At Hormead, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of Mathematics. Essentially, our ethos is that all children can be successful in the study of mathematics. Maths is for everyone! We teach the skills to ensure our children are resilient learners who become life-long Mathematicians. We aim to deliver an inspiring and engaging Mathematics curriculum through high quality teaching. In order to improve our mastery approach and improve the quality of our maths teaching, we have implemented the Power Maths approach this year.
The Power Maths approach enables children to be numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. Children should not be afraid to make mistakes and should fully embrace the fact that mistakes are part of learning. A mastery curriculum promotes a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject, so that children become fluent in calculations; possess a growing confidence to reason mathematically and hone their problem-solving skills.
The intention of the Maths curriculum at Hormead is for children to be excited about Maths. Developing a positive attitude to this subject is essential. Teachers promote children’s enjoyment of Maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of Maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. We ensure that challenge is provided for all children, whatever their understanding. Children are encouraged to be brave and push the boundaries, deepening their understanding further.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
We implement our approach through high quality teaching and the delivery of appropriately pitched daily Maths lessons across school from EYFS to Key Stage Two.
In Nursery, children receive an adult led Maths input on a weekly basis which focus on areas for development as identified through observations. Next steps are based on NCETM early years progression documents which identify stages most children will progress through on their mathematical journey. Maths is accessible through different areas of indoor and outdoor provision, where adult interactions through questioning and use of resources helps children to achieve their next step in mathematical development.
In Reception, children follow the mastery scheme of ‘White Rose’, alongside Power Maths, which transports children on their ‘journey to mastery’, learning the fundamentals behind the meanings of numbers to 20 and exploring other key mathematical areas, including shape and measurement. Children experience daily teaching inputs, followed by a weekly focused Maths activity which builds upon this teaching. A Maths area in class is used by children where they can independently access different mathematical resources. Maths is also accessible through different areas of indoor and outdoor provision, where adult interactions through questioning and use of resources helps children to achieve their next step in mathematical development.
In Years 1 and 2, children are taught through ‘Power Maths’ which complements the early learning of our EYFS children. Power Maths is designed to spark curiosity and excitement and help nurture confidence in Maths and is a recommended high-quality textbook which has been judged as ‘fully delivering a mastery approach’.
Power Maths uses ‘small steps’ to break down the teaching sequence into small achievable steps. Where children require additional support, ‘scaffolds’ are used to support children further to ensure that they have secured the small step before moving on. For children who understand a concept quicker, ‘stretch’ challenges are used to deepen and challenge learners further within the curriculum area. Progression documents are carefully used to ensure that children are not being stretched outside their year group but rather deepened within it.
Daily assessment is incorporated throughout the ‘Power Maths’ lesson through live and verbal feedback. Where children require additional support, ‘learning surgeries’ are used to support children ensuring that they are ready for the next ‘small step’. End of unit checks are worked through to ensure children are secure in their learning. Termly assessments are used as a diagnostic tool to ensure that teachers are adapting learning to meet the needs of all children and ensure that any necessary interventions are targeted specifically to meet the needs of children.
Maths is used across the curriculum as a method of embedding current skills as well as showing the purpose of why we need it in everyday life.
Ongoing formative assessment takes place within each Maths lesson. This includes: teacher observations, questioning, discussions and marking and feedback. These outcomes are fed forward into timely teacher intervention and subsequent planning to ensure gaps in knowledge are closed and progress is not limited.
Outcomes from both end of unit and end of term assessments are used to identify gaps in knowledge and will inform future planning. Pupil progress will also identify precise actions and objectives for targeted focus children, including those who are not likely to meet end of year expectations and/or not making expected progress.
We also use a system of pre-teaching and flashbacks to teach new skills and assess previous skills and knowledge taught throughout and at the start of different units of work.
All children in Year 4 will be required to take a statutory multiplication tables check (MTC) for the first time, in June this year. The purpose of the check is to determine whether pupils can fluently recall their times tables up to 12, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will also help our school to identify pupils who may need additional support.
More information for parents can be found in the guidance below.
At Hormead, we encourage children to use TT Rockstars, a useful website and App to support children in their recall of Time Tables.
Each week TT Rockstars concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised every third week or so.
This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 14,000 schools - both primary and secondary - worldwide.
You can download the App for free on most devices or practise online. Children are given opportunities to play TT Rockstars in school too!