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Maths at St Mary's

"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."  Psalm 90:12

Our vision

At St Mary’s we aim to offer our pupils rich and exciting learning opportunities in mathematics that will nurture them to achieve and develop, and inspire them to do their very best. We want our children to leave us as confident mathematicians, equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to help them thrive in the real world and to empower their future studies. We believe that mathematics should be a fun, enjoyable and exciting subject with lots of hands on experiences that make mathematics relevant to the outside world. We teach a mastery curriculum based on the 5 big ideas for mastery and use CanDo mathematics to implement this. This means that the mathematics curriculum is broken down into small achievable steps to ensure concepts are truly ‘mastered’.  Through the use of concrete, visual and abstract methods we aim to make mathematics achievable and accessible to everyone. We develop a positive attitude to mathematics through language, experiences and enthusiastic teaching. We have high expectations of presentation, learning and outcomes with clear cross curricular links. St Mary’s offers a rich mathematics curriculum that inspires, nurtures and empowers children to collaborate, achieve and belong and fully prepares them for the real world.

How we plan and teach Maths

Maths is taught as a subject in its own right, although, wherever possible, meaningful links are made across the curriculum. Maths skills are taught progressively across the school. Concepts are built upon, learning is revisited and children’s mathematical skills and problem-solving skills are built upon each year. Throughout their time in St Mary’s the children will become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately, reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems.

  • Within each lesson the teaching is broken down into 7 parts:
  • Hook – learning is introduced without the learning objective and the learning is elicited by the children.
  • Teach it – Live modelling of the new learning with explicit use of potential misunderstandings.
  • Practise it – All children practise together with support and challenge available.
  • Do it – Up to 5 examples ‘what it is’, ‘what it is also’ and then challenge 1 procedural fluency.
  • Secure it – 1 or 2 misunderstandings (True/false, spot the mistake) Challenge 2 conceptual understanding.
  • Review it – Lesson Recap, key concept statement and key vocabulary

Each strand of maths is taught throughout the year with some strands being revisited more than once to ensure the children have fully mastered the skills. In years 2 and 6 the maths topics are all taught up to the SATS and then there is the opportunity to revisit known gaps and ensure concepts are truly mastered before they transition into year 3 or year 7. Each lesson of maths consists of a 45-minute main lesson and then further fluency sessions are delivered through Maths On Track (MOT) sessions for 15 minutes.  Teachers are clear about what each year groups are learning and how this builds on prior learning. Teacher’s subject knowledge is developed through the expertise of organisations such as the Mobius maths hub and Wiltshire offer training for all year groups on teaching maths.

How we evaluate Maths

The impact of our maths curriculum can be seen through the work in children’s books. Children are aware of the curriculum goal. They know what they are learning, how it builds on previous learning and what steps they are taking to achieve the goal. Assessment targets are clear and are presented on a marking ladder at the start of each unit. The children have the opportunity to self-assess their learning at the end of each lesson using a traffic light system and in KS2 a comment as well.  The children are also assessed on their learning at the end of each term through a ‘remember it’ assessment.

Learning is continually revisited. At the start of each lesson, teachers recap on prior learning and, where appropriate, learning is related to real life contexts and wider subject contexts. The children are then formally assessed three times a year using NFER maths tests and this information alongside teacher judgement is used to give a judgement which is input onto our tracking system – Educater.

Throughout the year we also complete questionnaires based around maths for both staff and pupils, this ensures we have a good view of what everyone thinks of maths in our school and then improvements can be made accordingly. The coordinator will also carry out lesson observations, book looks and pupil voice interviews to ensure maths learning throughout the school is consistent but also of a good standard. New staff are given training on the mastery approach and how to use the CanDo resources to plan for maths.           

Children begin each Maths lesson with these questions:

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