Mathematics is taught using the Mathematics Mastery program in Reception through to Year 6. These schemes are based on approaches from Singapore and the new National Curriculum. This allows all pupils not only to be fluent in the fundamentals but to reason and solve problems by applying mathematical skills with increasing sophistication. Teachers work to support and guide their children through the crucial stages of mathematical development. Our children learn to talk mathematically, developing their vocabulary through their lessons and talk tasks. Throughout the school children learn to use technology confidently to support and enhance their mathematics, broadening their skillset and understanding of the subject’s fascinating diversity.
We believe that children should leave primary education as confident, resilient mathematicians with a deep conceptual understanding of the skills required to approach any maths problem. We understand that a deep grasp of mathematics is essential to enabling greater social equity and mobility.
We want our pupils to be successful not only in their schooling career, but throughout their adult lives. Through carefully designed lessons, our teachers are able to make meaningful connections between content with a high emphasis placed on enquiry. As a result of this, our pupils are encouraged to use critical thinking to find solutions to problems, therefore encountering greater depth within their maths sessions, enabling an easier transition to mastery.
Mathematics at Thomas Fairchild is planned and sequenced using Mathematics Mastery. This ensures careful cumulative coverage. Each school year begins with a focus on the concepts and skills that have the most connections, and this concept is then applied and connected throughout the school year to consolidate learning. This gives all pupils the opportunity to ‘master maths’; by building on previous learning throughout the school year, they are able to develop conceptual understanding.
We believe that our regular arithmetic sessions promote confident mathematical fluency and this, along with times table knowledge, is taught, tested and celebrated across all year groups. We place a large emphasis on reasoning and vocabulary, these skills are built up from EYFS, where interactions are carefully planned to elicit verbal responses all the way up to year 6, where children are expected to provide a written response alongside a diagram or model to explain their reasoning.
It is imperative that the children have a secure understanding of each mathematical concept before moving on. At Thomas Fairchild, we ensure that the children have mastered the maths in every lesson, by ensuring that teachers are expertly using assessment for learning, identifying and addressing any misconceptions as and when they arise. Teachers and teaching assistants deliver targeted maths interventions and boosters based on assessment of the work produced to ensure that all children are ready to move on. Children are tested on the content they have been taught after each half term and the gap analysis data informs 'Time for Review' lessons that are taught at the beginning of a new term. These lessons are designed to give teachers the opportunity to deliver the content with a different approach, to enable the children to secure their subject knowledge. We also use PUMA test as a summative assessment to monitor overall progress in mathematics.
We take every opportunity to exploit mathematical learning across our curriculum offer. We practise and embed mathematical learning through our computing curriculum, where discrete coding is taught with explicit links to mathematics. Science, Geography, PE and History lessons are also closely planned with maths in mind to ensure children have the opportunity to explore maths through our alternative and creative approach to topics.
All children are exposed to open-ended investigations which are presented through a real life context. In their approach to these tasks, the children learn the invaluable skills of collaborative planning and systematic working. We ensure that mathematics has a particular relevance for our students, and is not just a subject that is taught at school. We explore maths in relation to our locality and conduct our own investigations. We research noteworthy mathematicians and ensure that there are visits out of school by the students or visits to the school by outside speakers.