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Mathematics at St John's

Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. Our aim is for every child to develop a sound understanding of Maths, equipping them with the skills of calculation, reasoning and problem solving that they need in life beyond school. 

“Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.” (The New national curriculum in England framework document, July 2013)

Our Intent for Mathematics

When teaching mathematics, we intend to provide a curriculum which caters for the needs of all individuals. We incorporate sustained levels of challenge through varied and high quality
activities with a focus on fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Pupils are required to explore maths in depth, using mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain their workings. A wide range of mathematical resources are used and pupils are taught to show their workings in a concrete fashion, before establishing ways of pictorially and formally representing their understanding. They are taught to explain their choice of methods and develop their mathematical reasoning skills. We encourage resilience and acceptance that errors are often a necessary step in learning. Our cross curricular approach to learning provides excellent opportunity for mathematics to be applied in ‘real life’ contexts.

How we Implement our Mathematics Curriculum

We implement our approach through high quality teaching delivering appropriately challenging work for all individuals. Our pupils are taught to become competent mathematicians; we strive to embed the skills and processes necessary to enable children to use and apply their Maths learning in a variety of contexts. We aim to develop children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. Our approach to the teaching of mathematics develops children's ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team.
Through mathematical talk, children will develop the ability to articulate and discuss
their thinking.

We want pupils to be curious about problem solving and give them opportunities to identify and recognise patterns and rules; learning the whyThis develops their skills to think independently and to have the vocabulary to explain their learning and relate these skills to real life. We also want to encourage resilient learners who accept that mistakes are a step in their learning journey.

We deliver lessons that are fun and engaging. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving.  From EYFS to Year 6, we use White Rose teaching resources as a basis for our planning. We systematically build on the sequence of lesson objectives, ensuring there is progressive coverage throughout the school. Our Curriculum is developed in a mastery style, allowing children to evolve deep conceptual understanding of Maths and giving them equal access to the curriculum, no-matter their starting point. 

All children when introduced to a new concept for the first time are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols. Throughout our school,  you will see these three methods being used:

Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.

Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using these pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid by using the concrete and pictorial methods the children can move onto an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.

Vigorous monitoring means that children, who need extra support with their learning, receive high quality intervention time with a teacher or teaching assistant. 

  • Our focus on fluency, reasoning and problem solving provides challenging learning as well as opportunities to contextualise mathematics and encourage children to not see mathematical skills in isolation, but to integrate them into other aspects of their learning and lives.
  • With the new curriculum we have placed a far greater focus on reasoning and have seen mathematical resilience improving across the school.
  • 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, at the end of each phase.

The mastery approach in our school has also ensured that there is a greater expectation on all children; little chance for passive learning as there is a greater emphasis on talking maths, collaborating, exploring and investigating; the use of equipment is encouraged and there are always planned opportunities for children to make connections between subjects.  Children are constantly pushed to the limits of what they are learning.

Maths Mastery Definition

When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a range of situations and then be creative to really understand it. 

Maths No Problem

In order to further develop our maths mastery curriculum, we have started to use the Maths No Problem scheme right the way through our school from year one to year six.  It is a  scheme that follows the Signapore approach to teaching mastery maths.  It helps pupils develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of maths. There are some new concepts and methods that are very different to what we used before.  Other high quality resources are used in conjunction such as NRich and NCETM to support, stretch and challenge all children within the classroom.  In addition, the school’s calculation policy is used to ensure a coherent approach to teaching the operations across our school.

Our Mathematics Curriculum

Click here for our Mathematics Whole-School Overview Document

Click here for our Mathematics Whole-School  Termly Overview Document

Click here for our Mathematics Whole-School Calculation Document

Skills Progression in Mathematics

Click here for our Skills Progression in Mathematics Document

Maths Resources

Click here for our Maths Resource Document

Our Mathematics Knowledge Organisers

Our Knowledge Organisers for each subject can be found on the class pages on this website. Click here to access.

Times Tables Rock Stars

We know the importance of children recalling their multiplication and division facts at speed and with accuracy. In order to help children with learning these facts in a fun and engaging way, we subscribe to 'Times Tables Rock Stars'.  

Children's success on this platform is celebrated in each class!