We are committed to enabling pupils to recognise the importance of mathematics in the wider world so that they are able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in a variety of situations in their lives. We want all pupils to enjoy mathematics and to develop a deep conceptual understanding so that they can experience success in the subject.
It is our intent to ensure all pupils have access to a high-quality maths curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable and raise pupils’ aspirations. We aim to widen their horizons through a context rich curriculum that gives purpose to their learning. All staff have high expectations for every child to succeed. We aim to provide our pupils with a variety of mathematical opportunities, which will enable them to become more fluent and be able to apply knowledge rapidly. We believe that it is important to encourage the pupils to be confident mathematicians who are not afraid to take risks. Throughout school, we aim to develop resilience that enables all pupils to reason and problem solve with increased confidence.
Mathematics at Beechwood School, is carefully structured, fun and challenging. Teachers use the National Curriculum alongside resources from organisations such as White Rose and NCETM to help plan sequences of lessons. The subject overview outlines the sequence of units of work across a year within each class. We use a mixture of bronze, silver and gold tasks to encourage pupils to challenge themselves and aspire to achieve. All pupils are able to work through tasks at their ability level and are actively encouraged to aim for gold. Teachers plan bronze, silver and gold tasks for fluency, reasoning and problem solving; once pupils are fluent in a skill, they are actively moved on to work with reasoning and problem solving tasks. Teachers, where necessary, will directly teach pupils how to reason and problem solve using the knowledge that they have acquired during fluency sessions.
As a school, we recognise the importance of modelling maths concepts. We use concrete apparatus and pictorial representations, across all year groups, to support pupils in securing knowledge and understanding of newly taught concepts, this can include the use of Numicon, Dienes cubes and bar models. When the foundations are firmly laid, pupils can move to an abstract approach using numbers and symbols with confidence when they have a strong contextual understanding.
We deliver a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, calculation, fractions, geometry, measures and statistics. Unit plans support teachers to plan a sequence of progressive lessons, giving the pupils time to master new concepts. We focus not only on a range of methods but also focus on mathematical vocabulary to broaden and deepen understanding. Recognising the importance of number skills when accessing all of the mathematics curriculum, all pupils in years one to six have an additional arithmetic lesson each week – on top of their daily maths – where they consolidate, revisit and secure knowledge of both new and previously taught skills.
Developing reasoning remains one of our key focuses. Pupils work both collaboratively and independently when solving problems which require them to persevere and develop resilience. Within lessons, pupils are actively taught a range of problems, encouraging them to become critical thinkers. Some of the types of problems include: word problems, logic problems, finding all possibilities, as well as problems involving rules, patterns or diagrams.
The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that pupils understand the relevance and importance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts. Pupils know that maths is a vital life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life. Pupils have a positive view of maths due to learning in an environment where maths is promoted as being an exciting and enjoyable subject in which they can investigate and ask questions. They know that it is okay to be ‘wrong’ and that this can strengthen their learning because the journey to finding an answer is most important. Pupils are able to persevere and choose the equipment they need to help them to learn along with the strategies they think are best suited to each problem. Our maths books evidence work of a high standard of which pupils clearly take pride. The range of activities provided demonstrates good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving.