Subject Philosophy: Maths
At Queen’s Park Primary School, we provide an engaging mathematics curriculum, which encompasses and delivers the entirety of the National Curriculum. We aim to provide mathematics instruction that will encourage students to become accurate, efficient, and flexible problem solvers. The rapidly changing technological advances have created a fluid and dynamic world for this generation of students. We can no longer predict and plan for the problems that these students will need to solve when they enter the wider world. Therefore, we must make sure that our students have the core knowledge and ability to approach them with confidence.
The delivery of mathematics at Queen’s Park follows a theme based approach in which a range of topics are broadly explored. Lessons aim to promote resilience and encourage contributions from all children. We aim to develop both independent and group learning, through hands on experiences and problem solving activities.
We aim to provide children with purposeful learning experiences with which they can engage, relate and explore.
Pupils will have a positive attitude towards mathematics and:
Our teaching strategies
Our inspiring and creative teachers have many strategies in place to support and stimulate learning in the mathematics classroom. The children of Queen’s Park benefit from small class sizes and therefore receive more targeted support from teachers. In year 6, classes are streamed by ability to ensure all children are stretched and challenged at an appropriate level.
The EYFS statutory guidance is utilised in and across medium term planning for maths in our early years phase. Teachers plan daily whole class maths meetings to ensure all children receive entire exposure to the numbers and space, shape and measure Early Years Outcomes. In addition, teachers plan to provide learning opportunities in their continuous and layered provision areas. Teachers also plan for smaller maths group activities to take place throughout the week. These groups target different areas of the curriculum to the whole class teaching to give children continuing opportunities to revisit, revise and consolidate all topics throughout the year. Teachers also plan weekly interventions for children who need more time to consolidate their learning.
Alongside the National Curriculum, teachers in Key Stages One and Two also use White Rose maths guidance to plan for progression. Teachers plan to ensure children develop their fluency, problem solving skills and reasoning ability. Alongside this, teachers incorporate a weekly active maths activity or lesson into their planning to engage all children and provide them with an alternative learning environment.
As children are immersed into new topics, they are given practical maths lessons in real life contexts. High quality resources within our school scaffold and support children in understanding these concepts. Throughout lessons, teachers provide children with concrete, pictorial and then abstract ways of solving problems. This progression of skills deepens learning, embeds calculation methods and improves number fluency. As concepts are grasped and understood, children are taught and encouraged to solve problems and reason about mathematical concepts. The use of both talking stems and stem sentences invite children to explain concepts and their thought processes in full sentences.
All classrooms foster a communication friendly environment, which supports the teaching of mathematical language. In EYFS, BBC Numberblocks videos are used to supplement children’s understanding of cardinality, addition and subtraction. Through the use of ICT, song and visual representations, children are taught key mathematical language in relation to numbers, space, shape and measures. Stories are also used to engage children with such concepts such and this encourages children to develop the ability to use everyday language related to these. Talking stems facilitate learners in confidently explaining their ideas and stem sentences are used to aid reluctant mathematicians in explaining their understanding. As a result, children discuss, debate and question maths, which demonstrates rich deep learning. Topic related vocabulary and visuals are displayed in classrooms to consolidate student’s knowledge.
In EYFS, both continuous and layered provision plays a major role in providing learning opportunities for children. Children are able to play, explore and experiment with a variety of resource to better understand the world. All EYFS staff are experienced and trained in facilitating learning opportunities for children. For example, this may include encouraging problem solving such as working out how to measure the height of objects that are taller than one ruler.
The success and learning opportunities that come from continuous provision is invaluable. Therefore, this is an approach to learning in which we are developing as a whole school. The continuous provision in each year group will be carefully curated to support and encourage children’s independent choices and learning and will be supplemented with layered provision that targets specific learning gaps or goals, as well as children’s individual or collective interests.
In line with the governments obesity policy (Childhood Obesity: a plan for action, 2016), we are increasing the time children spend exercising everyday by teaching active maths lessons. Maths of the Day raises attitudes towards maths whilst also increasing physical activity. From nursery to year 6, all children are exposed to practical hands on active maths lessons which foster teamwork skills.
Children are exposed to daily mental maths time to enhance number fluency, particularly with the four operations. In line with the calculation policy, this is done through games and engaging interactions. Whilst working alongside a Maths Hub, the subject lead and year 4 teachers have also developed research based practice in teaching the times tables. Alongside this, children are supported on a weekly basis with on going targeted interventions provided by both teachers and support staff.
Awards and enrichment
To encourage participation and healthy competition, children have Mathletics accounts which they can access at home. Teachers use this to set games and activities that the children can play at home, linked to their current maths topic. Each week in our celebration assembly, a child from KS1, LKS2 and UKS2 is awarded the Mathletics trophy for their time spent practicing on Mathletics.
With the implementation of the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check by the government, children have been given Times Table Rockstar (TTRS) accounts. This is an engaging use of ICT that allows children to practice their times table fluency. Each week in our celebration assembly a child from KS1, LKS2 and UKS2 is awarded the TTRS guitar for increasing their speed in answering questions or for gaining the most coins.
Throughout the academic year, workshops and meetings are held to aid parents in supporting their child at home. Workshops may include information about statutory assessments or the implementation of new resources.
The EYFS lead and teachers host meetings to support parents in accessing and using the online platform Tapestry. Parents are exposed to logging in to see their child’s learning and progress. At home parents can comment on their children’s learning.
Since children have their own accounts for Mathletics and TTRS, they are able to login at home. Parents are sent letters and information packs about how these resources are to be used and what they can do to support their child.
The subject lead at Queen’s Park Primary School works closely with other schools in Westminster, Hammersmith and Kensington and Chelsea. The subject lead and the Early Years Foundation Stage lead have been part of a Maths Hub to support with developing mathematical language in the early years. The school has hosted observation mornings and supported other schools in enhancing their provision.
The maths lead and year 4 teachers have also been part of a Maths Hub which has supported teachers in training their children to become mentors for year 2 students in the school. The maths hub has also provided the subject lead and teachers with research based methods to support the teaching of the multiplication tables, in preparation for the Multiplication Times Tables Check.
The subject lead is working with the Premier League in enhancing their maths provision. Being part of the consultation process is not only a fantastic opportunity for CPD but it also brings many other benefits to the school.