Mathematics at Iver Heath Infant School and Nursery
Introduction: The Nature of Mathematics
Mathematics is a tool for everyday life. It is a whole network of concepts and relationships which provide a way of viewing and making sense of the world. It is used to analyse and communicate information and ideas, and to tackle a range of practical tasks and real-life problems. It also provides the materials and means for creating new imaginative worlds to explore.
To ensure that all children develop an age appropriate ability to manipulate number while applying and generalising key early mathematical concepts in a variety of situations including reasoning and problem solving.
To deliver the ‘intent’ we use the Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum and the new revised Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, as well as the White Rose/Glow schemes of work. It is our aim to develop:
- a positive attitude towards mathematics and an awareness of the fascination of mathematics;
- competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills;
- an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately;
- the ability to use our own initiative and to work both independently and in cooperation with others;
- an ability to explain reasoning and how problems are solved;
- an ability to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life;
- an understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry and experiment;
- embedding of key concepts, mathematical knowledge and skills to master the subject at all levels.
School Policy and the National Curriculum
At KS1, teachers use the National Curriculum and the White Rose Scheme of work, to aid their planning and teaching of the subject. At the Foundation Stage teachers use the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, the White Rose and the Glow Schemes of work, to ensure all appropriate mathematical areas are taught.
Through careful planning and preparation, we aim to ensure that throughout the school children are given opportunities for:
- practical activities and mathematical games;
- problem solving and reasoning;
- individual, group and whole class discussions and activities;
- open and closed tasks;
- a range of methods of calculating e.g. practical, written, mental and drawings/jottings;
- working with computers as a mathematical tool.
Scheme of Work
Our school scheme of work is a working document, based on the National Curriculum, Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum and the Glow and White Rose planning. Plans are produced on a week by week basis. These are developed using the National Curriculum and Early Years objectives, White Rose Maths Hub Blocks of learning which include Small Steps of Progression and varied fluency, at the same time taking into consideration the individual needs of our children.
Mastery Curriculum in EYFS – Nursery and Reception
In Nursery and Reception, the children will be developing mastery skills during small group and whole class work. Whole class teaching will be further embedded in small group activities. The use of Glow and White Rose resources for planning supports this, as does the use of our practical Math’s borrow bags in Reception to reinforce learning at home.
Mastery Curriculum in KS1 - Years One and Two
We are following a mastery approach to our Maths teaching, in line with the most up to date guidance for best practice in Maths teaching.
The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that:
- future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught;
- children can use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures appropriately, flexibly and fluently;
- children can recall key number facts with speed and accuracy (KIRF’s- Key Instant Recall Facts) and use them to calculate and work out unknown facts;
- children have sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and use them to solve a variety of problems.
This means that all the children are exposed to the same curriculum content at the same pace, allowing them all full access to the curriculum by focusing on developing deep understanding and secure fluency with facts and procedures. Differentiation to meet the needs of individual pupils is provided in a range of ways within the whole class teaching, which includes by support and challenge.
Cross- Curricular Mathematics
Throughout the whole curriculum opportunities exist to extend and promote mathematics. Teachers seek to take advantage of all opportunities.
Planning and Organisation
Each class teacher is responsible for the mathematics in their class in consultation with and guidance from, the mathematics team.
What Maths looks like in the Early Years.
Teachers in the Foundation Stage base their teaching on objectives in the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. They encourage the children to explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding which they can use to solve problems, generate new questions and make connections across other areas of learning and development.
Mathematics in the EYFS fall under the heading of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy and they are:
- Shape, space and measure
The Early Years is a time for exploration and investigation in maths. Children develop their understanding through a rich variety of activities both self-selected and adult led. The environment promotes mathematical thinking and is enhanced by a large selection of equipment and resources such as numicon, number bags, sorting sets etc.
