Maths at Meadowside
At Meadowside school we have a positive mindset approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics, believing that it is inclusive and that all children can and will achieve. We want them to make rich connections across mathematical ideas, developing fluency, reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We are committed to ensuring that children recognise the importance of maths in the wider world and aim to equip them with the skills they need in their lives beyond our school. We want all children to enjoy the subject, be curious and have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics.
We want to deliver lessons that are creative and engaging. We follow the Can Do Maths scheme of work for planning, alongside our own calculation policy. All classes implement a mastery approach, identifying precise, narrow key learning points that enable the large majority of children to progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. We focus on what it is, what it’s also and what it’s not as well as ensuring that children are given the opportunity to apply the skills learnt in reasoning and problem-solving activities. Differentiation is achieved through challenging depth of understanding, rather than prematurely accelerating onto superficial understanding of new mathematical content. In the Foundation Stage, they use the White Rose maths scheme, which is in line with the new Development Matters 2021. We have also adopted the Mastering Number Project from NCETM to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for children from Reception to Year 2.
Our lesson design is used flexibly and adapted when it is not suitable, for example in lessons designed for pupils to explore/investigate/discover a new concept or solve more complex problems that bring together several key learning points.
We use opportunities outside of the daily lesson to promote mathematical skills and thinking, including participation in whole school problem solving days, theme weeks, enterprise projects and using the Week of Inspirational Maths resources by Jo Boaler.
As well as being an integral part of every lesson, problem-solving and reasoning are the focus of our C.S.I. (Challenge, Solve, Investigate) Maths sessions. During these lessons, children have the opportunity to delve deeper into mathematics with extended investigations and reasoning tasks, unpicking structure and vocabulary and making connections with other areas of their maths learning. Sessions may be cross curricular linked and will often use low threshold, high ceiling activities. They are designed to promote perseverance, resilience and independence with appropriate levels of challenge for all.
We are constantly striving to develop our teaching of mathematics and to extend the level of challenge provided in all parts of our lessons, particularly for our high attaining mathematicians. These include moving children on more rapidly through the content as they are ready, and providing extra challenges related to the learning objective; providing context rich reasoning questions to apply fluency and calculation knowledge; sharing new concepts within the context of an initial related problem to prompt discussion; displaying the ‘Solve It’ task at the start of the lesson and working backwards, asking the children to identify what we need to know in order to find a solution; giving the children three questions and asking them to work out what the rule/learning point is. We promote oracy and discussion as well as written recording. In EYFS, much of the work is practical and recorded in a class floor book.
Lesson structure for all sessions except CSI sessions:
15 minutes – number sense
Sessions focus on key fluency facts and fundamental concepts identified for each year group. Through regular practise, these become embedded, freeing up the working memory to focus on other aspects of mathematics.
This is often at a different point in the day to the main maths session
40 minutes – direct teaching following the teaching for mastery approach:
Followed by immediate ‘prevent the gap’ intervention where necessary to enable the children to continue the learning journey with their peers.
This could be the same day or the next day BEFORE the next maths session. It may involve small groups within the lesson, supported by the teacher or TA.
To see what the children cover each year, you can find our Knowledge Organisers available to download here:
The Meadowside Calculation Policy can be found here.
What can I do to support my child?
The most important thing we encourage all parents to do is to be positive about maths. ‘I’m rubbish at maths’ is not what children need to hear! ‘Show me how you have worked that out’ is an example of how to speak to your child about maths. Maths is all around us. It’s at the supermarket, in the kitchen and waiting for a bus. Use opportunities to talk to your child about maths in the real world. This will help in the classroom.
Homework is provided for all children. Knowledge organisers are sent home each term so key learning can be reinforced. Children have an individual log in to Numbots or Times Table Rock Stars to support their learning and are expected to practise at home each week. Additional practice relating to the fundamentals of calculation are sent home if needed.
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