Maths at St Mary's
At St Mary’s Junior School, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Essentially, our ethos is that all children can be successful in the study of mathematics. Children should not be limited by prior attainment. Maths is for everyone! We teach the skills to ensure our children are resilient learners who become life-long mathematicians. We aim to deliver an inspiring and engaging mathematics curriculum through high quality teaching. In order to improve our mastery approach and improve the quality of our maths teaching, we have implemented the Power Maths approach.
The Power Maths approach enables children to be numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. Children should not be afraid to make mistakes and should fully embrace the fact that mistakes are part of learning! A mastery curriculum promotes a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject, so that children become fluent in calculations; possess a growing confidence to reason mathematically and hone their problem-solving skills.
The intention of the Maths curriculum at St Marys Junior School is for children to be excited about math. Developing a positive attitude to this subject is essential. Teachers promote children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. We ensure that challenge is provided for all children, whatever their understanding. Children are encouraged to be brave and push the boundaries, deepening their understanding further.
The only way to learn Mathematics is by doing Mathematics!
- At St Marys Junior School, we recognise that children need to be confident and fluent across each yearly objective. To ensure consistent coverage, teachers follow the Power Maths scheme of learning to support their planning.
- High quality resources are used in conjunction with Power Maths, such as activities to support, stretch and challenge all children within the classroom. In addition, the school’s calculation policy is used to ensure a coherent approach to teaching the operations across our school.
- Our curriculum builds on the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach. By using all three, the children can explore and demonstrate their mathematical learning. Together, these elements help to cement knowledge so children truly understand what they have learnt.
- All children when introduced to a new concept for the first time are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols. Throughout St Marys Junior School you will see these three methods being used:
- 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 these pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
- Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid by using the concrete and pictorial methods the children can move onto an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
- Vigorous monitoring means that children, who need extra support with their learning, receive high quality intervention time with a teacher or teaching assistant.
Summative assessment takes place termly and children’s progress and attainment are looked at by class teachers and SLT at progress meetings. Formative assessment takes place on a daily basis and teachers adjust planning accordingly to meet the needs of their class. In addition, we place a strong emphasis on the power of questioning: this enables us both to explore topics together as a class as well as verbally develop reasoning skills during our lessons. Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning through self- and peer- assessment. Leaders monitor the effectiveness of teaching frequently through lesson observations, book scrutinies and pupil interviews.
Information for parents
At St. Mary’s Junior Academy we have adopted a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. This means that we focus on developing a deep, structural and conceptual knowledge of maths, allowing children to make connections between different concepts. Pupils develop fluent technical proficiency which enables them to achieve a confidence and a deep understanding of maths that is known as mastery.
In each year group the curriculum is broken down into core concepts. These are taught in blocks of lessons which gives sufficient time to develop a deep understanding of these core maths concepts. Each concept is broken down into individual lessons which build upon children’s prior knowledge to help children build a robust and deep understanding before moving on.
There are planned opportunities for interventions when necessary, as well as for stretch and challenge activities that allow children that have mastered the concept to stretch their thinking and learning even further. There are lots of things you can do at home to support your child with maths. Please see under 'helpful websites and resources' for more.
We use Times Tables Rockstars to help support children’s development of number and multiplication facts. All children are expected to know all multiplication facts up to 12x12 by the end of year 4.