The Early years classes begin to implement mastery maths strategies via the White Rose and GLOW planning tools. The language of mastery maths is introduced through adult led activities;
- Nursery has a designated Maths Zone where children can self-select maths activities;
- In Nursery, twice a week, the children will work in small groups on a maths focus;
- Mathematical learning may take place anywhere within the classes both inside and out;
- In Reception classes there is a daily maths session which can involve whole class or small group work;
- The children are taught via practical activities which are planned both to engage and to progress the learning;
- The children use concrete apparatus to embed concepts which can later be used in a more pictorial, symbolic or abstract situation;
- Staff enabling play will be modelling and enhancing mathematical language and mathematical strategies throughout the day;
- Problem solving and reasoning is an intrinsic part of everyday Early Years’ life;
- In Reception the children take ‘maths bags’ home on a rotation of ten children per week, to further support their mathematical learning. These have practical and fun activities for children and their parents to do together.
What maths looks like in Key Stage One
The approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics within the school at Key Stage One is based on key principles:
- a clear focus on practical and instructional teaching and interactive oral work with the whole class and group;
- an emphasis on mental calculation;
- varied fluency to embed key skills using a range of methods;
- the development of investigative skills, reasoning and problem solving.
Within KS1 there is a daily Maths lesson taught to the whole class that will last for at least 45 min often following a four-part lesson plan; the mental and oral starter, the introduction, an activity, mini plenaries if necessary and a final plenary. In Year Two there are also morning maths activities. The daily mental and oral starters are used to develop, reinforce and consolidate, the children’s fluency in maths. The progress in fluency is measured in a variety of ways, for example, the use of mental maths tests within Year 2. Within lessons, regular investigation and challenge activities take place to enable pupils to develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills.
This is what a typical maths lesson might look like in Key Stage 1
A substantial amount of time spent on a topic to ensure learning is securely embedded;
- A strong focus on number, deepening knowledge, applying skills and developing reasoning;
- Each topic covered in greater depth, using a variety of problems, contexts and representations;
- The whole class working together on the same material;
- Differentiation which is less obvious than in the past and does not take the form of different work for different groups of children;
- All pupils having access to concrete resources alongside pictorial and abstract representations. Lessons start with a practical exploration using concrete resources, which sets the scene for the learning in the rest of the lesson;
- Use of carefully planned variation to enable pupils to benefit from making links within and between their learning;
- Every opportunity taken to draw out pupils’ reasoning, allowing them to spot patterns and develop mathematical generalisations;
- Maths Books activities which consolidate pupil understanding and allow them to put into practice what they have learned. This is then extended and deepened through Star Challenges.
Special Educational Needs
Children with SEN are taught within the daily mathematics lesson and supported by using practical resources and differentiated activities where needed. They are also further supported by additional support staff whenever possible. Where applicable, children’s provision maps will incorporate suitable objectives from the National Curriculum or the EYFS curriculum and teachers keep these objectives in mind when planning work. PPM children are specifically targeted by a class teacher or LSA during the majority of Maths lessons. Interventions also take place during the afternoons in Key Stage One and focus on those children who may need more specific targeted input following the lesson earlier that day.
Within the daily mathematics lesson teachers not only provide activities to support children who find mathematics difficult, but also activities that provide appropriate challenges for children who are high achievers in mathematics and may be working towards or working within greater depth level.
We aim to provide equity of opportunity throughout our maths curriculum to ensure that all pupils irrespective of ethnicity, attainment, age, disability, gender, religion, belief / non-belief, socio-economic status or background are able to develop their maths skills to their full potential. We incorporate mathematics into a wide range of cross-curricular subjects and look to support any groups identified as needing additional support.
Recording Children’s Work
There are occasions when it is both quick and convenient to carry out written calculations. For practical tasks, maths activities are photographed as a form of evidence. It is also important to record aspects of mathematical investigations. Children are taught a variety of methods for recording their work and they are encouraged and helped to use the most appropriate and convenient method of recording. Throughout the school year, the children will increase the amount of formally written and recorded maths in their maths books.
Teachers follow the school marking policy and feedback policy. Corrections are marked with a ‘.’ and then a ‘c’ and a tick when corrected. Extension or challenge work is stamped with a star and when this is greater depth (year 2) the star is highlighted in yellow. Opportunities are also given to correct number reversals identified in children’s work.
