'Maths is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms. It is about understanding' William Paul Thurston
We believe all pupils are mathematicians. All pupils will learn to use mathematics with confidence, understanding and enjoyment.
We aim to nurture children as Mathematicians who: talk about, question and discuss learning in mathematics, enjoy and value mathematics, can effectively and confidently use mathematics, who use and apply skills and knowledge of mathematics across all areas of learning.
At St Thomas we use a teaching for mastery approach based on research evidence. We follow continuous professional development through the National Center for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) and work closely with our local Maths Hub, work groups and regional lead.
Children’s chances of success are maximised if they develop deep knowledge and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts. 'Teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths.
Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.
All pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed.
Key components of teaching for mastery are identified as:
- Variation theory
- Children succeeding
- Understanding structures
- Learning facts
Our mathematics mastery curriculum includes NCETM's 'Five Big Ideas', drawn from research evidence. These include:
- Representation and structure
- Mathematical thinking
We want children to:
- develop mathematical language through using sentence frames to reason and discuss
- acquire mathematical language through using concrete, pictorial and abstract learning
- develop mathematical thinking and fluency through making connections and reasoning
- use pattern to make and share connections
Oracy is at the heart of our curriculum and the development of every child's mathematical vocabulary and understanding plays a crucial role in our curriculum design. We explicitly teach children to express their learning in whole sentences, reasoning and explaining what they know and why.
Beginning with an emphasis on number, mathematics is given high priority in our school. Mathematics is taught in a clear progression appropriate to the age and stage of the child which links directly with the national curriculum.
By using concrete resources e.g. counters, pictorial representations e.g. bar models and abstract concepts children develop a solid understanding of maths.
Using materials including the DfE Mathematics Guidance, Ready to Progress criteria, NCETM materials and White Rose maths, children are given the right tools to make good progress, deepen knowledge and skills and to apply their learning across the wider curriculum.
The key concepts in mathematics that we teach are:
- Number and place value
- Number facts
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
We use consistent representations across year groups to connect prior and new learning.
The development and use of precise and accurate language in mathematics is important, so we teach sentence structure for pupils to use to capture, connect and apply important mathematical ideas for example: ' If I know 8 plus 6 is equal to 14, then I also know 8 hundreds plus 6 hundreds is equal to 14 hundreds. 14 hundreds is equal to 1,400.'
We teach children to make connections between different aspects of mathematics. For example how division with remainders is connected to multiplication and fractions criteria. Children must have automatic recall of multiplication facts and related division facts, and to be able to recognise multiples before they can solve division problems with remainders. Children need to be able to identify the largest multiple of 7 that is less than 55 (in this case 49). They must then recall how may sevens there are in 49 and calculate the remainder.
Effective assessment through questioning helps us to identify the understanding that pupils need to be ready to progress to the next year group.
Children need to be able to choose and use efficient methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They must also have automatic recall of a core set of multiplicative and additive facts to enable them to focus on learning new concepts. Children must be fluent in multiplication and division facts by the end of Y4.
Children with special needs have learning scaffolded and have time to consolidate learning before moving on. More information for KS1 and KS2 can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1017683/Maths_guidance_KS_1_and_2.pdf
More information for EYFS can be found here: https://www.ncetm.org.uk/in-the-classroom/early-years/
Parent Mastering Number Workshop