At Langdon Academy we believe that we are all mathematicians. We draw upon a range of techniques including using efficient mental methods as well as written calculation strategies to help us solving problems and complete investigations. We value talking about maths and explaining our thinking both orally and through journaling.
The Principles and Features Characterised in Our Curriculum:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics.
- The large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
- Pre-teach interventions that focus on subject knowledge and key skills are used to ensure children have the confidence and understanding to access the learning in class.
- Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.
- Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts in tandem.
- Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils keep up.
- Children are articulate in explaining and justifying their thinking when answering questions.
- Children have opportunities and are taught to work both collaboratively and independently.
- The intention of these approaches is to provide all children with full access to the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ – in mathematics, rather than many failing to develop the maths skills they need for the future.
The intention of these approaches is to provide all children with full access to the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ – in mathematics, rather than many failing to develop the maths skills they need for the future.
The Maths Curriculum
We follow the National Curriculum for maths as this ensures we provide the children with everything they need to succeed. We teach the curriculum through the lens of the White Rose scheme of work to teach Maths. White Rose teaches children mathematical concepts through pictorial, practical and written methods in order to develop a deep understanding, confidence and competence in Maths and improve fluency. Fluency in Maths is about developing number sense and being able to choose and use the most appropriate method for the task at hand and be able to apply a skill to multiple contexts. We then go above and beyond this where possible to ensure our children are always pushing themselves. Children are given ample time to spend exploring new topics, reinforcing it with ample practice. Children are encouraged to work collaboratively and take risks in a safe yet challenging learning environment. Language skills are developed through class discussion and use of explanation whilst journaling.
To ensure progression at a Mastery level, we supplement the White Rose Scheme of Work with the NCETM Primary Mastery Professional Development (PMPD) Spines. The PMPD Spines materials support teachers with their planning and unpicking of the small steps to ensure they plan and craft a well-thought-out sequence of lessons.
Our children become mathematicians by building on a sound conceptual knowledge of place value, children develop fluent recall of number bonds in EYFS and Key Stage 1 and rapid recall of times tables up to 12 by the end of Year 4.
Maths in the Early Years
In Reception, we develop the children's maths skills to help them achieve their Early Learning Goals. We lay the foundations for the children to develop their calculation skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This then means they have the skills they need to access their maths learning when they move into year one and start on the National Curriculum.
We encourage children to use the correct mathematical language as a central part of their learning. This is done in a very practical way using concrete objects and providing a range of crucial opportunities for children to perform tasks which have a focus on vocalising their mathematical thinking.
Maths in Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1, new material is taught according to the principles of Jerome Bruner’s concrete, pictorial and abstract schema (CPA) as incorporated by the White Rose scheme. Teaching begins with hands-on activities, progresses to pictorial representations before, finally, becoming abstract. Our calculation policy provides examples of what this means in practice. The policy shows the steps children will take on their way to mastering the four operations for example. Our approach means that every child has a sound understanding of the principles behind central mathematical concepts. At this stage, it is crucial children learn number bonds to 20 and recall them with fluency. For this to happen, teachers teach number bonds during mental arithmetic lessons and provide children with regular review and practice. To support children becoming fluent in number facts, we also user Number Sense. The number sense programme ensures that the core facts are taught alongside 12 calculation strategies. Learning and applying these strategies gives children a deep understanding of number and number relationships. Using these strategies children can then "use what they know to work out what they don't know". Explicit teaching of derived fact strategies is an effective route to fluency in addition and subtraction facts for all children.
Due to our commitment to the approach, and because of the emphasis we place on the teaching of number bonds, children at Langdon Academy leave key stage 1 with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in key stage 2.
Maths in Key Stage 2
Lower Key Stage 2 is a crucial stage in the development of students’ mathematical understanding. To ensure successful transition, work in Key Stage 1 is built upon, while work in upper Key Stage 2 is prepared for. As in Key Stage 1, problem solving and reasoning are a part of every lesson. We see problem solving and reasoning as distinct but mutually reinforcing: reasoning develops problems solving, problem solving develops reasoning. What does mathematical reasoning look like? Reasoning always begins with a question: why? How do you know? Is there a more efficient approach? Students are not only expected to answer these questions, but to ask them themselves. Our students are always asking these questions because every lesson involves problem solving and reasoning tasks. Problem solving always begins with a task which requires the application of a concept - or, more often the case, multiple concepts - to solve.
Fluency with number facts is fundamental to mathematics and therefore fundamental to teaching at Langdon Academy. In regular mental arithmetic lessons, number facts are taught, reviewed and assessed. If students are motivated then they will learn times tables quickly. Students at Langdon Academy are motivated to learn times tables because we use Times Tables Rockstars (our online homework tool) which challenges the children to master multiplication facts, associated division facts and it gives the opportunities to apply this knowledge in an engaging and interactive way. Therefore by the end of year 4 our students have memorised their multiplication tables.
As a consequence of our curriculum design and teaching, students enter upper key stage 2 ready to excel in the final 2 years of their time at primary school. By this time in their academic journey, our students are confident, independent mathematicians with all of the skills they need to succeed at secondary school.
Links to more information
Click Maths Dictionary to find our the meaning of any mathematical terms that the children use.
We want children to think flexibly with numbers and apply what can be called ‘number sense’. The link below explains what this means in more detail.
White Rose Maths
White Rose Maths have teamed up with TV presenter, teacher and parent Michael Underwood to bring you a mini-series called Maths with Michael. We understand that many parents feel like maths has changed and can sometimes find it difficult to keep up to date with modern teaching methods in maths.
Click White Rose Maths to watch a short video that answers common questions parents ask.