Here at James Brindley Primary School, Mathematics is at the heart of our curriculum and our aim is to make confident and competent Mathematicians who are fully equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to further their studies as they progress to high school and into their future life.
“Mathematics reveals its secrets only to those who approach it with pure love, for its own beauty.”
‘Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’
Mathematics lessons are taught throughout the school on a daily basis. Lessons are carefully and creatively planned, catering for all pupils’ needs and abilities, to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed in this area of the curriculum. Our intention is that every child fosters a love of mathematical learning, whatever their ability or starting place and that they are able to confidently use and apply mathematical concepts across a variety of situations. To achieve this, we believe in ensuring that children’s learning is supported using concrete manipulatives and pictorial images before using and applying this knowledge to build upon more abstract concepts.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
At James Brindley, we endeavour to teach carefully crafted lessons in order to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. Whole class discussions, precise questioning and opportunities for pupils to practice skills ensures that pupils develop fluent technical proficiency and think deeply about the underpinning mathematical concepts. Practice and consolidation play a central role of maths lessons. Carefully constructed exercises and problems enable all pupils to develop conceptual understanding alongside procedural fluency.
Mathematics should be thought provoking, it should be challenging and it should provide pupils with the opportunity to recognise relationships and connections between concepts. Therefore, at James Brindley we ensure that children not only have the fluency in Mathematical skills but also the opportunity to reason and problem solve. We expect children to clearly articulate their ideas, thoughts and reasoning processes, enabling deeper learning. We expect children to make mistakes, analyse them and learn from them, justifying and explaining as they do this. At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic and be able to build on this over time.
There are 3 levels of learning:
Shallow learning: surface, temporary, often lost
Deep learning: it sticks, can be recalled and used
Deepest learning: can be transferred and applied across a variety of different contexts
The deep and deepest levels are what we are aiming for by teaching maths using the Mastery approach.
Teachers assess and evaluate learning on a daily basis to identify any difficulties or misconceptions. These issues are rapidly responded to in our daily oral feedback sessions where errors and misconceptions are addressed giving children the opportunity to reflect and self-correct to support our ethos of promoting confident and competent Mathematicians. In KS1 and KS2 Teachers also inform their assessments with data from tests which are carried out towards the end of each term.