The teaching of maths at The Woodland Federation aims to provide the children with a foundation for understanding maths in the world around them through:
a fluency in number skills appropriate for their age
an ability to reason mathematically
an ability to solve mathematical problems
an appreciation of the power and beauty of mathematics
a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about mathematics
We follow a mastery curriculum. The expectation is that most children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. All children are given the opportunity to think more deeply about mathematical processes, with an emphasis on being able to reason and problem solve. Children who grasp new concepts more quickly are asked to apply their thinking to more challenging contexts. Children who take longer to achieve fluency or to apply a new concept are helped to consolidate their learning before moving on. Same day interventions are used to enable pupils to “keep up” rather than “catch up”, the aim being that that misconceptions are “nipped in the bud” at the point where they occur. Decisions about when to move on are made on the basis of this level of understanding, rather than a fixed point in the school year.
The curriculum is planned in blocks of work around the different areas of maths, based on the White Rose Maths schemes of learning. There is a great emphasis on number work in the first half of the year. Spending longer on mastering these key number topics helps to build a child’s confidence and to secure their understanding With a firm foundation in number, children are less likely to struggle with other aspects of mathematics. This number work is then reinforced throughout the year with regular number fluency activities. As we move on to other areas of the maths curriculum, such as measure and shape the children are required to apply these number skills. For example, when children look at measurement they tackle lots of questions which practise the four operations and fractions. This practice and consolidation helps children to grasp the links between topics and to understand them more deeply.
We work hard to give the children positive messages about maths, encouraging all children to see themselves as mathematicians and to understand that there is no such thing as a ‘maths person’ but that everyone is capable of thinking mathematically. Children are regularly asked to work together, discussing problems, sharing ideas and using key mathematical vocabulary. An emphasis is put on children checking their work carefully, for example by using an inverse operation, and children are regularly asked to justify their answer by explaining their reasoning.
We have recently introduced the Power Maths scheme which provides a whole-class mastery programme aligned to the White Rose Maths progressions and schemes of learning. We supplement these resources with a range of activites, including those from nrich, NCETM and youcubed.
Our children will leave us as confident, competent mathematicians who have a thorough understanding of the topics they have been taught and an ability to problem solve through reasoning.