Intent

By the end of Year 6, we want all our pupils to be competent in the key areas of maths and able to apply their knowledge and understanding in real-life and practical situations. The acquisition of key skills and knowledge will allow pupils to successfully deal with problems that require a mathematical solution in both academic and real-life situations. In line with our Thinking Schools status, we advocate the use of a P4C based approach to solving problems in maths.

We expect that during their time at Oaklands Junior the students will have acquired a range of strategies and methods to solve calculations involving the four operations, including formal written methods. Through use of metacognition, students will be able to discuss and explain their strategies, leading to a deeper understanding of the number system. In addition, children will be supported to develop rapid recall of knowledge fundamental to using and applying their maths skills in real life situations. This will include practical work.

At the end of Key Stage 2, our intention is that all pupils will have developed resilience in maths learning, as well as an enjoyment of it, through a challenging scheme of work, which will enable them to be able to manipulate maths skills, using prior knowledge of key facts including accurate recall of standard units of measure, properties of shape and common formulae.

Many of these skills and ways of learning tie in particularly well with our ‘Thinking School’ philosophy as well as our ‘Oaklands’ Mindset’, for example challenge, resilience, communication, enjoyment. Furthermore, the development of these skills and learning behaviours will provide an ideal foundation for continuing the development of their maths skills in Key Stage 3 and beyond. During lessons, we aim to create links between their learning in maths situations they may encounter outside of school and later in life– for example using a timetable, managing money or measuring using standard units.

Following the COVID pandemic, we recognise the impact that the lack of face-to-face teaching has had on the children’s progress in maths. Although daily lessons were provided as part of our remote learning provision during lockdown, we are aware that core skills and knowledge will need further work to become embedded, particularly with reference to problem-solving. The Covid catch-up sessions have been specifically targeted at those areas that are key in allowing children to make progress by overcoming gaps in their understanding of fundamental concepts.

Implementation

The teaching of maths is undertaken on a daily basis, typically by the class teacher with the support of the class Teaching Assistant (TA). Teaching follows the 2014 National Curriculum and we use a range of sources for our material, including, but not exclusively, the Target Your Maths scheme.

The lesson plans are designed to be up to 60 minutes in length and are planned as a sequence of lessons introducing, developing and mastering skills and knowledge. The lessons are designed to be progressive and build on prior learning, They also include ideas for support for the less able and to extend the more able.

The lesson activities are challenging, varied and interactive and encourage the development in the application of maths skills throughout the curriculum. This includes measurement in Science experiments and Design & Technology, a sense of time in History and Music as well as scale in Geography as a few examples.

With the identified need to have a firm grasp of key knowledge and skills, we have introduced regular retrieval practice across the school. This ensures that all key areas are regularly revisited by children. The spacing model, developed by Hermann Ebbinghaus, shows clearly the effectiveness of this regular revisiting of information. Furthermore, beginning in year 3, all children have access to Maths Whizz. This is an online resource that adapts automatically to support children’s individual areas of need across the maths curriculum.

It is expected that formative assessment in each lesson informs the planning and teaching of subsequent lesson plans. Recent staff meeting time has been given to this area.

A complete list of the Learning Objectives broken down by year group can be found in the appendices.

As well as Maths lessons, we also attend Maths Challenges and children are given the opportunity to sit the Primary Mathematics Challenge in November each year. Although some of these could not take place in the academic year 2020-21, due to the pandemic, these are scheduled to take place again during 2021-2022. These events have always been great successes, both engaging pupils and staff across the school. Mr Holland also takes weekly sessions for more able students throughout the school. All of these opportunities create a positive, stimulating environment around the subject, while at the same time providing challenge for more able pupils.

In the last few years, Corvus Learning Trust appointed a Primary Curriculum Lead, Amy Chapman, who is charged with overseeing maths and English across the three trust schools in the primary phase.

Over the last three years, raising awareness of the mastery curriculum at Oaklands has been a key area of development. To this end, there have several staff meetings, including ones led by the Corvus Primary Subject Leader for maths, Katherine Wilson. In addition, Mr Holland has presented to parents on several occasions, most recently in May 2021, with the intention of improving understanding in the parent community. The four pillars model displayed below outlines the crucial areas in which parents are most encouraged to support their child’s learning. It is expected that, by parents having a clear understanding of how a strong grasp of the fundamentals supports deeper understanding of maths and greater confidence and competence in applying their knowledge.

In order to understand the picture of maths at Oaklands Junior School, Mr Holland and Mr Lee have conducted observations, book looks and planning scrutinies. Moreover, Mr Holland has also worked closely with specific groups of children across the school, including running more able and support groups.

Impact

Impact is evidenced by:

  • Lesson plans indicate which activity is an opportunity to assess progress and is linked to the KS2 targets.
  • A teacher assessment grid is provided to record attainment of each target for each skill in each year group and to track progress.
  • The completed activities in the accompanying workbooks gather evidence of children’s attainment against the curriculum targets.
  • Evidence of mental mathematics activities can be gathered by making recordings of the suggested activities in the lesson plans or by simply asking children to perform and explain calculations.
  • Children self-assess their progress at the end of each section of work using a learning line system and comment on their grasp of the new knowledge. In addition, there is space for teachers to provide a written response.
  • Data from weekly times tables tests are used to track progress in knowing all multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12. For children who complete the times tables tests, ‘Challenge tests’ are provided which give them an opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding.
  • Scores from the Government ‘Multiplication Tables Check’ is used to analyse children’s knowledge of multiplication facts.  
  • Based on the evidence of the above-mentioned records of achievement and progress, teachers can inform parents/guardians of this, using report statements which relate to the expected targets of each year group under the headings ’Working Towards’, ‘Working At’ and ‘Working Above’ the expected standard for the year group. If a child is not working on Age Related Objectives, they are given the heading ‘Working Below’.
  • The use of the ‘transition document’ is encouraged to relay information to feeder secondary schools about prior mathematical learning.

How do we define success?

  • The fundamental impact of our Intent and Implementation is that pupils know more and are able to do more. The positive results of pupils learning can then be seen in the standards they achieve.
  • Attainment gaps between various groups are progressively and quickly reduced until eliminated.
  • End of key stage results in line at least with national and ideally with local authority averages.
  • Children make expected or better progress during an academic year. This is defined as 3 or more APS points progress in an academic year, as evidenced in the Oaklands Assessment System
  • Pupil voice:
    Evidence in knowledge
    Evidence in skills
    Breadth and depth of knowledge and skills
    Attitude in maths is positive
  • Next steps for Maths are clearly defined based on evaluation of the most current data.