At St Nicholas our mathematical aims are to ensure all children:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by looking for patterns and relationships, making connections, forming opinions, reasoning, and generalising. Pupils actively engage in mathematical thinking in all lessons, communicating their ideas using precise mathematical language.
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
These aims support our children in ensuring they are confident mathematicians who are not afraid to take risks and become fully developed independent learners with inquisitive minds who have secure mathematical foundations.
The main vehicle we use to achieve this is Power Maths.
How does Power Maths work?
Each Maths lesson follows the mastery approach to learning which is divided into evidence-based sections and set out clearly in the textbooks. Lessons are busy and interactive with children working independently, in pairs, in groups and as a class.
The lesson begins with a Power Up fluency task to sustain prior learning, consolidate number facts and establish the lesson’s confident, can-do tone.
Next, children share, explore and learn from a Discover problem, presented with some focused questions to guide their thinking. Children have to grapple with this task, and consider how to show their understanding in different ways.
After the Discover stage, children discuss their learning in a Share activity. During this whole-class, interactive learning phase, children share their thinking and look for the best ways to solve the problem. The Share section has the added benefit of allowing children to read the Maths. All too often they focus on the abstract, numerical form, such as”3 x 5 = 15”, but a written problem makes very different demands on the children. We teach children to use the right language, read the Maths and see it in different forms at the same time.
The lesson then moves into a Think Together section. It begins with a teacher-guided question followed by a problem for children to solve in collaboration with a partner, and finally an independent question. It develops the concrete problem through the pictorial and abstract stages and there is clear progression within each lesson.
In the Practice section, children use the cleverly devised Practice Books to apply and rehearse what they’ve learned. The carefully varied questions help children to understand the essential features of each concept and build their fluency. They push children that bit further… The questions are not what they’re expecting and they have to think a bit more! There’s always an ‘Even Deeper’ challenge question that links to other Maths areas, too.
Finally, a Reflect section brings each lesson to a conclusion. It involves everyone looking back on what they feel they’ve each learned, and it’s a great way of helping each child to understand and consolidate their learning.
Alongside Power Maths, our youngest learners follow the NCETM Mastering Number fluency program. This secures firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2.
The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and confidence and flexibility with numbers. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.
The children learn to:
- clearly communicate their mathematical ideas.
- develop a secure understanding of how to build firm mathematical foundations.
- develop fluency in calculation and number sense.
- develop understanding and use of appropriate manipulatives to support their understanding of mathematical structures.
We use Times Table Rockstars as an interactive and fun resource to aid the learning of times tables and children can access this at home using their personal logins. Teachers can set specific tables for children based on individual learning needs.
Children will be explicitly taught their times tables during Maths lessons but it is important that they supplement their learning at home to ensure they have fast recall of these number facts to help them with the most difficult concepts of Maths in Upper Key Stage 2. The children should know the followings times tables by the end of the following years:
Year 2 - 2s, 5s, 10s
Year 3 - 3s, 4s, 8s
Year 4 - 6s, 7s, 9s, 11s, 12s
At the end of Year 4, children will sit the multiplication check where they will be asked 25 random multiplication questions to check their recall of these facts.
Children all have individual logins for IXL learning, personalised digital learning space which gives them opportunities to practise key skills in Maths.
IXL works by offering skills that students practise, earning them points and ribbons when they get questions correct. The SmartScore adapts based on difficulty, so it's not discouraging to get something wrong but rather adaptive to help each student progress to the next level of difficulty suited to them.
Teachers can set specific skills for children to practise, either as part of our homework provision or to work on in school, based on their individual needs.