At Rainford CE, we believe that every child can master an understanding and love of maths with the right kind of teaching and support. Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate fluently, reason and solve problems as well as enabling them to understand relationships and patterns in both number and space in the world around them. We want to build our pupils’ cultural capital so that by the time they leave us in Year 6, they are fully prepared for future learning, employment and everyday life. Through our curriculum, we instil a mathematical respect and understanding in all our pupils so they are deeply aware of the essential role of maths to everyday life, particularly financial literacy, as well as its critical relationship with science, technology and engineering.
Furthermore, the design of our maths curriculum allows pupils to develop and embed meta-cognition, problem solving and co-operative learning skills, all of which are essential for sustainable, successful future learning across all subjects. Our curriculum provides a rich variety of mathematical opportunities to explore, take risks and take the lead in exploring mathematical concepts thus ensuring all our children develop into confident, inquisitive mathematicians who are not afraid to take risks and who have secure mathematical foundations with an interest in self-improvement. Every classroom provides a safe environment in which mathematical thinking is valued and encouraged so that pupils can follow a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
The aims for teaching mathematics at Rainford CE Primary School are:
- to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
- to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry;
- to promote enjoyment and curiosity of learning through practical activity, exploration, investigation and discussion;
- to understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life;
- to develop children’s ability to move between concrete, pictorial and abstract/symbolic representations fluently and confidently;
- to promote confidence and competence with understanding and using numbers and the number system;
- to develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented;
- to explore features of shape and space, and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts;
- to enable children to select and use a range of mathematical tools effectively;
- to promote and provide opportunities for children to develop core learning skills of confidence, determination, curiosity, aspiration, teamwork, independence, communication and focus;
- to develop cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment.
Our curriculum directly supports the following intent of the National Curriculum, in particular the belief that all pupils deserve the same high-quality, ambitious curriculum:
- All pupils 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
- All pupils reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- All pupils can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Maths No Problem (MNP)
Maths No Problem forms the basis of our maths curriculum at Rainford CE for all children from EYFS to Year Six. It provides a coherent progression in maths objectives across the school which is used by teachers to plan maths lesson. Teaching progresses through the MNP chapters, in which there are clear end points fully aligned with the National Curriculum. Although chapters are organised into apparently distinct domains, in accordance with the National Curriculum Programme of Study, there is high emphasis on application across domains to allow pupils to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.
MNP is founded on expert learning theory, in particular Jerome Bruner’s Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach lies at the heart of MNP as it builds on learner’s existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. The MNP approach to pedagogy has a built-in progression that supports pupils when they are learning new ideas, starting with the ‘doing’ stage that uses concrete manipulatives, real-life examples or activities to allow learners to discover the mathematical concepts for themselves. Pupils are then given visuals or they can draw diagrams to represent the same ideas. They are encouraged to visualise the concrete objects or real-life examples and make connections with the pictorial representations. This progression from seeing and then drawing models allows learners to move to the abstract ‘symbolic’ stage where learners have a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem, strong visualisation skills and can now access abstract mathematical concepts and use symbols to model problems.
Although we follow MNP scheme of work, teachers are confident in adapting the scheme to meet the needs of their learners. Teachers must do all of the “key lessons” within the Maths No Problem curriculum, then can also add in extra lessons within a topic dependent on pupils’ needs. This learning is evidenced within pupils’ maths journals.
Fluency and Arithmetic
The basics of mathematical fluency – as defined by the KS1 / KS2 National Curriculum for maths – involve knowing key mathematical facts and being able to recall them quickly and accurately.
At Rainford C.E, we have adapted the daily timetable to incorporate maths sessions around fluency and arithmetic. Teachers use our Rainford CE Arithmetic and Fluency mapping document, alongside the NCETM Ready to Progress Criteria, to plan these sessions.
Times table progression is mapped out in our Arithmetic and Fluency mapping to ensure that every year group has a continued focus on the skills linked to times tables. In LKS2, there is also extra daily times tables practice in preparation for the National Multiplication Check. These sessions are a mixture of teaching and practising of times tables, using Times Table Rockstars as one of the resources, as well as Tara Loughlin’s Times Table Games.
Teaching and learning style
Through MNP, Rainford CE Primary School uses a Mastery approach to learning in Mathematics. The mastery of the maths curriculum is something that we want all pupils to acquire. During our daily lessons, we encourage children to ask as well as answer mathematical questions. We develop their ability to independently select and use appropriate concrete apparatus to support their conceptual understanding and build procedural fluency therefore they regularly access and use a wide range of resources, such as number lines, Dienes/ Base 10 apparatus, place value counters, multilink, place value cards and other small apparatus to support their work. We develop the children’s ability to represent problems using visualisation skills, jottings and pictorial representations such as Empty Number Lines, bar modelling and their own ideas. The daily Maths No Problem focus task provides meaningful contexts and encourage the children to apply their learning to everyday situations. At all times the policy intent is the driver behind the planning and delivery of lessons.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Teaching of mathematics in Reception at Rainford CE is planned using MNP to ensure that children are exposed to the CPA approach from the very start of their mathematics learning journey. This provides our pupils with a sequenced, thorough progression of skills and an opportunity to develop their understanding of number, measurement, pattern, shape and space, through varied activities that allow them to enjoy, explore, practise and talk confidently about mathematics.