The knowledge we teach pupils is specified from the National Curriculum and EYFS Framework programmes of study. Our mathematics curriculum is carefully sequenced so that explicit links are made between declarative knowledge (relationship between facts), procedural knowledge (methods and algorithms), and conditional knowledge (reasoning and problem solving). Pupils systematically acquire the knowledge they need to become proficient mathematicians as they progress through each key stage of the school. All knowledge is taught to be remembered so that understanding moves into long-term memory.
The Maths Curriculum
Reception to Year 6 use Mathematics Mastery (MM) as the starting point for their planning. The programme is underpinned by three key principles, which we believe are central to strong Maths provision.
1. Conceptual understanding: learning of knowledge is deepened by representing concepts using objects, pictures, symbols and words so that pupils understand the relationship between declarative and procedural knowledge.
2. Language and communication: Mathematical language strengthens conceptual understanding enabling pupils to explain and reason. The more learners use precise mathematical vocabulary, the more they feel themselves to be mathematicians and can be confident in conditional knowledge.
3. Mathematical thinking: developing mathematical habits – to be systematic, generalise and seek out patterns.
This programme of study uses a teaching for mastery approach as outlined by the NCETM. Extensive research has shown that this approach provides better outcomes to pupils. We supplement this programme with our own planning and tasks based on the needs of the pupils at our school.
In Reception to Year 5, we further supplement the curriculum through Mastering Number, which is a programme run by the NCETM via our local Maths Hub. It is a programme which aims to secure number sense in all pupils in EYFS, KS1 and from this year KS2 as well. We know the importance of creating foundations of number in EYFS and KS1, so that pupils go on to be able to reason and problem solve.
In Years 3 to Year 6, the curriculum is also consolidated through Maths meetings. These are short 15-minute sessions which take place 3 times a week and provide an opportunity for pupils to revisit key areas of declarative or procedural knowledge throughout the year and increase their memorisation of key facts and improve fluency.
Another key idea of the mastery approach is that representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught. We represent mathematical structures in a variety of ways (concrete, pictorial and abstract) and teachers plan conceptual variation into lessons. The aim is that resources are later removed once understanding is secure.
Children in Years 1 to Year 6 also receive weekly maths homework to consolidate their school learning and practise key arithmetic skills.