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Our Maths Curriculum

The Maths Curriculum


'Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.'

- Shakuntala Devi, Indian mathematican, writer and mental calculations expert


Inspire - The Maths Curriculum at Spinney Hill

At Spinney Hill Primary School, we know that children learn most effectively through a mathematics curriculum which progressively develops children’s knowledge, skills and understanding of number, reasoning and problem solving in real-life and relatable situations. Our maths curriculum sparks children’s curiosity, develops their reasoning and systematically embeds core concepts and knowledge in order that children are prepared for the next stage in their learning and have the skills which will enable them to get on in the wider world of education and employment. Alongside nurturing children’s confidence in maths, our curriculum also challenges children, allowing them to develop their resilience and independence as they think of alternative ways and methods to solve problems through discussion and debate. Teachers know this is best achieved through our inclusive mastery approach: we know that all children can make progress, develop a deeper understanding of concepts and apply skills in different contexts when the ‘big ideas’ are broken down into small, connected steps, and learning supported at all stages through interactive ‘ping-pong’ style teaching, clear representations and the use of manipulatives. Our maths curriculum is enquiry led to ensure the children actively question and communicate their ideas and strategies, thinking critically at every step, and this is supported by purposeful, scaffolded oracy which embeds key mathematical vocabulary and enables children to talk articulately about mathematics and constructively challenge the ideas of others.


Support and Grow - How we teach maths

We have chosen to use Power Maths as the central driver for our mathematics curriculum because of its strong foundations in developing a mastery of concepts through problem solving and its link to the White Rose Maths which provide teachers with a range of high-quality mathematical resources. Power Maths places enormous emphasis on language development with the expectation that all children can achieve. The scheme serves as the basis for our mathematics policy, covers all the requirements of the national curriculum and segues into the demands of our teaching and learning strategy because it is language rich, enquiry driven and reasoning based. As such, it provides a consistent and coherent approach to the teaching of maths across the EYFS, Key Stage 1 and 2. This ensures children’s knowledge and understanding are developed incrementally and they are prepared for the next stage in their learning. Across F2 and Key Stage 1, children’s learning is supplemented by the Mastering Number program which aims to secure a firm foundation in the number sense of all children.

The structure and delivery of maths lessons is consistent across the school.  

  • Prior to teaching, all teachers access supporting resources to complement their understanding of the different aspects of teaching for mastery, what the ‘small steps’ in learning are and where misconceptions may arise. These also clarify the focus for the development of vocabulary. All teachers adapt lessons as necessary, supporting learning with additional White Rose and NCETM resources.
  • Prior to the lesson or at the start of lesson, the Power Up fluency task reactivates prior learning, consolidates number facts and establishes the tone of new learning. These may be incorporated into the ‘last term, last month, last week and yesterday’ retrieval task.
  • The enquiry question is introduced and the purpose of learning discussed; for example, What is data and why might it be presented as a table?
  • Learning is contextualised and put into a real life context; for example, Where will you come across a table and why do you need to be able to make sense of it – interpret it?
  • Children share, explore and learn from a concrete Discover problem, presented with some focused questions to guide their thinking. Working with learning partners, children grapple with the problem and are encouraged to extend their reasoning and consider in how many ways the problem could be solved or how a strategy could be explained orally or in writing. Where necessary children are supported by the use of manipulatives.
  • After the Discover stage, children discuss their learning in a Share activity. During this whole-class, interactive learning phase, children share their thinking and look for the best or alternative ways to solve the problem. Teachers ask ‘the right questions’ (see teaching and learning strategy) to unpick, develop and share learning. Talk, discussion and use of technical vocabulary are encouraged at every step, and mistakes ‘celebrated’ and learnt from. Where possible, children will amend and improve their work in green pen.
  • During the Share stage, teachers will clearly and succinctly model, sharing their thought process as they do so – the ‘I’ of the ‘I, we, you’.
  • The lesson then moves into a Think Together section.  Teacher questioning and discussion enable children to solve problems in collaboration with a partner. Learning is checked regularly and children offer alternative ways they may have solved the problems. Again, green pens are regularly used by children to correct and improve their work as they move through the pictorial and abstract stages. When appropriate, scaffolds and representations are steadily removed as children move onto the independent task.
  • In the Practice section, children use their Practice Books to apply and rehearse what they’ve learned independently but always with access to support. Initial questions develop children’s fluency through scaffolded questions before they move onto more abstract problems and, finally, the Challenge question which makes links to other areas of their learning. ‘Digging Deeper’ tasks are always available and teachers ensure these linked to deepening reasoning around the current area of study.
  • The Reflect section brings each lesson to a conclusion, and this often involved teachers selecting key questions form the practice book and investigating with children how these were answered.
  • Following the lesson, teachers complete the school’s ‘live marking’ sheets, recording from their teachers assessments and feedback what was successful, areas of learning in need of further development in the next lesson and children who require extra support, including those working both below or above expectations.

Teachers are encouraged to amend lessons and supplement resources depending on the needs of children and groups of learners in their class. However, the ‘ping-pong’ or ‘I, we, you’ approach to teaching, alongside the questioning which develops discussion, reasoning and checks for understanding, the use of scaffolds to structure this and teacher ‘thinking-aloud’ modelling will feature in all lessons. Throughout units of work, mathematical generalisations are developed with the children to embed small steps, ensure retention of key knowledge and understanding, and to aid retrieval. These serve as a key feature of maths working walls in all classrooms as well as serving as a mantra throughout lessons.


Achieve - How we ensure children are ready for the next stage in their learning

Assessment is key to understanding impact and the standards that our children are achieving. Assessment procedures allow us to compare outcomes against all schools nationally at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2. We strive for children to reach at least the age appropriate standard and to be in line with or above national expectations. We also strive to ensure that our children’s progress across all year groups is at least good taking into account their different starting points. To gain a broad understanding of all the children’s standards, formative and summative assessments include on-going feedback and checking for understanding within lessons, teacher led marking, completion of unit Learning Journeys,  and both unit and termly tests. The information gained from our assessments, including that from ‘live marking’, is used to inform future lessons and planning and ensures that all children develop knowledge and skills at the appropriate pace and any gaps identified are narrowed or eliminated where possible. Retrieval is integral to the children’s retention of knowledge and fluency development and takes place through ‘last year/term/week’ activities, completion of learning journeys and within lessons, for example, revisiting generalisations. Children’s progress is recorded on the school’s Learning Ladders tracking system on an on-going basis and both assessment judgements and work are moderated within school and externally with local schools at key points throughout the year. At Termly pupil progress meetings, the progress and achievement of all pupils is discussed and recognised, time limited interventions put in place where needed. The maths team undertake termly monitoring and evaluation. Learning walks, book sampling, analysis of learning journeys and monitoring of learning environments are carried out by the subject leaders to evaluate the quality of teaching and learning, identify how ready children are for the next stage in their learning and areas in need of development. Subject leaders also conduct pupil interviews to ensure pupils are retaining prior-learning and are making connections between different areas of study.