Mathematics - a core subject
At AddMore Federation we are passionate about Maths! As Maths is a core subject, it is taught daily - both in discrete lessons and, whenever possible, incorporated into other areas of the curriculum such as Science, Geography and even Forest School! The National Curriculum describes mathematics as a “creative and highly inter-connected discipline” and explains that a high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. At AddMore Federation we certainly feel that we instil all these qualities into our pupils, and this is reflected in the positive way they approach and talk about maths. The National Curriculum sets out clear aims in mathematics to ensure all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practise with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- 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.
So, what does this look like at AddMore Federation?
Mathematics in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
In Reception, we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Framework. Maths is one of the seven areas of learning. The Maths curriculum is split into two different areas: ‘Number' and 'Shape, Space and Measure'. At AddMore Federation, we go to great lengths to give our children the best possible start in their Mathematics journey and ensure that they enjoy maths as much as we do! Maths is taught daily in a fun and meaningful way, giving the children frequent and varied opportunities to build upon and apply their mathematical understanding. The children are given the opportunity to use a variety of concrete apparatus to explore different maths concepts, helping them develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary. To complement the ‘Number’ section of the curriculum, we use the BBC programme ‘Numberblocks’ recommended by the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching in Maths. NCETM provides further resources for developing the key mathematical ideas that are embedded in the programmes.
Mathematics in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2
Years 1-6 follow the Maths Scheme of Work, ‘Maths No Problem’. This is a mastery approach to maths and the scheme is based on the Singapore model of maths teaching and learning. It adopts a spiral design that builds upon mathematical concepts and processes year on year and at the heart of this method is the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach. Using the CPA approach, each piece of maths is first taught using concrete materials (blocks, counters, beads, cubes etc.), then picture representations of those concrete materials, and then finally abstract symbols. CPA has been proven to be a highly effective approach to teaching maths which develops a deep and sustainable understanding. By using the CPA approach, children are given the opportunity to explore each maths concept in a much deeper way, ensuring solid foundations in their maths learning journey are well laid.
Using the ‘Maths No Problem’ scheme, concepts are revisited each year, in accordance with the National Curriculum and are continually built upon and reinforced. Each lesson is structured and delivered in such a way as to not only make learning accessible for all, but to make the learning of these maths skills a fun and enjoyable experience. It is in this way we believe lasting connections are made, supporting children’s firm basis of understanding to support them in their next phase of education.
Mathematics at home
In order to complement the learning in class, we believe it is important that children are able to access and regularly practise fundamental maths skills at home. Each half term the children are given ‘Key Instant Recall Facts’ to practise at home. These are age appropriate and in line with the National Curriculum. These key facts can be learnt in a variety of ways but are designed to be easy to follow and are learnt best in a ‘little and often’ way, for example, practising multiplication facts in the car or number bonds to ten with pasta pieces whilst cooking tea!
Each child has access to ‘Mathletics’, an online resource to practise maths skills which are based on the curriculum objectives for their year group. It allows our children to use and work through maths concepts at their own pace and has the opportunity to earn rewards and certificates which has proved very popular!
There are also a number of helpful free websites that can be accessed at home to help embed the key maths skills:
Teaching for mastery
Although we believe that we teach maths very well here at AddMore Federation, we are constantly striving to develop and improve our practice to ensure the very best learning experiences for our children. It is for this reason that we have recently enrolled on the Shaw Maths Hub ‘Teaching for Mastery’ programme. Enrolment on this programme will allow us access to additional training and materials to further enhance our children’s learning experience in maths and continue to foster our love and passion for the subject as a school!