Mathematics Curriculum Statement
At Christ the King, we believe that it is vital for children to be numerate in order to participate fully in society and play an active role in the democratic processes that govern it. To this end, it is our intention to provide the pupils at Christ the King with the necessary experiences to enable them to become a part of the workforce for the good of themselves and the economy in this country. We recognise that it is important for every young person, regardless of their background, to have a rich and meaningful Mathematics education. With this in mind, our intention is to teach the full Mathematics curriculum to every pupil, providing them with regular and varied opportunities to develop their fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills. We aim to inspire all pupils towards achieving a deeper understanding in Mathematics alongside realising a greater feeling of enjoyment from learning in this curriculum area with a view to ultimately providing them with the knowledge, skills and understanding they need to lead successful and fulfilled lives.
We recognise that children need to have secure knowledge of basic number facts as well as fluency in mathematical procedures. We also acknowledge that children need to develop their conceptual understanding in order for them to be able to solve more complex problems. Alongside this, it is our intention that all pupils are enabled to confidently communicate their learning, using precise mathematical language and, consequently, become well-rounded mathematicians.
To help realise our ambition at Christ the King, we are on a journey to embed the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach. We strive to teach the pupils about the ‘Five Big Ideas’ in Mathematics and want them to leave Christ the King with a deep understanding and the ability to make clear connections with the world around them.
Providing opportunities for children to become both independent and collaborative learners is essential. Further to this, all staff at Christ the King work hard to develop the confidence and self-esteem of pupils throughout the school day. The teaching and acquiring of these soft skills is undoubtedly a focus of significant importance here in our community of Kingstanding and, as such, we ensure that it underpins our delivery of the Mathematics curriculum. All members of staff encourage pupils to believe that they can achieve and provide the support, scaffolding and challenge within lessons for them to do so. Importantly, through the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach, we intend for all pupils to work towards meeting the same outcomes.
We have identified the needs of the pupils in relation to Mathematics at Christ the King. As a school, we have evaluated our ability to meet those needs and have recognised that a move towards adopting the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach is one that our pupils will greatly benefit from.
In line with our new approach, an updated calculation policy has been put in place. This is to ensure that consistent opportunities are being provided for pupils to use concrete resources and pictorial representations alongside more abstract formal written methods throughout the school. To support this, resource boxes have been placed in each classroom to ensure that teaching staff and pupils always have access to the high-quality resources they require for the effective delivery of the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach. Within lessons, pupils are encouraged to utilise these resources to represent different calculations and answers in a range of ways with bar models, part-whole diagrams and tens frames now a regular feature of Mathematics lessons.
We also recognise the importance of providing children with regular opportunities to explore Mathematics in real-life contexts and to also consider their prior learning. We deem it vital to uncover misconceptions
and gaps in the knowledge and understanding of pupils at the earliest possible opportunity. Therefore, carefully planned anchor tasks are delivered at the beginning of every lesson. Teaching staff at Christ the King encourage children to use precise mathematical language throughout lessons, especially when working collaboratively and explaining their reasoning. To aid this, key language is displayed in all classrooms and is taught explicitly at appropriate times. Indeed, ‘Working Walls’ play a crucial role in supporting our pupils’ progress in Mathematics and are, therefore, updated regularly to mirror the learning that is taking place.
At Christ the King, we believe it is important to provide the children with purposeful home-learning opportunities. Wherever suitable, we provide the children with Maths homework, which typically consists of a combination of online activities and paper-based tasks. In particular, children are encouraged to access Times Table Rock Stars regularly. This independent practice, in addition to the contact time spent together, allows staff to identify the pupils who require additional support.
In order for staff to track pupil progress, Christ the King currently use NTS (National Test-Style) Assessments on a termly basis as a summative form of assessment. Teaching staff also regularly update ‘Insight’, which is our chosen pupil tracking system. Insight tracking is used as an ongoing assessment in Mathematics to build up a true picture of where the pupils are in terms of both progress and attainment and allows for the effective planning of next steps.
In EYFS, the Mathematics curriculum is taught through daily, dedicated sessions. These sessions are carefully planned using concrete resources and aim to build on prior learning. Pupils move from concrete, to pictorial and then abstract. This starts with mastering numbers 0-5 and then progresses through to 0-10 and 0-20. Just as in other key stages, we want our youngest pupils to become confident mathematicians who can apply what they have learnt to real life experiences.
Recognising that a child’s experience with mathematics does not only occur at school, we intend to provide Parent Workshops to update parents on our new school approach and to work towards equipping them with the necessary knowledge and understanding to successfully support their children at home.
By adopting the new ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach, pupils at Christ the King will be able to use precise mathematical language to speak confidently and enthusiastically about the importance of Mathematics, their achievements and their enjoyment for learning in this curriculum area. We hope that the positive attitudes of the pupils, as they are encouraged to think and work more like mathematicians, will be further enhanced and aspirations will be raised, especially with regards to pursuing further education and careers in STEM subjects and industries. We will see a greater level of both collaborative and independent learning taking place in the classrooms with all pupils being able to make appropriate links between prior and new learning across all curriculum areas. Pupils will be more fluent, as well as being able to reason with and solve problems, work systematically and be able to generalise and seek out patterns. Ultimately, we strongly believe that this approach will help each individual pupil at Christ the King to become numerate, each cohort of pupils to achieve age-related expectations at a level that is in line with, or surpasses, national standards and any gaps in achievement to be closed irrespective of backgrounds.