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Our aim is to provide pupils with the fluency and confidence to carry out a range of mathematical problems and solve them by using reasoning skills in each and every lesson. Children in Lamerton Academy are displaying significantly more positive approaches to maths, developing attitudes that embrace challenge and becoming more resilient when tackling new or more challenging concepts. We are constantly motivated to improve outcomes for all our pupils and achieve the aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
We are working towards mastery throughout our teaching and have been progressively improving our teaching of mathematics. There are several elements and areas (see below) that are key to this and that have helped us: improve our teaching of mathematics, expand the quality of learning that is taking place in our classrooms for all groups of learners and increase the learning outcomes for children.
At Lamerton Academy we teach the National Curriculum (2014) for mathematics. We use White Rose Maths hub planning small steps in conjunction with Power Maths resources as well as other supplementary resources, sourced and created by our teachers, to aid this. Teachers choose the most suitable resources to meet the needs of their class and the learners within it. Our curriculum ensures that knowledge, concepts and procedures are built on within each year and in subsequent years. We assess children’s progress against the expectations of the National Curriculum (2014) for mathematics.
We teach mathematics based on a formative assessment of: what children already know from previous work, demonstrate what they know during lessons and from summative assessments of current understanding. An elicitation assessment task is undertaken by children at the beginning of each unit of work as well as a review assessment task at the end of each unit of work. The elicitation task is used to inform the planning cycle for that unit and the priorities within it. Sequences are altered on a day by day basis as a result of ongoing formative assessment of children’s understanding. Lesson structures therefore vary to suit the needs of the class.
Depth of learning
We have ensured through staff training (e.g. Developing Reasoning Maths Programme, seminars led by Babcock maths team) and in-school INSET cascading this information, that all teachers are aware of and cater for the need for depth of learning as an essential part of everyday learning. You will not see initiatives for example such as ‘problem solving Monday’ in our school as it is expected that problem solving and reasoning are weaved throughout the curriculum and is evident across lessons throughout the week. We build upon a mathematical concept across lessons and variation is a key focus within our school in ensuring clarity and depth of learning are both maximised.
Fluency and Efficiency
We recognise the importance of fluency in being a successful mathematician and this is an integral part of our lesson planning. We ensure that fluency in taught with the key idea of variation at the forefront of teaching. Children are encouraged to use different models to display their understanding and the school has purchased new resources to ensure that each class has their own ready supply of manipulatives and resources to aid with this at the point of need.
We also teach children to use the most efficient method and approach to solving different problems and calculations. Children are taught a full range of mental/informal methods and formal written methods and are provided with frequent opportunities though variation in questions to choose the most efficient approach.
Developing reasoning and Understanding
Opportunities are provided for children to demonstrate and discuss their reasoning as a key part of each sequence of lessons. Amongst many other forms of eliciting reasoning and encouraging its use, DUGs(Demonstrating understanding grids) are frequently utilised in lessons as independent activities, paired tasks or as a part of the teaching input.
We teach problem solving as an embedded part of each lesson of mathematics not as something that is a special event or specified weekly lesson. We do not see problem solving as an ‘add on’ or something that is taught only to some. Problem solving is seen within each lesson alongside varied fluency and reasoning and is presented through the use of contextual questions that are accessible to the full range of different learners with extra scaffolding and support provided when required.
The Connective Model
The connective model is the underlying model behind teaching of maths at Lamerton Academy. Links made in maths lessons are explicit and focus on concrete (real world) examples, visual representation, language and manipulatives coming together to solve problems in context. We believe children develop a deeper understanding through using these elements together to develop into a fluent and confident mathematician.
Number Talk and Vocabulary
Number talks are used frequently in order to allow children to discuss and interrogate their understanding of mathematics. Tier 2 vocabulary is also reinforced regularly during this process to ensure that it is understood and used by the children. We believe that this will deepen conceptual understanding as well as supporting less confident learners. Children are given frequent opportunities to discuss concept with each other and share their ideas with others.
During number talks, children are encouraged to write down their ideas and speak in full sentences. We use Stem sentences, both provided by the teacher and developed by the children, to aid this as the idea of choral and repeat to help ingrain understanding of the concept and to ensure that the vocabulary used is precise. Approaches such as ‘same/different’, ‘always, sometimes or never’, ‘another, another, another’, ‘give a bad example’ are also used to prompt discussion and to ensure depth of understanding.
Teachers use an open style of questioning to ensure that the potential for a child’s response is not stifled and to promote a greater depth of understanding about concepts as demonstrated through responses. This in used in conjunction with closed questions when needed, with teachers using their pedological understanding of Blooms Taxonomy to help plan effective questions that probe and challenge children’s understanding. Children are encouraged to answer in full sentences with use of suitable mathematical vocabulary.
Marking and Feedback
Marking is used as part of the continual process of assessing both within lessons and between lessons. It is then used in order the develop the continuing sequence of learning. The most valuable feedback is that given to children within the lesson when they are able to act upon it straight away. This will usually take the form of individual verbal feedback or an area addressed with a particular group of children with a similar misconception. When appropriate, shared or peer marking will be undertaken with the children in order to pinpoint and address a specific area within the same lesson that they occur and to allow focus on a particular misconception, piece of vocabulary or problem type.
We consider it of upmost importance that mathematical vocabulary is carefully selected for use in classroom displays utilising both tier 2 vocabulary and tier 3 vocabulary. We also provide sentence stems that help children consider their understanding and demonstrate their reasoning.
Each class has a maths display themed on a DUG (Demonstrating Understanding Grid) which allows a mathematical concept to be picked apart using the connective model.
We believe it is vital to lay secure foundations in early mathematics. We are constantly motivated to improve outcomes for all our learners. We achieve this by providing a wealth of stimulating, practical and engaging experiences enabling them to develop the skills, confidence and independence necessary to succeed.
We create an environment in which challenge and effort are encouraged and mistakes are highly valued. Our provision is adapted regularly to meet the differing needs of our learners, promoting independence and allowing them full access to the Early Years Curriculum, independently and confidently, with the necessary level of support and challenge.
Throughout all our planning we are mindful of the Characteristics of Effective Learning and children are assessed continually through accurate observations. These observations provide us with the information for the next steps in learning and levels of support and challenge required. They enable us to ensure learning is embedded and consistent and that all children continue to make outstanding progress.
SEND pupils may be set differentiated work when appropriate and in some cases may have 1:1 support, small group support in mathematics or additional inputs from teachers. Children are also set targets through termly IEP meetings in conjunctions with parent and the SENDco. SEND children are expected to be given the same opportunities to develop their fluency, problem solving and reasoning as all other children and suitable scaffolding and support ensures that this is possible. Additional interventions and may also be provided within class and by the school intervention teacher to help close the gap.
Areas of development
At Lamerton Academy we are continually striving to maintain high standards of teaching and learning and improve them even further. Our current areas of focus are as follows:
We use Whiterose to plan maths. The following document reveals how progression is mapped across the year groups:
and how addition, subtraction, multiplication and division progress: