Mathematics

Statement of curriculum intent
At St Matthew’s we recognise that mathematics is essential for everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

We aim to provide a high-quality mathematics education.  We teach for mastery, this means that we are teaching children to have a deep conceptual understanding rather than teaching for the correct answer.  We believe that all children can succeed mathematically and one of our primary tasks as maths teachers is to find ways of presenting, scaffolding and teaching concepts so that everyone will succeed.

All children at St Matthew’s can:

  1. become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
  2. reason mathematically
  3. solve problems by applying their mathematics.

National Curriculum 2014

Statement of implementation
St Matthew’s is currently working towards developing ‘teaching for mastery’ in our maths curriculum. Teaching maths for mastery is a transformational approach which stems from research in high performing Asian nations such as Singapore.

An important feature of teaching for mastery is that the whole class works on the same topic at broadly the same pace, with lots of time and practice of each topic before moving on, enabling children to form deep and long-lasting understanding of concepts being taught.

We use Maths No Problem in Years 1 – 6, which have been written to support teachers in all aspects of their planning whilst delivering Singapore maths mastery methods effectively.  As part of this process, teachers need to plan the following for their lessons:

  1. precise questioning to test conceptual and procedural knowledge
  2. how and when manipulatives will be used within each lesson to scaffold tasks
  3. tasks and challenge questions to challenge pupils to apply and deepen their learning and mathematical reasoning
  4. clear scaffolded tasks to support children with their learning.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) we relate the mathematical aspects of the children’s work to the Development Matters statements and the Early Learning Goals (ELG), as set out in the EYFS profile document.  Mathematics development includes providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems and to describe shape, space and measures.  The profile for mathematics areas of learning are number (ELG11) and shape, space and measures (ELG12).  We continually observe and assess children against these areas using their age-related objectives and plan the next steps in their mathematical development.  We use ‘numberblocks’ to support our planning and the supporting documents supplied by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM).

We try to develop children’s understanding from the

  1. concrete (actual physical manifestation of maths)
  2. on to the pictorial (being able to approach maths using pictures rather than physical resources)
  3. and finally, onto the abstract (being able to approach mathematics without physical or pictorial resources).

The Maths No Problem approach encourages children to learn to think mathematically, as opposed to reciting formulas/ ‘tricks’ they don’t understand.

Statement of impact
As a result of maths teaching at St Matthew’s you will see:

  1. engaged children who are all challenged
  2. confident children who can talk about maths and their learning and the links between mathematical topics
  3. lessons that use a variety of resources to support learning
  4. different representations of mathematical concepts
  5. learning that is monitored to ensure all children make good progress.

Principles of curriculum design
The maths curriculum at St Matthew’s is underpinned by the National Curriculum and concepts of the maths mastery programme, which provides structure and skill development for the maths curriculum.  It fully immerses children in learning and the ability to talk about their thinking, building resilience and positive attitudes to learning. 

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