Maths at Eaton Park
Subject leaders: Miss Hayes and Miss Hickton
Subject coach: Mrs Sawyer
Link governor: Mr Bradbury
Mathematics is a tool and a skill that we believe all of our pupils need to acquire and master to be successful in life and in other aspects of the curriculum. It is a whole network of concepts and relationships which provide a way of viewing and making sense of the world. It is used to analyse and communicate information and ideas and to tackle a range of practical tasks and real life problems. It also provides the materials and means for creating new imaginative worlds to explore. At Eaton Park Academy, we use a mastery approach to mathematics in all of our teaching, ensuring that children are able to apply the curriculum in a more complex and in-depth way. Mastery in maths demonstrates how skilfully a child can apply their learning – it is not just knowing a fact, but using that fact in increasingly more complex and abstract situations across a range of mathematical strands.
Using the 2014 National Curriculum for Mathematics, it is our aim to develop:
• A positive attitude towards mathematics and an awareness of the fascination of mathematics
• To promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity
• Fluency in mathematics
• Competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills
• An ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately
• Initiative and an ability to work both independently and in cooperation with others
• An ability to communicate mathematics using mathematical vocabulary
• An ability to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life
• An understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry and experiment
• An understanding of the importance of mathematics as a life skill
The Subject Leaders
We would like to introduce ourselves as Miss Hayes (EYFS/KS1 lead) and Miss Hickton (KS2 lead). Together, we are privileged to have the opportunity to develop and improve mathematics across the academy. Over the past few years of working together, it has been a pleasure to witness the children becoming more fluent mathematicians who are beginning to understand how maths is a key aspect of everyday life and not just a discrete, stand-alone lesson that we have at school. Maths is a key basic skill that everyone needs to be successful in life, and as leaders, we are proud to be part of a team that enjoys developing the ongoing competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills here at EPA.
Within Eaton Park, we are well-known for our passion for our subject, and we both promote maths in a positive way with both pupils and staff all of the time. We have adapted the whole school approach to have a mastery focus, using a fluency, reasoning and problem solving structure in all of our lessons. We champion the idea that all children can achieve if they are supported and scaffolded in the correct ways during lessons, using the accurate planning of resources and making the most of the support staff who are in place. Alongside each other, we both provide CPD for our staff, offering opportunities to share best practice to look at each other’s books and to develop staff attitudes to concepts such as variation and modelling the writing of reasoning answers.
During lessons, pupils are supported in a safe and calm environment where mistakes are celebrated as key learning opportunities, which in turn encourages children to take more risks in their maths lessons, removing the fear of being wrong. Lessons are fluid and flexible and consist of time for next steps, Daily 5 activities (these consolidate and recap previously taught skills), an exposition where the children are encouraged to work harder than the staff through effective questioning and application time in books using differentiated questions. However, there is no expectation to complete all of these things in one lesson as we understand that some aspects of the curriculum may take longer to teach – we want children to master concepts and not race through them.
Through learning walks, book scans, lesson observations and moderations, we are able to assess the quality of maths across the whole academy. We offer support to members of staff who know that we can be approached for support at any time, and we are responsible for ensuring that the subject continues to move and develop in line with developments in the subject. Regularly, we meet with our key link governor, Mr Bradbury, whose responsibility is to oversee the teaching of maths and who also has a real passion for the subject and its success. During these meetings, we discuss and review the standard of maths at Eaton Park, sharing how things are going whilst ensuring that all pupils achieve the best of their ability.
Our curriculum design at Eaton Park Academy focuses on developing a depth of understanding that ensures the children can build on the concepts that they have previously been taught successfully. We understand that particular areas of the curriculum take more time than others and are therefore not restrictive in our long term planning, but instead we allow our staff to be flexible with their planning, suiting the needs of the pupils within each cohort. Planning of lessons is based upon teacher’s Assessment for Learning judgements as well as summative data, and lessons are created and supported with high-quality resources that challenge all pupils. We believe that the concept of mastery can be achieved by all if children are given the time to explore and embed new skills and concepts in a range of ways. Children are constantly shown the same thing in different ways (conceptual variation) – we believe that taking time with this allows children to make better links and to become deeper thinkers and learners in maths.
At Eaton Park, we wish our children to have a strong understanding of the place value of numbers, applying this to calculation methods both mentally and in writing. We use our displays to model and support the children’s ability to justify and explain their mathematical reasoning when solving questions – this in turn means children begin to notice when their answers seem unreasonable and can correct them independently. We champion the idea of making mistakes, encouraging children to develop resilience when problem solving and instilling the MASTER values of enthusiasm and success. Our children develop a good understanding of spatial awareness and shapes and can interpret a range of graphs accurately. Staff encourage and nurture every pupil’s ability to make links and see relationships and patterns between the different mathematical strands. We achieve these things by using setting to support the children’s progress and to fine tune teaching practise to suit the needs of all our pupils.
Maths at Eaton Park is taught discretely in three maths lessons, which are supported by a double session, entitled ‘Big Maths’. Big Maths is an aspect of our curriculum design that we feel allows us to be successful in maths as staff are able to recap and review key concepts that they have previously taught to allow children to move these skills from their working memory to their long term memory. Big Maths is also a valuable opportunity to reinforce key facts such as times tables, number bonds and halves and doubles. Our sequences and lessons follow the system of fluency, reasoning and problem solving – during all lessons, resources are geared to moving children towards being able to apply their basic skills in a wider range of situations with an increasingly complex style. Maths is further supported in other areas of our curriculum, most especially in geography and science, which allows learning to become more meaningful and inspires the children to apply maths in other contexts.
Mastery within the curriculum
Mastery within mathematics is achieved when a child has become secure in a concept, securing it within their long-term memory, which allows them to utilise the information in other contexts with confidence and ease. Mastery at Eaton Park is shown through these three elements:
– Fluency – a child’s understanding of the basic skills, facts and concepts
– Reasoning – how well a child can articulate their understanding of a skill
– Problem solving – solving problems, testing out ideas and using different processes to reach an answer/s
As we set for maths at Eaton Park, our lessons develop mastery through building on skills at the pace that suits the need of the pupils, allowing all pupils to maintain a similar pace to their peers in each set. This is inclusive of our SEND pupils who, at every opportunity, are exposed to quality first teaching. Children are encouraged to be independent learners, taking risks and making mistakes are celebrated. Children work through a clear and progressive set of questions that stretch and challenge them appropriately, with children understanding when to ask for support. It is clear as soon as you enter any maths lesson within Eaton Park that our pupils thoroughly enjoy their learning and that they are not fazed by challenge, but instead thrive upon it.
Early Years Foundation Stage
The EYFS mathematics curriculum is a rich curriculum which allows children to become familiar with number in everyday life, to be able to explore shape and space confidently and to be able to measure using accurate vocabulary. Children are encouraged to explore the many maths areas both inside the busy classroom environment, and when outside (in our wooden learning huts). Lessons are practical, using colourful equipment such as numicon, counters, small world, water and sand play, and the lesson encourage children to be problem solvers from an early age. Planning and assessment follows the Development Matters document, mathematics teaching ensures a progression across the age bands, culminating with the children attaining the Early Learning Goal in the specific areas detailed below:
Assessment in the Foundation Stage is carried out through planned observations; incidental observation during child initiated activities and during teacher directed activities, which are informed through planning. All information obtained from these assessment strategies is transferred into the children’s individual profiles and recorded against the relevant Early Learning Goals. All assessment evidence is stored within the child’s individual learning journeys. Evidence gathering takes the form of observations, photographs and children’s work.
Times tables are a fundamental part of many mathematical areas that children encounter as they enter years 5 and 6 – this is why the National Curriculum outlines that children should be confident with their knowledge of the multiplication facts up to 12 x 12 and the related division facts by the end of year 4. Because of this, we have devised our own times tables assessment tool: The Times Tables Rainbow. Through using a weekly assessment, children are tested on individual tables as they move along the rainbow, aiming to reach the pot of gold at the end. These tests are supported in years 2, 3 and 4 as children are sent home with times tables homework books, which encourage children to practise their current table once a day at home, and as a result, children take ownership of their times tables learning. This system ensures that times tables remain fun and is supported by staff’s use of games, apps and activities during Big Maths that further embed the children’s times tables knowledge into their long-term memory. Our Times Tables Rainbow is positively reinforced by staff through the use of rewards such as stickers and individual certificates.
Assessment is a daily process that takes place within every maths lesson – a huge part of this is our use of intervention marking, which allows us to pick up on key misconceptions within the lesson and to address them straight away. Assessment for Learning is an integral tool used by all teacher’s naturally in their day to day practice, and it is used to ensure that all opportunities for learning are utilised within lessons, letting the children dictate the learning when needed. Staff use effective questioning to monitor individual pupils’ abilities to explain their understanding, and questions always push and challenge children to think deeper. Through marking, staff are able to monitor progress towards particular objectives and can further extend pupil learning through the use of next steps.
Summative assessments systems are in place at the end of each term and half term to allow staff to monitor pupil progress in maths and to ensure that learning has been effective. The data provided from these assessments is then utilised by staff to inform future planning to plug gaps and to move pupils on. Teacher’s complete trackers to help them to inform their judgements of children by analysing how secure children are in different areas of the mathematics curriculum.
Here at Eaton Park Academy, we follow the National Curriculum, and this requires that each child is assessed at the end of KS1 and KS2. Statutory tests (SATS) determine whether the children are working below, at or above the expected standard. In KS1, the assessments form part of the final judgement, along with teacher assessment to form the overall standard the children reach. In KS2, the children will sit mathematics papers in May. In KS1, the children will complete an arithmetic and a reasoning paper, and in KS2 they complete 2 reasoning papers along with the arithmetic. In Y4 during June, our children sit the statutory Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) to assess their multiplication tables knowledge and recall.
Cross curricular maths
The National Curriculum document for maths states that maths should ‘support learning across the curriculum’, and this is why our learning links where possible back to maths. This could be through using, creating and analysing graphs in science or geography. Measuring is a key skill that children utilise through the elements taught in Design and Technology lessons, our Creation Station is the perfect place for children to practically measure food ingredients whilst also developing a key life skill: cooking. Counting beats and understanding the value of different notes in music lessons is another opportunity for exploring maths, understanding halving the value of a crotchet to get a quaver and so on. Through map work, children can explore co-ordinates in context, looking at OS maps to create increasingly more complex co-ordinates. In Y6, these position and directional skills linked to map work are used by children to complete orienteering tasks. Shapes are explored in art and through design too. We also encourage children to see maths outside of the school curriculum and how people use maths in everyday life. Our sports coach continually considers how to build ‘Active Maths’ into his lessons, thinking about problem solving whilst exercising or even sometimes making graphs to show their progress in athletics.
SMSC and maths
In Mathematics we try to develop the spiritual, moral, social and cultural well-being of pupils through the teaching and learning within the lessons and through extra-curricular activities. Our Maths teaching actively encourages risk taking which enables students to explore and try new ideas without the fear of failure. Spiritual Development is encouraged through deep thinking and questioning the way in which the world works, this promotes the spiritual growth of children. In Maths lessons all pupils are encouraged to delve deeper into their understanding of Mathematics and how it relates to the world around them. Moral Development in Mathematics teaches pupils to develop self-confidence within mathematics, and to build their self-esteem within the subject. Social Development in Mathematics is deepened with problem solving skills and teamwork activities which are fundamental to Mathematics, through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas. Pupils are always encouraged to develop their Mathematical reasoning skills, communicating with others and explaining concepts to each other.
In the EYFS, mathematics takes place throughout the continuous provision activities which build on the lessons taught in small groups or classes. In reception class, ‘Wonderful Wednesdays’ enable the children to deepen their mathematical thinking through baking, building, wet weather activities and field visits. The children are actively encouraged to use skills on a practical level to give context to their learning. After school provisions such as the building club, and the EYFS cookery club all consolidate the skills further after school hours.
In KS1, mathematical enrichment is seen in the corridors, on the playground and on educational visits. Children are exposed to being more aware of maths in everyday life with questioning and homework challenges. After school clubs offer challenges such as cookery where children are able to use measuring skills, develop their skills in sharing and see the concept of time management in real life whilst cooking. On the playground, activities are provided to encourage the children to use their knowledge of maths in many ways. Teaching and support staff regularly share their use of maths at home and set challenges for the children to accomplish such as- ‘How many sandwiches do I need to make for a party of 12, if each person has 3 each?’
Liverpool Counts Quality Mark
This year, we are proud to be partaking in the Liverpool Counts Quality Mark as an academy. This quality marks aims to improve children’s love and appreciation of maths. Our aim through undertaking this quality mark is to encourage children to see that ‘Maths is Everywhere’. We are doing this through using interactive displays for both the staff and children as well as continuing to make links with maths in the foundation subjects, giving children exposure to maths at every available opportunity. Whether it be through PE and measuring their distances and times or in science being able to draw an accurate graph to show the results from an experiment, we want the children to find pleasure in using their maths skills in other ways and to take pride in this fact. The quality mark has made us as subject leaders consider how maths can be brought into assemblies, themed weeks, newsletters, and so we are now making more of an effort to weave maths even more so into our everyday school routine.
Pupil voice is important at Eaton Park Academy, and through our junior leadership team we ensure that all pupils have a say in the curriculum as often as possible. Pupil surveys take into account the views of individuals and pupil feedback is important to us.
Ensuring that our pupils understand that maths is a life skill, and not just something we do in maths lessons is important to us and pupils have an opportunity to share their maths journeys on the ‘Maths Everywhere’ boards around the school.
‘I love maths lessons, especially when we can work as a team to solve problems’’. Leon, Year 2.
‘I spent a pound in the shop, I knew it was a pound coin because I learnt it in school’. Ava, Year 2.
‘I am good at counting’ Emily, Nursery.