related division, squares and square roots)||6 minutes|
|Platinum||95||Gold plus extending into decimal facts and multiples of 10 (e.g. 2 x 0.3, and 2 x 30)||5 minutes|
Our calculation policy for the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) can be found here.