At Ford Primary School, we believe that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations. Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. Our intent is to provide a high-quality mathematics education that provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The National Curriculum order for Mathematics describes what must be taught in each key stage. Ford Primary School follows the Mathematical programme of study 2014 which provides detailed guidance for the implementation of the National Curriculum for Mathematics. This ensures continuity and progression in the teaching of Mathematics. In the Foundation Stage, where Mathematics is defined as a specific area and divided into number and shape, space and measure, the children are engaged and challenged with age-appropriate targets.
By the end of their time at Ford Primary School, we hope that the children are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics; can reason mathematically; can solve their problems by reasoning mathematically and most of all...they enjoy it!
Our teachers follow the skills progression guidelines as set out by AET, but are free to use resources from any source to ensure that the needs of their class and its individuals are met.
We expect all children to expect and experience an element of challenge in their maths lessons. They will all be taken out of their ‘comfort zone’ so that, within their lessons, the children learn how to tackle difficult problems and lose that ‘fear’ towards the subject. Children are taught how to explain their problems and to be able to discuss why something may be right or wrong. To help the children understand when they are encountering a particularly difficult problem, learning is often sorted into chillies. One chilli problems look at both the visual and fluency; two chilli has the children explaining their reasoning and the three chilli problems are rich and complex problems which have the children apply their learning to difficult questions. Children may encounter some or all chillies within one lesson; it is dependent on an individual child’s needs for that lesson.
From September 2020, the children will be subject to the Visual Maths method of teaching which has been developed by Tril More. This will be embedded all the way through the school to help the children to see the concepts and to develop their visual understanding so that they can successfully meet mathematical challenges. They will be taught using ‘concrete’ materials, such as with multi-link cubes and with simple vocabulary. They will then move onto the pictorial form. Ultimately, as their confidence and understanding grows, they will then move onto the abstract form.
We are continuously working to improve our teaching techniques and approaches. Teaching time is taken as an opportunity for high-quality teacher talk and guided learning where children are encouraged to verbalise their thought processes and a simple answer is challenged with 'How do you know?' and 'Explain what makes you think that?'. Learning objectives are shared with children at a natural point within a lesson, to best support the learning.
Times tables are given a high priority throughout school. Regular teaching time towards the learning and reciting of these facts is balanced with opportunities for children to challenge their achievements through the use or 'Times Table Rockstar' and speed checks.
What are we doing beyond the classroom?
Year 5 and 6 children to visit SDCC for enrichment math sessions.
Year 6 use maths to learn about purchasing, ratio profit and loss as a part of their enterprise project
At Ford Primary School we recognise the importance of establishing a secure foundation in mental calculation and recall of number facts before standard written methods are introduced. When these skills have been clearly achieved, then the stages of development in written methods are implemented as defined in the school’s calculation policy. We use vocabulary from the relevant year group when planning to help determine the appropriate terminology to use in our teaching. Children are expected to use this terminology in their verbal and written explanations. Mathematics contributes to many subjects and it is important children are given opportunities to apply and use Mathematics across the curriculum and in real contexts when possible. They build up a range of strategies and approaches towards maths as they progress through school, which prepare them for further education and future life. Children see a real reason for maths being such a focal point in their education. Our enthusiasm and approach leads to engaging, varied and relevant maths experiences for children here at Ford.
We measure our impact on how well we are implementing our maths curriculum is evidenced by our external assessments at the end of each key stage, the Year 4 MTC and our internal assessments. We explicitly moderate books as a staff once a year. They are looked at by the senior leadership team during our standards days and are used as evidence during our pupil premium meetings. Children are spoken to by the senior leadership team as a part of standards days for their views on how maths is taught in the school.
How do we check the impact?
End of Key Stage assessments
Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check
Internal Assessments - three data drops
How have we supported the staff?
School-wide training for everyone on Visual Maths
In-house training for teachers and HLTAs on the use of chillies for extending a child’s understanding
Link to the Mathematics programme of study: