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at Didsbury CE Primary School

"There will always be science, engineering and technology.  And there will always, always be mathematics."
- Katherine Johnson                                          

Didsbury CE provides a mathematics curriculum that enables children to engage in a pragmatic and creative way, fostering an enjoyment and curiosity of number and mathematical concepts.  We understand that fluency underpins reasoning and problem-solving and our curriculum and whole school approach reflects this.

During a pupils’ time at Didsbury CE, we provide a maths curriculum that is ambitious, challenging, stimulating and aspirational to all abilities of children. We ensure that all learners develop:

  • Fluency
  • Reasoning
  • Problem Solving

We aim to provide children with a range of mathematical challenges and provide them with the opportunity to:

  • Explore and manipulate different resources in lessons.
  • Apply their mathematical and problem-solving skills practically, to enable them to become competent and assertive mathematicians in ‘every day’ situations.
  • Become confident numerate children who can apply their skills in other subjects.
  • Develop a financial understanding and the value of money.
  • Have instant recall for important number facts.
  • Foster an enjoyment of mathematics, number and problem solving.

A curriculum for life for all regardless of background

We are proud of the fact that the ambitious mathematics curriculum at Didsbury CE plays a vital role in equipping each child with the skills and knowledge needed to take advantage of opportunities in later life. We are able to successfully identify and acknowledge the knowledge our children bring with them when they begin at Didsbury CE. As a result, we set high expectations and can provide a breadth of experiences throughout their mathematics learning. The vocabulary rich, knowledge engaged curriculum provides children with a deep-rooted understanding and ability to provide reasoning of concepts within the mathematics curriculum.  We equip children with the knowledge and skills to apply mathematics, preparing them for their next step in education. The practical, talk based and problem-solving opportunities that thread through our curriculum equip our children, whatever their social background, the soft skills required to be an active and positive citizen in modern Britain.

Curriculum end points

The National Curriculum is tightly prescribed in mathematics, however, we have translated the aims of the National Curriculum and the EYFS Statutory Framework to ensure that the Didsbury CE is comprehensive and supportive, enabling children to become happy and confident mathematicians in life. We teach in a sequence that builds upon children’s prior learning and understanding while allowing for the flexibility to address misconceptions and provide challenge enabling our pupils to ‘master’ maths. The programme of study is arranged in a spiral to enable children to develop and deepen their mathematical knowledge with clear key knowledge and skill end points for the end of each year and key stage. The mathematics curriculum that is taught in each year group is designed to build to those end points.  Key opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills as well as written English are interlaced with the mathematics curriculum via ‘maths talk’ and maths sentence openers to develop pupils’ mathematical reasoning skills.

Curriculum planning and sequencing 

At Didsbury CE Primary School, we teach a Knowledge-engaged curriculum- balancing both developing and embedding knowledge as well as the development and implementing of skills. It is our aim to develop resilient mathematicians and provide opportunities and lessons that foster a positive and growth-mindset approach to maths learning.

Lessons are planned with a mastery approach - providing opportunities for pupils to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving. 

In the EYFS the knowledge and skills in maths come from the starting point of the child. We ensure we gather as much information as possible about children starting at our school, liaising with other Early Years setting and parents to ensure that maths learning is appropriate to our children to ensure it provides appropriate challenge and fulfils the developing knowledge and skills specific to our pupils. This is further assessed with thorough baseline assessments during the first half term upon entry to Nursery so that planning of teaching, activities and the classroom environment it pitched appropriately.  Maths sessions are taught daily in Key Groups or classes and TAs and Key Workers are used to support both whole group teaching as well as small group opportunities to ensure maths is differentiated appropriately.

The EYFS take a mastery approach to the maths curriculum, reflecting that of KS1 and KS2. The teachers understand that maths knowledge and skills are underpinned by mathematical fluency so children in our EYFS have daily fluency sessions (counting, number rhymes etc…) which is reflected in their classroom environment and opportunities for child and adult initiated learning opportunities. EYFS classrooms display a ‘Number of the Week’ board (as per our whole school approach) which is visual, tactile and interactive. This fluency opportunity helps pupils to really master identifying numbers, counting, writing numbers, identifying number words, making groups, drawing, showing numbers in ten frames, on number lines, tallies etc…  This really deepens pupils understanding of number to then enable them to add, subtract and manipulate numbers.

Teaching of maths in Key Stage 1 reflects what can be seen in EYFS and KS2. There is a transitional period in Year 1 where the teacher liaises closely with Reception staff to ensure teaching is ‘pitched’ correctly and consolidates Early Learning Goals. Lessons begin to follow our whole school agreed Scheme of Work (see additional information) and a mastery approach is followed, embedding fluency, reasoning and problem solving. ‘Number of the Week’ continues and is incorporated within maths lessons. This helps children visualise numbers and equips them with a greater level of understanding in number to enable them to calculate and reason. Although a scheme of work is followed, teachers draw upon a number of sources when preparing lessons to ensure that lessons are accessible, challenging and varied. Emphasis is given to concrete manipulatives before transitioning to the abstract to ensure a deep understanding.

Most maths teaching is accessed through a whole class approach; however, some opportunities are given- particularly in Year 1 - to explore mathematical ideas and problems within the classroom environment. Our chosen Scheme of Work follows a spiral of learning where concepts are readdressed and previous learning, skills and knowledge are built upon. To ensure children retain key information and facts, we are beginning to develop our own KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) that reflect the level of knowledge of our children. We anticipate that our children will take this knowledge throughout the school and use it as a base to build upon.  

In Key Stage 2, Maths continues to be taught as a spiral curriculum as a basis and individual teachers build upon this to ensure it is interactive, varied and accessible to all children. Maths sessions are taught as separate lessons so that teachers can focus on the skills and knowledge required from a truly mastery approach, however, where strong links can be made, lessons will be linked to other subjects e.g. data analysis in science.Skills and knowledge continue to be progressively built upon (see skills progression grids) and the developing KIRFs will continue throughout KS2. We expect that children retain these facts and use them as they continue working through the curriculum to build their knowledge.

Children continue to access the whole school fluency approach and participate in ‘Number of the Week’ sessions. In KS2, a similar format is followed however, children will be asked to manipulate numbers in different ways and may be asked to consider 4 or 5 digit numbers as well as decimals. In KS2, we value the importance of children being able to recall maths facts so emphasis is given to learning times tables.  We have a consistent times table tracker- where children work towards awards- as well as using online programmes such as Times Table Rockstars that both enthuses and motivates learners.

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