Mathematics Vision Statement

Our core belief is that everyone can achieve at mathematics.  This comes from our school mission to bring out what is special in each and every child.  We build our teaching around this belief.  We want our children to become confident mathematicians who enjoy maths. The children will be ambitious and self-motivated, challenging themselves without fear of failure.  Children will become resilient and inquisitive.  We want every child to leave our school with a secure mathematical understanding, which will allow them to thrive as they enter year 3 in maths.  We will develop the 3 strands of mathematics from the National Curriculum.  We will develop fluency by knowing facts and routines.  We will develop reasoning, applying their understanding in different contexts and using mathematical language to explain their thinking.  We will develop problem solving, enabling children to make better sense of the world around them by seeing the connections between maths and everyday life.  At St Denys, we want maths lessons to be accessible to all, including SEND children and other vulnerable groups.

  • We teach in mixed-ability groups throughout school, ensuring that all children can benefit from the very best teaching from their class teacher.
  • We develop understanding by making careful use of both concrete apparatus and pictorial representations before moving on to abstract understanding.  Teachers are careful as they choose the materials to use, knowing that some materials demonstrate certain concepts better than others.
  • We are deliberate in teaching children the language needed to discuss their maths.  We use this by teaching vocabulary, rehearsing “stem sentences” which demonstrate key understanding, and by teaching “reasoning stems” which support the children to explain their own thinking.
  • We are careful and deliberate about our conceptual variation within teaching.  We understand that when children have been taught a concept in one context, they need our help to apply it in different contexts.
  • We use procedural variation (intelligent practice) to ensure that children’s understanding is deepened throughout the lesson.  Each lesson begins from what the children already know, and progresses through key learning points until they reach the intended outcome for the lesson.  New information is taught in small, scaffolded steps, with pupils practising after each step. This is moving away from the usual teacher exposition followed by independent work.
  • All maths is built on fluency – we begin every lesson by rehearsing fluency, targeted at the needs of the children at different stages of their learning.  We rehearse this fluency throughout lessons through teaching and targeted questioning.
  • We teach the children to use systematic procedures to build their fluency.
  • We use the White Rose maths scheme of work to guide our planning, ensuring complete coverage of the maths curriculum broken into small steps.
  • Teachers are confident not to move on with their teaching until children have achieved a secure understanding.  Sometimes this means pausing to go over a point in a different way within a lesson, meaning that the end of the planned lesson goes over to the next day.  Sometimes it means revisiting a learning point for an extra lesson.
  • As we teach, we use well-planned representations to draw out understanding from children.  We use explicit demonstration to make sure that every child can access the learning within a lesson.
  • We give opportunities for any child to extend themselves within a lesson, and to deepen their learning.  We call these “Think it!” challenges.  Children are encouraged to self-select when they can tackle these challenges
  • In order to improve retention of learning, we revisit prior learning at the start of each lesson.  We use a “flashback” quiz to revisit learning from last lesson, last week and last month.  We also use questioning to do a recap of prior learning which will lead directly into that day’s lesson.
  • Teachers use Assessment for Learning constantly to ensure that children’s understanding is secure, and so they know which children they need to target with support.
  • Some children will progress from concrete – pictorial – abstract more quickly than others.  Children are encouraged to make this decision for themselves, although adults may make suggestions based on assessment for learning.
  • We keep classroom displays and prompts in books up-to-date so children can easily access them as needed.  Teachers refer to prompts in their teaching to encourage children to refer to them as needed independently.
  • Teachers ensure that all children are involved in lessons, and that they promote a love of maths for all.
  • Pupils have mixed-ability talk partners.  Partner discussion is used to promote use of maths vocabulary and to embed what they have previously learnt.  Partners are also used as support as children reason and explore new tasks.
  • Differentiation is usually through level of support – it may be through the equipment provided, or through timely adult intervention.  However, in the case that a child does not have the prior learning in place to access a particular lesson, the content may be adapted for a small group of children.  Intervention is also used outside the lesson time to support these children – either by revisiting previous material, or by pre-teaching new material.

The improving language around maths has been noted during learning visits to classrooms, pupil voice and by governors visiting school.  This is a wider reflection of the children’s improved depth of reasoning and understanding, as well as their developing language skills.

Pupil voice shows a love of maths, confidence in maths, an enjoyment of their mixed-ability pairings, and that the children value the equipment that they use to support their learning.

Maths is taught in units, as suggested by the White Rose scheme of work.  Teachers are constantly assessing for learning throughout lesson inputs, through discussion with children, and through work in books.  This feeds into ongoing teaching within the lesson, and in following lessons.  The children in Key Stage 1 sit a termly PUMA maths test in order to track progress and to determine specific areas of weakness which we need to pick up in teaching.

We regularly monitor teaching and learning through observations, learning walks and book scrutinies.  Excellent teaching leads to improved progress, particularly for the lowest 20% in any cohort. 

We run maths CPD for staff roughly half-termly.  The content of these is informed by our maths leads’ inclusion in the NCETM maths hubs, our Deputy Head Teacher’s role as an NCETM specialist, and by identified areas of strength/development within our practice.  We identify these areas through observation of lessons, pupil interviews, book scrutinies, learning walks and by discussion with teachers.  Our maths leads are given time to plan alongside teachers from all year groups, ensuring that we apply all of our principles consistently.