Within our Christian ethos, we aim to inspire an enjoyment for Mathematics through nurturing potential, curiosity and discovery. Our aim is to equip all our pupils with a high-quality mathematics education that provides them with a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics. Our emphasis in lessons is on understanding the mathematical concepts rather than memorising lots of procedures which could be easily forgotten over time. The learning climate and culture at St John’s offers a multitude of opportunities to cover and embrace Christian and British Values. For example, the vision of ‘nurturing potential within a Christian ethos’, ‘mutual respect' and ‘resilience’ are concepts that can be addressed directly through the Mathematical Scheme of Work as children listen and discuss their reasoning with their peers whilst grappling with a Maths challenge.
At St John’s we have adopted a mastery approach in the learning and teaching of mathematics. As things stand, this has been embedded across the school. The main aim of such an approach and development of a curriculum model that values ‘going deeper’ is to ensure that our children develop a secure knowledge of mathematical concepts. Our Maths Curriculum’s intent is to enable pupils to:
Develop a positive attitude towards the learning of mathematics and an enthusiasm for the subject.
Develop the correct use of mathematical vocabulary and language.
Develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Follow a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using concreate, pictorial or abstract methods.
Deepen their understanding through reasoning and problem solving where pupils are able to apply their mathematical knowledge to real life situations.
At St John’s it is common for differentiation to appear in subtle forms within the classroom. Practise and consolidation play a central role in pupils’ learning experiences. Further challenge is provided to all children through use of problem solving, including those linked with real-life contexts. In terms of assessment, and so the mastery approach can work, we understand the need for pupils to achieve key objectives for their current stage of learning. Such assessment links with day-to-day Assessment for Learning, which informs teachers about the elements of learning children need to develop further. In lessons, teachers use precise questioning to check conceptual and procedural knowledge. They formatively assess how misconceptions can be used as growth points in learning, whilst also diagnosing who requires intervention, meaning that all children are expected to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch-up.’ Assessment gathering is kept meaningful and is viewed as a diagnostic tool whereby collated information is used purposefully when planning pupils’ next-steps.
Through pupils’ learning experiences, teachers promote connections within and across key stage 1 and 2 National Curriculum domains, so that children are taken deeper with their understanding over time and recognise the interconnectedness of concepts. Pupils revisit concepts, for example, multiplication within area when presented as an array model, which means they absorb learning within their long-term memory. To secure firm foundations in early mathematics learning, those children in Early Years benefit from daily adult directed teaching experiences, which are then supplemented through opportunities to further engage because of child-initiated learning.
It should be noted that varied use of practical resources, structures and representations, plus questioning that requires deeper reasoning is used to ensure all children are supported/challenged appropriately. A progression in key representations and structures, leading to understanding of sometimes complex and abstract concepts, is exemplified in the school’s calculation policy. This in turn supports the delivery of consistent approaches and equity of access for learners.