Mathematics at St Mary’s
Maths is an essential skill which enables us to lead an independent life. It enables us to make sense of, and function successfully in the world for the rest of our lives.
We use maths in our everyday lives without realising – every time we check our watch to see what time it is, check our wallet to see if we can afford to go shopping, check a timetable to find out what time our flight is leaving, measure the ingredients we need to follow a recipe …
We want St. Mary’s students to leave our school with a solid basis on which to build further mathematical knowledge and ability, in order that they may become successful adults.
At St. Mary’s, we teach maths using the Mastery approach, meaning that we expect children to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of each topic, make links between topics, and be able to build on this over time.
We teach three layers of learning:
Procedural Fluency – the ability to apply procedures accurately, efficiently and flexibly.
Reasoning - thinking through mathematical problems logically in order to arrive at solutions. It also involves being able to identify what is important and unimportant in solving a problem and to explain or justify a solution.
Problem Solving - engaging in a task for which the solution method is not known in advance. In order to find a solution, students must draw on their knowledge, and through this process, they will often develop new mathematical understandings.
Children are constantly challenged to explain why, to prove how they know, to convince that they are correct or to find all possible outcomes. They have the opportunity to use a wide range of resources to support their learning such as hundred squares, number lines, numicon, cubes, place value cards and other small apparatus. Mathematical skills are developed across the curriculum in subjects such as Science, Forest School, Design and Technology and PE.
Maths meetings are an integral part of our maths program. These meetings provide an opportunity to consolidate learning without the pressure of recording answers. We expect our children to explain their learning using the correct mathematical language and speaking in full sentences. We support and encourage conjecture, explanation and discovery.
All children at St. Mary’s are taught maths within their own year group, with structure and scaffolding in place to ensure that each child reaches their full potential in the subject. The school has a supportive and challenging ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Regular and on-going assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth.
Mathematics Mastery is our next step in our commitment to teach an effective progressive programme which allows all children to succeed and become confident Mathematicians.
What is new about the Mathematics Mastery Approach?
None of the individual elements of the programme are ‘new’. They are tried and tested successful approaches that the best teachers and schools have been using for many years. However, what is special about Maths Mastery it is that it brings these approaches and techniques together in a rigorous and systematic structure.
The Mathematics Mastery curriculum has been designed to ensure that every child can achieve excellence in mathematics.
Using the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach gives pupils the opportunity to understand what they are doing rather than just learning and applying routines.
Key Features of the Curriculum are:
Structure of a Lesson
To ensure pupil confidence and skills remain high there is a daily Maths meeting which lasts about 10 mins. Here any misconceptions can be addressed and skills and knowledge kept sharp by quick paced questioning.
On this page there are also links to useful web sites that will help you support your child’s learning at home.