The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children:
At Swalwell Primary, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the power of Mathematics.
The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at Swalwell Primary reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China.
These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:
To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths scheme. (This is fully aligned with the White Rose Maths Hub scheme.) A detailed, structured curriculum is mapped out across all phases, ensuring continuity and supporting transition. Our mastery curriculum in mathematics is designed in relatively small carefully sequenced steps, which must each be mastered before pupils move to the next stage.
New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning.
In Reception, the initial problem could be introduced through objects, rhymes and images. in short, ten-minute bursts of maths teaching each day with plenty of practice through both guided activities and independent play. An exciting growth mindset and problem solving approach develops mathematical curiosity and resilience. Through beginning Power Maths in Reception it will help to ensure a smooth transition to KS1 and a consistent approach across the whole school from Reception to Year 6.
In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Students can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The Power Maths programme addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset (see Appendix 2). Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. This ensures that we are able to promote high standards.
Taking a mastery approach, differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different children, not in the topics taught, particularly at earlier stages.
The National Curriculum states: ‘Children who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.’
For the vast majority of pupils there is no differentiation in content taught, but the questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class as they work through problems will differ, with rapid graspers challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge of the same content. Pupils’ difficulties and misconceptions should be identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with rapid intervention.
As an inclusive school, we recognise the need to tailor our approach to support children with Special Educational Needs, it may be necessary to adapt the delivery of the Maths curriculum for some pupils. Where appropriate, it may be necessary to support SEN children on a one to one basis where children receive additional support or have a tailored curriculum for them. Additionally, as part of our approach to teaching and learning, we will use new technologies, accessibility features and adapted resources wherever possible.
We currently have 6 Maths Champions, who support their peers, promote confidence within Maths, discuss plans and ideas for the subject, share their views and help to deliver assemblies.
Their first project will be to help to relaunch Times Tables Rockstars and support their peers on Rockstar Day and within the classroom when using TTRS.
Enhancements to the Curriculum
AT the end of the Spring term, we had a week dedicated to TTRS.
Each class (Y2-Y6) chose a Champion to battle during assembly against a member of the teaching staff. These battles were very competitive.
The Class Champions were all amazing and showed not only great knowledge of times tables but also fantastic speed and typing skills, meaning that they all were winners against the staff!
Staff are preparing and practising for the next tournament at the end of the Summer term.
Times Table National Competition
The last week of April saw pupils in Year 3 and 4 participate in a National Competition testing times table knowledge. Schools were split into regional leagues and we were placed in a league that included 21 schools. The majority of these schools were significantly larger than ours and would have had more pupils entered (sometimes all of KS2).
By the end of the week, Swalwell was placed 7th in the league and one child was even ranked 12th from about 1000 pupils that would have participated in our league!
Huge congratulations to all of the team, Swalwell is really proud of all of you!