Subject leader: Miss Murray
At Northlands, Maths is at the heart of the curriculum. We believe that having a strong mathematical understanding actually improves our pupils' lives because it is a skill that is so crucially required now and when they become adults. From dealing with pocket money, to household bills, maths is a part of our lives from the very start. We intend to give our pupils the fluency and knowledge they need to deal with real-life challenges as well as the chance to deepen understanding of key mathematical concepts.
We chose Mathematics Mastery because we were amazed at how the children were given such strong mathematical foundations: so strong that they were able to recall them long after the point of teaching demonstrating its positive impact on their long-term memory. We also wanted to bring all children along on the mathematics learning journey and we loved the all-inclusive approach. Finally, we were drawn in by the clear structural approach to maths: concepts, thinking and language are all carefully developed through a unique system of lesson delivery.
All staff in each year group follow a clearly defined long term plan with Reception at the starting point. At Northlands, we see Reception as an integral part of the Northlands journey and therefore we refer to them as Year R! Frequent learning reviews allow us to check that the planned progression included in the program is actualising. Learning environments and lesson structures follow a consistent pattern to allow pupils to recall previously taught skills and concepts, 'Pupils remember what they have been taught and understand it. They use this knowledge to help them learn new things.' Ofsted November 2019.
Due to the small step learning sequence, Mathematics Mastery allows us to teach all children together regardless of their differing starting points. Whilst we are keen that planning is closely followed, and that there is a clear Northlands Way, we also expect to see support and stretch opportunities to scaffold or deepen the understanding of all learnings and as such we use resources from White Rose, Nrich and NCETM to further challenge some of our pupils. Additionally, using our existing knowledge of the children, planning is often adjusted and adapted as required and teachers have the chance to consolidate concepts with built in consolidation blocks. We use the notion of concrete (using a variety of practical resources including: counters, bead strings, numicon, dienes), pictorial (images and diagrams are used to represent the resources from the concrete stage) and abstract (symbols and numbers are used to model problems) to help deepen pupil understanding.
As a school, we understand the importance of developing good number sense. Recall of number facts, related to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are important basic skills and we use the online sites – Numbots and Times Tables Rockstar - to support the children in the learning and practise of these skills, both at school and home. We also hold Maths Days where children explore specific concepts in an exciting way!
Northlands mathematicians are on a trajectory: they have started the Mathematics Mastery journey and we are now seeing confident mathematicians who are ready to apply their knowledge to mathematical problem solving. More importantly, we are seeing children who are not just able to give an answer but who are able to understand and explain how they achieved that answer. The ability to explain their reasoning, both verbal and written, demonstrates a deeper understanding.
By the end Year 6, the children are fluent in their recall and application of number facts. Children will to be able to apply their reasoning and explain their mathematical thinking using the correct vocabulary. They will have the knowledge and skills that they will be able to apply in their ongoing journey to secondary school and in their life outside school.
We all know how confusing it can be when helping your child at home. Are we teaching the right method? Is it different to the school's? In reality, knowing a range of methods is always advantageous but we have created a range of audio power points to help support parents who could not attend our parent work shops. Please access these below: