Our curriculum at Kippax Ash Tree is designed with the ambitious aim of developing mathematicians who are confident problem solvers. This means developing the reasoning skills required to select efficient strategies, alongside the procedural fluency and recall required to apply them. We aim to give our children the understanding that there are different ways of tackling a problem, the confidence to choose the way that is most efficient for them and the skills 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. Through our curriculum design, we aim for children to develop an understanding of the way that Maths is interconnected, building on their existing knowledge and making connections as they learn.
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. Our long-term plan ensures that units of learning always build on existing skills and knowledge, enabling children to build on what they already know and therefore reducing their cognitive load and maximising learning potential. Whilst our long-term plan ensures coverage, teachers use their own expertise and understanding of their classes to select resources and learning activities that maximise children’s learning.
We use the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, using concrete resources to provide mathematical experiences upon which to hook our 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. We also represent problems in different ways, making the connections between each representation explicit. This supports procedural fluency, helping children to apply procedures accurately, efficiently and flexibly. We understand the importance of recall in supporting fluency, using Times Tables Rockstars throughout school and SumDog in Key Stage 1 to support recall of key facts.
We use sentence stems derived from NCETM resources alongside our visual models, in order to embed understanding and give children the voice to explain what they are doing and why they have chosen particular strategies or models to represent their thinking. 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.
Our use of visual models enables children to make connections when learning new concepts and helps them to see how they build upon what they already know. We use these models consistently throughout the school for each unit of learning, so that new knowledge builds upon models and representations that children are already familiar with. The visual models also help children to visualise how methods of calculation relate to real life problems. The impact of the sentence stems is to give our children the voice to articulate their mathematical understanding, support them in understanding problems, and help them to work collaboratively. The overall intended impact is that children’s confidence and enjoyment of mathematics will grow alongside their understanding, enabling them to become successful problem solvers.
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.