Our overall aim at Kippax Ash Tree is to develop mathematicians who are confident problem solvers. This means not only developing strong mental Maths skills and understanding of formal written methods, but also developing the reasoning skills that enable us to apply our methods to solving real life problems. We aim to give our children the understanding that there are many different ways of tackling a problem, and the confidence to choose the way that makes the most sense to them and to apply it effectively. Our vision for Maths ties in beautifully with our Voices and Choices curriculum, as we aim to facilitate mathematical discussion and provide children with the vocabulary and sentence structures to articulate their thinking clearly.
At Kippax Ash Tree, we use the White Rose Maths schemes of learning as the basis for our long-term and medium-term planning, using the small steps progression to ensure children are building up secure understanding of concepts, whilst adapting the activities to suit the needs of our children. We use concrete resources to enable children to explore new concepts, before moving onto pictorial and abstract representations.
We use carefully selected visual models to enable children to visualise problems, making the link between abstract calculations and real-life examples. This works both ways, enabling children to understand the real life applications of the four operations, and enabling them to decide which operations to use when tacking real life problems. We also use sentence stems derived from NCETM resources to go with the visual models, in order to give children the voice to explain what they are doing and why they have chosen particular strategies or models to represent their thinking. We teach a range of representations and strategies for each type of problem we encounter, so that children are able to decide which the most efficient method is for them. We have developed our own sentence stems, applying our reading skills to mathematical problems, and are working on embedding these into our Maths curriculum.
Modelling and ‘thinking out loud’ is important not only to our Maths vision but to our Voices and Choices curriculum. By explicitly modelling our selection of models and methods and explaining what we are doing using sentence stems and mathematical vocabulary, we help children to make similar choices for themselves, and demonstrate that choosing how to solve a problem is as important as calculating the solution correctly.
We are developing mathematical fluency and recall of essential facts using Times Tables Rockstars throughout Key Stage 2 and SumDog throughout Key Stage 1. We are already beginning to see the impact of this, with children being more confident in their recall of times tables facts and number bonds.
The intended impact of our work around visual models and sentence stems is that children will be able to use those stems and models when tackling problems, particularly worded problems. By using the models and sentence stems that we have taught, they will be able to visualise and understand problems, therefore enabling them to choose the correct method of calculation. We hope to see the impact of this in our internal and external data.
At Ash Tree we;
• promote a confident, positive attitude towards the learning and use of Mathematics making it an enjoyable experience;
• Promote confidence and competence with numbers and the number system;
• Encourage pupils by believing that every child, with hard work, can be good at Mathematics.
• Promote the ability to solve problems through connecting ideas, decision-making and applying their mathematical skills in a range of contexts, including other subjects such as Science;
• Promote a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered, presented and used;
• Promote the exploration of features of shape and space and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts;
• Understand the importance of Mathematics in everyday use, especially in relation to essential life skills, such as telling the time and understanding money.