WPA Maths Overview
Maths is an extremely important subject area in life both inside and outside of the classroom. We invest a lot of time in Mathematics and set Maths learning in high esteem from Nursery up to Year 6.
The intent of our Mathematics curriculum is to provide children with a foundation for understanding number, reasoning, thinking logically and problem solving with resilience so that they are fully prepared for the future. It is essential that these keystones of Mathematics are embedded throughout all strands of the National Curriculum. By adopting a Mastery approach, it is also intended that all children, regardless of their starting point, will maximise their academic achievement and leave WPA with enthusiasm and security in Maths, resulting in a lifelong positive relationship with number. We ensure that we deliver a high quality maths curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge within other subjects and areas.
At Wantage Primary Academy, we teach Maths through a CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract). The Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach is a system of learning that uses physical and visual aids to build a child’s understanding of abstract topics. Pupils are introduced to a new mathematical concept through the use of concrete resources (e.g. fruit, Dienes blocks etc). When they are comfortable solving problems with physical aids, they are given problems with pictures – usually pictorial representations of the concrete objects they were using. Then they are asked to solve problems where they only have the abstract i.e. numbers or other symbols. Building these steps across a lesson can help pupils better understand the relationship between numbers and the real world, and therefore helps secure their understanding of the mathematical concept they are learning.
In KS1 and KS2, discrete Maths sessions are taught daily for 60-70 minutes each day. During these sessions, all children receive high-quality whole class teaching and are provided with ample opportunity to share their ideas, results and recordings with each other. We aim to give our children a solid grounding before moving onto more complicated mathematical concepts, giving them the confidence to build on skills already gained. We use Maths for Mastery model by the White Rose Maths Hub, ensuring children gain an in-depth understanding of Maths by teaching fluency, reasoning and problem solving in each lesson. Children use the unique star challenge to guide their learning and ensure the lid is lifted for all learners, including those with SEND needs and more able pupils. All children, regardless of their starting points are expected to answer fluency – reasoning and problem solving questions within a Maths session. We also teach quick fire 10 minute fluency sessions per week, which focus on areas of fluency that are imperative to making good progress such as number bonds, times tables and shape facts. We use the Maths overviews and small steps to support planning and teaching: https://whiterosemaths.com/resources/primary
Early Years implementation
Children in Nursery and Reception are taught Maths in daily whole class sessions and follow up tasks using the objectives and guidance from the Early Years Foundation Stage framework. The teaching of Maths in the EYFS involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, subitising, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, patterns and measures.
Children develop their understanding through planned, purposeful play and through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. In Nursery, we use Ten Town to build up the children’s ‘Numbernessness’ i.e. teaching the threeness of three, the fourness of four and so on. Children are taught songs and rhymes to help them to recognize and form numbers. Whole class Nursery Maths focused Maths sessions are guided by White Rose Maths and guided group work and independent tasks continue the learning daily. There are opportunities to undertake Maths activities within continuous provision and outdoor play and enhancements linked to the current learning. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through having access to a wider variety of problems, whilst those children who are not sufficiently fluent in their understanding will be given opportunities to further develop their understanding before moving on, working on small focus tasks with an adult.
In Reception, whole class sessions are planned for daily using White Rose Maths guidance. In Reception we assess the children’s understanding regularly and they are questioned within their learning to ensure challenge is correctly pitched. Following a whole class teaching session, children will then have a follow up task which involves: working with the teacher, independent learning, extended provision opportunities and continuous play opportunities. All children are expected to carry out Maths learning daily. Where children do not grasp a concept, interventions and gap-filling tasks are offered the same day to ensure children make progress. We employ in a ‘keep up, not catch up’ approach.
Through the implementation of a progressive Maths curriculum, our children are showing that they are gaining a broader understanding of Mathematical concepts, developing their critical thinking and becoming independent learners. Maths at WPA provides children with a deeper understanding of the subject and enables them to make connections and fluently apply mathematical skills and strategies to a range of situations and problems. This ensures children fully understand what they are learning and when and why strategies can be used in the real world. Progression of skills documents enable staff to have a clear vision of what children have previously been taught and what their next steps will be in their learning. Our children are immersed in memorable Maths lessons which improves metacognition and are exposed to rich mathematical vocabulary developing their reasoning and problem-solving skills. As a result, children speak incredibly highly and confidently about Maths and achieve highly in year. The impact of what we desire to achieve at WPA is evident throughout children’s enjoyment of mathematics and their abilities, confidence and progress. We can also see that 87% of Reception achieved maths ARE and 88% of KS1 (July 2022) – which was also moderated externally
White Rose Maths is an organisation which provides maths resources and Schemes of Learning for pupils of all ages, from early years to secondary school. The Schemes of Learning (SOL) outline yearly frameworks that break down what children need to learn during each week of each term to master the learning objectives laid out by the National Curriculum. Our planning, teaching and independent tasks align with the White Rose Maths frameworks and are designed to be engaging and consistent, to help pupils develop a love of learning and understanding of concepts. At the heart of their resources and frameworks is the motto “Everyone Can Do Maths: Everyone Can!” — a slogan that we wholeheartedly agree with!
Their mission is to support teachers and parents all over the UK in helping children work towards maths mastery and change attitudes towards this subject, encouraging a growth mindset in teachers and learners. The philosophy behind White Rose Maths also focuses on making maths make sense for children and helping them to find enjoyment in number problems. We know that when children are engaged in learning and enjoying maths, that’s when lessons really sink in and deep learning happens.
Pupils are not considered ‘low ability’ or allowed to feel like they ‘can’t do maths’. Instead, a positive ‘can-do’ attitude is encouraged and children are taught to enjoy working with numbers. The White Rose Maths yearly frameworks outline which topics to cover. By revisiting topics, we encourage fluency, the whole class progress at a similar pace, closing the attainment gap. https://whiterosemaths.com/resources/primary
Our Maths teaching encourages independence and the learning environments are designed to support this. This includes Maths working walls, a selection of resources, Maths organisers and Sentence stems