At Roche CP School we are into our third year of our Mastery Maths journey. We are fully embracing the 3 main aims of the National Curriculum. (Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning.)
We want our children to be fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics. We believe if children can manipulate numbers confidently, accurately, efficiently and flexibly they will then be able to work on their problem solving and reasoning skills more successfully. At Roche we don’t just encourage number crunching activities. We have spent time researching and currently are creating our own Maths Policy that also links in with our Written Method Calculation Policy. Our Maths Policy has put the National Curriculum objectives into blocks (See Long Term Plan). They are then sequenced to allow children to make connections between their work. This sequenced order is highlighted in our Maths books which show a clear story of the children’s Maths journeys within an area of Maths, for example, the story of Place Value. This will help children with conceptual understanding as well as procedural. Within an objective we break it down into small steps and focus on it practically, pictorially and then abstractly. This allows children to gain a deeper understanding of Maths concepts. We ‘linger longer’ so our children experience variation, depth and breadth within their year group.
We consistently use representations within our school. (See our resources board.) We are lucky to have the same Maths resources in all our classrooms. This allows children to understand Maths concepts. The aim is to get our children to be able to then do Maths without representations.
Once the children have worked through the fluency elements of objectives we then move onto problem solving and reasoning, which you will see examples of on our Maths Policy. We want our children to have perseverance as well as having a ‘can do’ attitude when problem solving. Equally we won’t settle for just answers anymore in Maths. We encourage pupils to give their answers using mathematical language in which the context is given. We now require children to reason mathematically. We use simple questions such as: Why? How do you know? What happens if…? And Prove it!
We are also prioritising specific mathematical language within our lessons. We encourage children to discuss, reason and convince peers and teachers. We have spent time this year going into specific detail for simple Maths concepts e.g. 3 x 4 = 12. What does the 4 represent? We have also taught the children definitions for several key Maths concepts e.g. An array is a set of objects in rows and columns.
We had identified within maths that lack of arithmetic skills were inhibiting some of our pupils and pupils were forgetting concepts and procedures from one year to the next. To counteract this the Maths Team put in place an arithmetic timetable, ensuring that every year group was getting weekly practise in number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division and (where appropriate) manipulation of fractions, decimals and percentages. We also have a marking policy specifically for Maths that all staff and pupils adhere to.
We are proud to have worked with the Cornwall and Devon Maths Hub in 2016-2017. Here we gained some great ideas which inspired us to create our own Maths Policy that fits the needs of our school and allows us to be consistent.
This year we are part of a Strategic School Improvement Fund Maths Project run by Cornwall Teaching School called ‘Strength in Numbers.’ We are excited to gain more expertise from Mastery Maths specialists and SLEs.
We also work with our MAT (TPAT) on a regular basis. The Primary Maths lead within TPAT is Chris Gould who is a Headteacher and Head of the Cornwall and Devon Maths Hub. He visits us termly to support us for school improvement within Maths.