At Bishop Wilson, our Maths curriculum is one that is accessible to all and maximises the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. We aim for all children, irrespective of background, race or gender to:
- Foster a positive attitude so that they may enjoy the subject and study it with confidence, fascination and excitement of discovery through the teaching and learning of mathematical concepts.
- Develop a ‘can do’ attitude, especially when problem-solving.
- Use a wide range of models, manipulatives and practical resources to develop a deep conceptual understanding alongside procedural fluency.
- Reason confidently about their mathematics, using appropriate mathematical vocabulary, recognising its importance for communication and deep thinking.
- Broaden their knowledge and understanding about how mathematics is used across the curriculum and in the wider world by making rich and varied real-life connections.
Early Years Foundation Stage
At Bishop Wilson, the teaching of Maths in Nursery and Reception meets the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. In both Nursery and Reception, an enabling environment supports independence by exploratory play. Children have the opportunity to self-select Maths resources to consolidate their learning.
In Nursery, children begin to develop mathematical awareness through songs, rhymes and games. For example, showing 5 fingers while singing ‘5 currant buns in a baker’s shop’ and starting to develop subitising skills through using dice.
During independent play, children have the opportunity to develop maths skills by, for example, handling money in a role-play shop, exploring capacity in the water tray and using the balance scales with playdough. With adult support, they start to expand their mathematical vocabulary to describe and compare quantities and measures.
When children move up to Reception, exploration of mathematical concepts in free play continues. Mathematics is also taught four times a week, through short burst teacher-led sessions, with follow up activities to strengthen and deepen the child’s understanding.
The whole class sessions, based on the Power Maths programme, are fun, practical, active and accessible. In small groups, supported by an adult, the children develop their skills and understanding using practical equipment and begin to use mathematical language to describe and explain what they are doing. Targeted questioning and appropriate challenge develops reasoning, deepens their understanding and challenges misconceptions. Throughout their time in the Early Years Phase, children are encouraged to read mathematical symbols and to record their jottings.
Key Stage 1 and 2
To ensure consistency and progression across the school, we use the DfE approved Power Maths scheme (this is aligned with White Rose Maths) for Years 1 to 6. The scheme fully supports a mastery approach and rejects the notion that some people simply ‘can’t do maths’. Instead, it encourages hard work, practice, collaboration and a willingness to see mistakes as learning tools. To develop Mastery in Maths, children need to acquire a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, structures and procedures, step by step. Complex mathematical concepts are built on simpler components and when children understand every step in the learning sequence, Maths becomes transparent and makes sense. Interactive lessons establish deep understanding in small steps, as well as fluency in key facts, such as times tables and number bonds.
For each year group, the curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps - lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built.
A typical lesson using Power Maths lasts approximately one hour. Maths is taught daily in Key Stages 1 and 2. However, when required, teachers may choose to include additional mathematics lessons in their weekly timetables to support or deepen a particular concept. Additional White Rose Maths resources are used in these lessons. Children are taught in mixed ability classes throughout the school, in line with the mastery approach.
The learning in each lesson will focus on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across Mathematical topics. Power Maths lessons in both key stages follow the same sequence:
Power Up - The lesson starts with a short power-up activity which supports fluency in and recall of number facts (Non-Negotiables); this could also be times table practice, number bonds, working with place value or a 'fluent in five' activity.
Discover - Practical real-life problem solving, sometimes a puzzle or a game, usually paired work. These are engaging and fun and designed to get all children thinking and to generate curiosity. Children may use manipulatives (practical apparatus) to help them understand the Maths and explain their method.
Share - The children share their ideas and compare different ways to solve the problem, explaining their reasoning with hands-on resources and drawings to make their ideas clear. Children can develop their understanding of the concept with input from the teacher.
Think together - Children work in groups and pairs, discussing methods and solutions to problems. This encourages all children to think about how they solved the problem and explain it to their partner. Concrete materials are on tables to support and reinforce learning.
Practice - Children practice individually or in small groups, rehearsing and developing their skills to build fluency, understanding of the concept and confidence. Practice questions are presented in a logical sequence and problems are represented in different ways (variation), requiring different approaches. This encourages the children to think more creatively about how to reach a solution.
Reflect – the class comes together, allowing the children to review, reason and reflect on their learning. Open-ended questions, e.g. spot the mistake, allow teachers to check how deeply children have understood the day’s concept and enable them to plan for additional intervention accordingly.
Our Calculation Policies
Assessment for Learning in Maths is ongoing and used by teachers to dictate the pace that pupils progress through each step of the short term planning, ensuring all pupils have the opportunity to explore the objective through fluency, reasoning and problem solving activities. Pupils are encouraged to mark their work throughout a lesson for immediate feedback. They feel supported in the safe environment created by the teaching staff; mistakes are welcome in order to promote learning and we ensure a ‘can do’ mind-set through the step-by-step approach. This enables teachers to pace lessons appropriately, differentiate further, address misconceptions and to provide immediate intervention. As part of the Power Maths sequence, End of Unit assessments are completed by the pupils to enable teachers to track progress effectively and provide further intervention.
Home Learning Opportunities
We use Times Tables Rockstars to make the essential learning of times tables fun and competitive.
Pinpoint Maths is a great resource for the children to prepare for the Multiplication Check.
Through Active Learn Primary, pupils in Year 1 - Year 6 also have access to Practice Games that can be allocated by the class teacher to support fluency in some mathematical concepts.
Pupils in Recpetion - Year 2 have access to Numbots to support fluency is some mathematical concepts through fun and engaging online games.