The Intent, implementation and Impact of our Mathematics Curriculum
Traditionally, Maths has been taught by memorising key facts and procedures, which tends to lead to superficial understanding that can easily be forgotten. At Robin Hood Primary School, we believe that children should be able to select which mathematical approach is most effective in different scenarios.
All pupils can achieve in mathematics! There is no such thing as a ‘Maths Genius’ which is the belief that some pupils can do maths and others cannot. A typical Maths lesson will provide the opportunity for all children, regardless of their attainment, to work through Fluency, Reasoning AND Problem Solving activities. No child should be deprived of this opportunity.
Maths is a journey and long-term goal, achieved through exploration, clarification, practise and application over time. At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the topic and be able to build on this over time.
There are 3 stages which should be an integral part of the teaching and learning of maths:
- Reflecting: Children need the breathing space to reflect on an experience when deepening their knowledge and understanding. Pausing, probing and pondering all happens when children are not rushed or pressured. Slowing down allows children to take control of their learning and become aware of their own learning too.
- Representing: Children need plenty of opportunities to represent their learning in an active way so deepening becomes memorable. This might be constructing a model, drawing a mathematical picture, using manipulatives or writing down their thoughts.
- Reporting: Children have to engage in meaningful maths talk with others – maths has to involve lots of verbal back and forth. Pupils refine, consolidate and develop their understanding by entering into learning conversations with their peers and teacher(s). This type of reporting helps children to realise that their thoughts are valuable and by talking together they can clarify their understanding.
These 3 R’s feed into depth and understanding and classroom activities must integrate them
Multiple representations for all!
Concrete, pictorial, abstract
Objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols should be an integral part of any classroom everywhere. The mastery approach incorporates all of these to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they’ve learnt.
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
- Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
- Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.
- Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
- Quick recall of facts and procedures
- The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
- The ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics