Mathematics is at the very heart of our entire curriculum.
At Catton Grove, we believe that EVERY child is capable of achieving high levels of attainment and progress in mathematics. We believe that maths should be a collaborative, discursive and imaginative subject which encourages learners to think about concepts deeply and explore
them in many different ways.
We do not believe in setting pupils as we believe this is detrimental for their self-esteem and does not support our belief that all pupils can achieve in mathematics. We follow a mastery-style approach to teaching mathematics in which almost all pupils will follow the same journey through the concepts tackling problems which are low threshold, high ceiling alongside fluency questions at the appropriate level.
We use the Thinking Powers displayed by our Superheroes to enable pupils and staff to think deeply about a concept. These powers include: conjecturing, pattern-spotting, classifying, convincing, generalising and representing. Children from Year 1 will use these thinking powers to articulate their learning and understanding. In order to facilitate discussion in mathematics we use a range of CLIPS (Cooperative Learning Interaction Patterns).
We believe that pupils will have a better understanding of an idea when they are given the tools to represent their ideas in concrete, pictorial and abstract ways. Children all the way up to Year 6 are encouraged to use concrete and pictorial representations, especially when learning new concepts or solving problems.
We want learners to be able to articulate their thoughts accurately using the correct vocabulary. We use magpie walls to display new mathematical vocabulary and will pre-teach pupils who may need additional support with this in order to access the forthcoming lessons.
We give pupils opportunities to verbalise or write down their ideas regularly in lessons to practise this vocabulary. We also model the correct vocabulary in every lesson and ensure that key words and phrases are repeated by the pupils.
Furthermore, learners should be developing their ability to explain, reason and justify their ideas through making conjectures, noticing patterns and making connections to other mathematical concepts or representations.
We want learners to be able to tackle difficult problems creatively and resiliently using a range of metacognitive strategies throughout. At CGPS, we believe that making connections between problems,
strategies, concepts and representations is an essential component to becoming an excellent mathematician. We want learners to understand the relevance of mathematics and identify how it relates to other areas of the curriculum - including through transferable problem solving skills.
Adults will explain how a new concept is used in daily life and make efforts to use mathematical skills in other areas of the curriculum. The Thinking Powers and problem-solving skills are also utilised across the curriculum.
Daily number time / Maths meetings
We have daily number time / maths meetings across the school to embed key number and calculating skills for each year group which help to remove barriers for children when problem solving. We use formative and summative assessments to identify pupils who need additional support and with which concepts in order to give interventions and support appropriate to the age and stage of the learner.
This often takes the form of same day intervention in the afternoon after the morning’s maths lesson. We also use Times Table Rockstars in KS2 and NumBots in KS1 and LKS2 to support the embedding of essential fluency.
Success in times tables is rewarded with certificates and stars worn on the pupils’ lapels.
When trying to solve a maths problem, we talk to the pupils about metacognitive strategies and have displays or prompt cards in classrooms to support the use of these strategies independently. Adults in the school model making connections whenever possible and encourage pupils to do the same.
We give parents the opportunity to join in with maths during our maths cafés, at our STEM fortnight exhibition and during home learning opportunities. Our learners are given additional support through breakfast clubs, booster sessions in groups, 1:1 interventions and Gifted and Talented competitions or workshops at other schools.