We focus on the basic skills of mathematics as the foundation for all our learning.
The teaching of Mathematics at Woodlands Academy is geared towards enabling each pupil to develop their learning. We endeavour to not only develop the mathematical skills and understanding required for later life, but also foster enthusiasm and fascination about Mathematics.
We want children to know how important maths skills are in the ‘real world’. We aim to increase pupil confidence in Mathematics, using a mastery approach, so that they are able to express themselves and their ideas using mathematical language with assurance.
Using their mathematical skills, pupils will be able to make sense of the world around them and understand and appreciate relationships between Mathematics and their everyday lives.
The children study the following key areas of mathematics:
- Number and Place Value
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Fractions including decimals and percentages
- Properties of shapes
- Ratio and Proportion
Why do we teach mathematics?
Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
At Woodlands Academy we aim, in line with the National Curriculum, to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
How is Woodlands Academy approaching the delivery of a mastery curriculum?
As of September 2017, Woodlands Academy moved towards delivering a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of Mathematics. The change is to ensure that deeper understanding of concepts is developed rather than accelerating pupils through content without unpicking it in sufficient depth, allowing the impact of our teaching to be greater than before. A detailed curriculum is mapped out using White Rose Maths resources to enable us to deliver a ‘scheme-assisted not scheme-driven’ approach. The curriculum is mapped out across each term, ensuring longer time is prioritised for key topics and to ensure all pupils can acquire and demonstrate a sufficient grasp of the mathematics relevant to their year group. Woodlands recognise that when there are gaps within ARE for their year group we plan to support conceptual understanding and pitch this appropriately according to the individual’s need, therefore closing gaps.
What can you typically expect to see in a Maths lesson at Woodlands Academy?
Teachers plan carefully crafted lessons to provide a step-by-step, conceptual journey through mathematics, engaging pupils in reasoning and development of deep mathematical thinking. Maths lessons across the school generally begin with a recap of previous learning, this can be an opportunity for the children to make corrections, edit and improve their work, tackle next step challenges or often explore a common misconception or concept as a whole class. This teaching process is in line with our feedback and marking policy. Collaboration between pupils and other adults is often utilised at this point of the lesson. During the lesson, teachers use AfL strategies to stop, revisit or adapt the lesson when appropriate, such as if a common misconception is clear and needs addressing in the lesson or same day interventions will happen when needed.
In addition to the daily Maths lessons, each class will spend at least 15 minutes a day further reinforcing their key skills in maths through visual, practical, mental and written strategies. The learning booklets which the children work through are ability levelled. On a weekly basis children are then grouped to consolidate learning, work through misconceptions and move their learning forward.
These lessons will focus on the following areas.
- Place value
- Calculations (mental and written)
- Fractions, decimals and percentages
- Money -Measurements
There are also opportunities within other areas of the curriculum for maths to be reinforced in different contexts through cross curriculum activities. For each topic teachers are required to plan for at least one opportunity to use mathematical skills and understanding through another curriculum area
How does the school intervene to help those having difficulty to make sure they keep up, and to stretch and deepen the learning of the high-attainers?
Pupils that are experiencing difficulties and have misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed informing planning for the next day and are often picked up by an adult at the start of the next Maths lesson. This style of support is in place to enable the pupils to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’. It addresses any points in the previous learning journey that were not understood or provide an opportunity for pre-teaching so that all pupils are ready for the next lesson.
Lessons are pitched in such a way that all children are expected and enabled to produce outcomes reflective of a high academic standard, regardless of their individual starting points, with less confident children receiving additional support to help them succeed. ‘Differentiation by depth’ ensures the problems deepen their knowledge of the same content rather than being moved onto content from future year groups.
We ensure high-attaining pupils and those who show a capacity to understand new concepts quickly, are challenged with more demanding reasoning and problem solving skills and are given more opportunities to make links across a wider scope of mathematical topics, which have been previously taught, for example, linking perimeter, measures, number and place value. Structured
Maths interventions are also in place across key areas of the school.
For more information about the support available to children with additional needs, please see our SEND pages.