PURPOSE OF STUDY
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology, and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning, and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
At Criftins C of E Primary School, we recognise that children need to be confident and fluent across each yearly objective. To ensure consistency, progression and coverage across the federation, all teachers from reception to Year 6 follow the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ mastery scheme of learning.
Power Maths has been designed for UK schools based on research and extensive experience of teaching and learning around the world and here in the UK. It has been designed to support and challenge all pupils and is built on the belief that all children can achieve.
These principles characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is planned and implemented:
Each child (from Year 1 to Year 6) has their own Practice Book, in which they answer questions and discuss their thinking with their teacher. Reception children record their work in Power Maths journals.
TEACHING AND LEARNING
Power Maths is taught daily, and a typical lesson lasts approximately one hour. Every Power Maths lesson is divided into sections that involve discovery, sharing, thinking together, practice and reflection.
Children begin a Power Maths lesson with a short ‘Power Up’ activity, which supports fluency in and recall of number facts. Following this, the main lesson begins with a ‘Discover’ and ‘Share’ task in which a contextual problem is shared for the children to discuss in partners. This helps promote discussion and ensures that mathematical ideas are introduced in a logical way to support conceptual understanding. In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning and the children learn from misconceptions through whole class reasoning.
Following this, the children are presented with varied similar problems, which they might discuss with a partner or within a small group. At this point, scaffolding is carefully reduced to prepare children for independent practice. This is the ‘Think together’ part of the lesson and during this part, children can use mini whiteboards to work out and record their answer. It is here, that the teacher addresses any initial errors and confirms the different methods and strategies that can be used. The children are then shown a ‘challenge’, which promotes a greater depth of thinking.
The class then progress to the ‘Practice’ part of the lesson, which is designed to be completed independently. This practice uses conceptual and procedural variation to build fluency and develop greater understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. In this part of the lesson, some children will be encouraged to use concrete resources alongside pictorial representations. Others might be supported through additional scaffolding provided by the teacher, which may include provided models of the calculation method that the children will need to use. The ‘Practice’ section ends with a challenge question which links to other areas of Maths and encourages children to take their understanding to a greater level of depth. Once children have completed this question, they are provided with further reasoning and problem solving questions, which are used to stretch and challenge. These are sourced from the Power Maths deepening tasks, Gareth Metcalfe’s ‘I See Maths’ questions or the White Rose small steps.
The final part of the sequence is a ‘reflect’ task. This is an opportunity for children to review, reason and reflect on learning and enables the teacher to gauge their depth of understanding.
In addition to daily Power Maths sessions, we have built in an additional 10-20 minute daily session dedicated for mathematical fluency. This allows all children from Year 1 to Year 6 to revisit prior learning and supports them with retention of key number facts. This work is completed in mathematics exercise books, which pupils have in addition to their Power Maths Practice books. The exercise books are also used for the deepening tasks (previously mentioned).
The use of Mathematics resources is integral to the concrete – pictorial – abstract approach and thus planned into teaching and learning. The school has a wide variety of good quality equipment and resources, both tangible and ICT based, to support our learning and teaching.
These resources are used by our teachers and children in a number of ways including:
Standard resources, such as number lines, multi-link cubes, dienes, hundred squares and counters are located within individual classrooms. Resources within individual classes are accessible to all children who should be encouraged to be responsible for their use.
An interactive teaching tool for the purpose of modelling strategies is available to all teachers as part of the Power Maths scheme. Resources to support teachers’ own professional development and understanding of new approaches as part of a mastery approach are available on the Power Maths ‘Active Learn’ platform. As well as overviews of learning, these include short videos, which demonstrate methods to ensure accuracy.
Power Maths enables the youngest of our learners to brings the core concepts of mastery to our youngest of learners at Criftins and it fully aligned to the revised EYFS goals and Development Matters guidance.
Reception children undertake a daily Power Maths input with the class teacher and where appropriate; this is followed up by a more focused activity and written work in their Power Maths journals. The whole class session follows the teaching sequence set out; starter, discover and share, think together, challenge and practical activities.
Children enjoy sharing their understanding, talking about maths and the practical elements of these maths activities. The clarity and focus of the Power Maths resources allow teachers to focus on developing and strengthening fundamental maths concepts and skills and also to address any misconceptions that may arise. The structure of the lesson enables teachers to secure a good balance between whole class work, group teaching and individual practice. It supports assessment, as well as providing individual verbal feedback to children, ensuring that children have a clear understanding of the task they have completed, as well as any next steps.
In Reception, children can self-select Maths resources to consolidate their learning during child-initiated activities. We recognise the importance of play-based learning and therefore encourage children to develop their understanding during their play. Regular observations and assessments help to ensure that children that need additional intervention to consolidate their mathematical understanding are identified and supported appropriately.
Special Educational Needs
Taking a mastery approach, differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different children, not in the topics taught, particularly at earlier stages. The National Curriculum states: ‘Children who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.’
There is little differentiation in the content taught but the questioning and scaffolding individual children receive in class as they work through problems will differ, with higher attainers challenged through more demanding problems, which deepen their knowledge of the same content before acceleration onto new content. Children’s difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with rapid intervention, commonly through individual or small group support during the lesson or later the same day.
Although the expectation is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace, the 2014 National Curriculum states: ‘Decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of children’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage.’ If a child’s needs are best met by following an alternative plan, this will be overseen by the SENDCo, in collaboration with the class teacher and with the knowledge of SLT. Specific arrangements for the provision of children with SEND will be communicated to parents and carers during SEND reviews.
ASSESSMENT AND RECORDING
Short term assessment is a feature of every Power Maths lesson. Teachers, support staff and/or learners mark outcomes of work in the practice books and then children complete the self-assessment and the end of the lesson. Adults can then identify immediate target areas for each child, as outlined in the school’s marking and presentation policy.
Observations and careful questioning enable teachers/teaching assistants to adjust lessons in the class if necessary. The lesson structure of Power Maths is designed to support this process and the reflect task at the end of each lesson also allows for misconceptions to be addressed.
At the end of each unit of work, the children complete the ‘End of Unit Assessment,’ which provides further evidence of learning. The outcome of this can then be used to ensure that any identified gaps in understanding can be addressed.
Teachers administer a termly PUMA assessment, which aligns with the Power Maths long-term plan. The results of these papers are used to identify children’s ongoing target areas, which are communicated to the children, as well as to parents and carers at Parents Evening and/or through written reports.
They are also used to inform the whole school tracking of attainment and progress for each child. This data allows subject leaders to analyse and address areas for development.
MONITORING AND REVIEW
The monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in Maths is the responsibility of the Maths leader.
This policy was amended October 2023 and approved by the Governing Body.
Review Date : October, 2024