Inclusion and diversity
In line with the 2014 National Curriculum and the Mastery approach to Maths, our aim is to ensure that all pupils are to master the Maths objectives for their year group. Some pupils will go further and attain greater depth in their learning. Others will require additional support to achieve the expected standard. This could take the form of pre-teaching, adult support within a lesson or one to one or small group support after the lesson to address individual needs. Specific Maths Interventions are also implemented as and when appropriate. It might also include the provision of additional resources within the lesson to either extend or support. It is the responsibility of the class teacher to ensure that available resources are allocated to provide the best possible support and challenge for all.
We identify those children for whom the school receives pupil premium funds and we ensure that support is given to these children as appropriate. The school may on occasion also offer financial support to these children, for example in the form of a payment for a trip. For further information on the school’s use of pupil premium funding please see the ‘Pupil Premium Strategy Form’ available on the school website.
It is our school policy to provide parents and carers with opportunities to work with their children at home. These activities may only be brief but are valuable in promoting children’s learning in mathematics.
In Key Stage 1 activities are sent home on a regular basis and generally take the form of mathematical games and tasks, or in year 2 weekly mental maths tasks. In Reception ten children a week have the opportunity to use a Maths bag, which contains a practical guide-sheet and resources, to enable the child to develop their learning at home.
There are also Maths links for activities and games on our school website under year group sub-headings and all children have at home access to the maths teaching and games on Espresso and Purple Mash.
Health and Safety
- All staff ensure that Health and Safety regulations are adhered to when using equipment such as interactive whiteboards and CD players etc.
- Teachers assess pupils’ progress both formally and informally.
- Each child is assessed in relation to criteria given by Development Matters statements from the Foundation Stage Curriculum, the Foundation Stage Profile and the Interim Assessment Criteria for Year 2. All these criteria form the basis for the individual year group Maths Learning Ladders that were developed after the removal of levels in 2014 and have been updated in November 2018.
- We use our Maths Learning Ladders in each year group to assess what pupils have achieved and from this plan what they need to revisit.
- Every year group carries out a baseline assessment in September and then there are 2 further assessment points throughout the year - in February and June when children’s progress is monitored. However, assessment is ongoing and conducted on a daily basis. If a teacher feels a child is not making sufficient progress, interventions will be put in place immediately regardless of whether it is at an assessment point or not.
- In KS1 each half term we plan a formal review of the progress made by each pupil and we set individual and group targets.
- National assessments are carried out at the end of Reception and Year 2.
- We assess Year 2 children based on the Interim Framework for Assessment, which has been incorporated into the Year 2 Learning Ladders and use the exemplification materials to support our judgements.
- We prepare pupils for the KS1 SATs so that they can achieve as well as possible and try to make the process fun. KS1 SATs results reinforce teachers’ own assessments.
- Our Marking Policy reflects the importance we place on immediate assessment and feedback.
- In line with the school assessment policy we take part in moderation at local level with other schools in the area (FISH group), and at County level.
Reporting to Parents
We hold two parents’ consultation evenings during the year, one in the Autumn term and the other in the Spring term. Reports are completed before the end of the Summer term and parents are given the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress following these. We have an open-door policy to discuss strengths and strategies to support their child’s learning in Maths.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Monitoring and evaluation of the teaching and learning of mathematics is carried out regularly by senior management and the mathematics team. This is done through work monitoring, scrutiny, discussion and lesson observation.
Staffing and Resources
Members of the mathematics team attend regular coordinator conferences and relevant CPD. Information is then fed back to staff via staff meetings.
Other staff attend CPD courses as appropriate for their own personal development.
All mathematical resources are easily accessible to all children during maths lessons which supports their understanding using concrete equipment.
Resources which are not used regularly are stored centrally in the Maths cupboard which can be found in the ICT suite.
The Governing Body
We have a mathematics governor who visits the school to talk with teachers and the Maths lead. These visits take place approximately once a term and may also incorporate a maths learning walk or lesson observations. The Maths lead also reports termly to the Pupil Progress and Curriculum Committee.
Policy to be reviewed in three years or earlier if necessary.