Mathematics

Mathematics at Stocksbridge Junior School

Intent

At Stocksbridge Junior School, we provide all of our pupils with a high-quality Mathematics education to develop their enjoyment, curiosity, resilience, understanding, fluency and attainment in Mathematics. We believe that every child can enjoy and succeed in Mathematics by being given the appropriate learning opportunities. We instil the ethos that all pupils can develop through practise, support, dedication and hard work. By adopting and encouraging a growth mindset, we enable pupils to develop this resilience and confidence and see the value in learning from mistakes.

  • Enjoyment and Curiosity: Pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School engage in lessons; they are enthusiastic and inquisitive about learning Mathematics.
  • Resilience: Pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School embrace mathematical challenges, resulting in deep learning.
  • Understanding: Through varied and frequent practice, pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School grasp and connect key concepts in a logical sequence rather than following procedure with no meaning. All new learning is built on previous knowledge and skills.
  • Fluency: Pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School develop the mathematical fluency necessary to support rapid, accurate recall and application of knowledge.
  • Attainment: Pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School apply their learning to reason mathematically and solve a rich variety of problems.

We prepare our pupils for the use of Mathematics in daily life and teach its importance for financial literacy, science, technology, engineering and as a foundation for understanding the world.

Implementation

Stocksbridge Junior School teaches Mathematics through the Mathematics Mastery curriculum which runs from Year 3 to Year 5 (Year 6 follow elements of the Mathematics Mastery programme until its full introduction in September 2019). The objectives taught are fully aligned with the 2014 National Curriculum programmes of study.

The programme is specifically designed to encourage learning that builds. Key mathematical concepts are taught, applied and connected to other areas of learning throughout the year and beyond. This enables pupils to develop their depth of understanding and mathematical fluency steadily over time.

At Stocksbridge Junior School, we have ambitious expectations for all pupils:

Pupils are taught according to their current level of attainment

Almost all pupils will move through the Mathematics programmes of study at broadly the same pace.  However, decisions about when to progress are always based on the security of pupils’ understanding.  Pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.  Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content

Misconceptions are identified accurately and addressed

Teachers check pupils’ understanding systematically to correctly identify misconceptions.  Timely, clear and direct feedback is provided and teachers respond by adapting their teaching as necessary. 

All pupils access rich mathematical content

To truly grasp a mathematical concept, all pupils are given the time to fully explore their learning.  By investigating ideas in new and more complex ways – rather than accelerating through new topics – pupils broaden and deepen their understanding and consolidate the links between concepts.

All pupils have access to multiple representations

Objects, pictures, numbers and symbols enable pupils to represent mathematical ideas and make connections in different ways.  This strengthens conceptual understanding and develops pupils’ problem-solving skills.  At Stocksbridge Junior School, pupils’ use of concrete manipulatives make lessons more practical, engaging and fun.  They also help remove much of the mystery and intangibility often associated with Mathematics.

All pupils are taught how to think mathematically

At Stocksbridge Junior School, we recognise that successful mathematicians are known to develop mathematical ‘habits of mind’.  To encourage this, we support pupils to be systematic, generalise and seek out patterns.  Questioning is a key element of this and pupils are frequently asked: ‘think of another example’, ‘give a general rule’ and ‘what is the same and what is different?’

Pupils are taught how to reason mathematically

Enabling learners to solve new problems in unfamiliar contexts is the ultimate aim of Mathematics education at Stockbridge Junior School.  Pupils are given opportunities to identify, apply and connect mathematical ideas.  They follow lines of enquiry, recognising relationships and making generalisations; from this, pupils develop arguments, justification or proof.  This builds the skills needed to tackle new and more complex problems, rather than repeating routines without grasping the conceptual meaning behind them.  It also allows pupils to apply their mathematical knowledge to Science and other subjects.

Pupils are taught to use mathematical language

Research shows the more a pupil can communicate mathematically, the more they feel themselves to be a mathematician. Mathematical language strengthens conceptual understanding by enabling pupils to explain and reason.  At Stocksbridge Junior School, mathematical language is carefully introduced and reinforced through frequent discussion to ensure it is meaningfully understood.  Pupils are expected to use the mathematical language modelled by teachers and teaching assistants.

Assessment

Teachers and leaders use Mathematics assessment to support learners to embed and use knowledge fluently.  Pupils’ understanding is continually checked and teachers use this to inform their teaching and ensure that pupils attain and progress well.  In addition, pupils are given opportunities to undertake self and peer assessment. 

Investment in professional development for teachers

Stocksbridge Junior School invests in the professional development of teachers and teaching assistants. Staff receive regular support and guidance through the Mathematics Mastery programme and from external consultants. 

Years 3 and 4

The principal focus of Mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This ensures that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform increasingly complex calculations accurately.

At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching also ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties. Pupils use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.

Throughout lower key stage 2, pupils are taught multiplication and division facts so that by the end of Year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table. They should show precision and fluency in the recall of these facts.

Pupils are taught to read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.

Years 5 and 6

The principal focus of Mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This develops the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.

At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures consolidates and extends knowledge developed in number. Teaching also ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.

By the end of Year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Throughout upper key stage 2, pupils are taught to read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.

Impact

Our pupils embrace the Mathematics Mastery approach and develop detailed knowledge and skills across the Mathematics curriculum. More importantly, they demonstrate a love of Mathematics and recognise its importance in the wider world. They work confidently and apply the skills that they learn to problem-solving, showing outstanding learning behaviours during Mathematics lessons. Pupils’ Mathematics learning is confidently transferred to, and demonstrated in other curriculum areas.

Pupils at Stocksbridge Junior School achieve well in national tests. 2018 Key Stage 2 Mathematics SATs results.

Pupils leave Stocksbridge Junior School as confident and aspirational learners ready for the next stage of their Mathematics education.