Mathematics at West Exmoor Federation
Skilled mathematics teachers deliver a mastery curriculum.
We are important Mathematical role models. The staff at the West Exmoor Federation perceive themselves as students of Mathematics. We are learners always striving to develop our own understanding of the subject. We love Mathematics and want to share our passion for the subject. With this mindset, we have developed our understanding of the fundamental facets of mastering the Mathematics outlined in the National Curriculum. Teachers and staff access high-quality training and support to deliver a curriculum that embeds deep, meaningful learning. Staff confidently steer pupils towards mastery starting from developing their concrete understanding, through to fluency, and finally reasoning.
Pupils are challenged and understanding is deepened.
The progression of mathematical skills is designed to challenge and deepen learning. From EYFS to the end of KS2, pupils access mathematical content to confront, inspire and excite. The West Exmoor Federation’s core values of CARIS enables learners to pursue their academic ambitions and achieve their potential. Mathematical development is woven throughout the wider curriculum to deepen learning and give a meaningful context to the children’s learning. Pupils receive high-quality teaching from their first day in Foundation to their last day in Year 6.
Mathematics is valued by all.
At the West Exmoor Federation, we know that mathematical understanding thrives beyond the classroom. We strive to help parents and guardians feel confident to support their children. Through online platforms, early morning tasks and home learning projects parents are able to develop their children’s understanding. The West Exmoor Federation believes it has an obligation to promote and develop Mathematics throughout the local community. We aim to develop the profile of Mathematics and impact the future generations of this community.
How do we implement a high-quality mathematics curriculum?
Teaching model for effective teaching of Mastery in Maths
At the West Exmoor Federation, we hold the belief that every child has can achieve in mathematics. This belief is rooted in the understanding that effective mathematics teaching is embodied in the Connective Model. By using this model to develop the conceptual understanding of Mathematics, the staff is able enabled to teach a mastery curriculum.
The Connective Model Understanding mathematics involves identifying and understanding connections between mathematical ideas. Haylock and Cockburn (1989) suggested that effective learning in mathematics takes place when the learner makes cognitive connections. Teaching and learning of mathematics should therefore focus on making such connections. The connective model helps to make explicit the connections between different mathematical representations: symbols, mathematically structured images, language, and contexts.
Developing Mathematics teaching and Learning with NCETM Teacher Research group
The West Exmoor Federation is currently taking part in a 2-year Teacher Research Group as part of the North Devon NCETM/Maths hub. Selected staff from WEF will take part in peer observations, group discussions, research projects and specialist school development support. A central component in the NCETM/Maths Hubs programs is to develop Mastery Specialists. This is based around the discussion of the Five Big Ideas, drawn from research evidence, underpinning teaching for mastery. This is the diagram used to help bind these ideas together.
Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.
Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation
If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with, and discussed with others
Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics
Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding. It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities, and exercises used within a lesson and follow-up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes, to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure.
There are a variety of interventions available to children. These are completed with the support of the SENCo, parent/ guardian, and teaching staff. When children take part in an intervention program they are assessed on their attainment level at the start and end of the programme of study.
Some of the interventions used at the West Exmoor Federation are:
Counting to Calculating
From Counting to Calculating is an intervention programme for maths which was written for children who lie just above the bottom 5% in Y2 and for children in Y3 and Y4 who are working significantly behind age-related expectations. It has also been used successfully with children significantly behind age-related expectations in Y5, Y6, Y7, and beyond. The programme is aligned with the principles underpinning Numbers Count. From Counting to Calculating is a ten-week programme based on maths objectives, taken from the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 curriculum, that focus on key aspects of mathematical understanding related to understanding counting and additive reasoning. The programme can be run by a teaching assistant or a teacher and is intended for use with threes, pairs or one to one.
‘Fair and equal: developing multiplicative reasoning’
This intervention develops understanding and addresses misconceptions within multiplicative reasoning. It includes a flexible set of intervention materials, containing related, detailed activities, written to support children with developing a conceptual understanding of multiplication and division (including fractions). The materials cover the key ideas related to multiplicative reasoning in the National Curriculum up to Y5.
The key aspects of the multiplicative reasoning intervention include:
– Understanding the structures of multiplication and divisions
– Applying what you know and understand to multiply and divide
– Understanding fractions as part of multiplication and division
– Understanding the multiplicative structure of the number system and applying this understanding with known facts to multiply and divide larger numbers.
Plus 1 and Power of 2
These are booklets designed to develop the building blocks of number and mental arithmetic skills. It is designed to be used from KS1 onwards. The booklets contain short repetitive activities to be revisited with an adult on a daily basis over a weeks. This will vary depending on the needs of the child.
Spot on with numbers
The Intervention programme guides children in developing early number sense. Furthermore, it includes research-based support for learners with dyscalculic tendencies and strategies for improving working memory.
The Intervention Programme comprises 36 sessions of approximately 45 minutes each. It is designed to be delivered up to 3 times a week, either one-to-one or in small groups of up to 4 children.
The sessions are organised into 6 topics that focus on key aspects of number, drawing on research into the mathematics that causes the most difficulties for pupils:
1. Numbers 0-5
2. Numbers 6-10
3. Exploring 10
4. Place Value to 20
5. Additive Reasoning
6. Multiplicative Reasoning.
We have invested in Mathletics to support home learning in Mathematics. Feedback from parents is that they are not confident to support home learning in Mathematics as they are not always sure what strategies to use and which concepts are being taught.
Mathletics enables teachers to assign unit-specific tasks to develop learning. These are short tasks that can be used as a pre-teaching, consolidation or progression tool. Teachers check that children are completing these tasks for assessment purposes. If children have not got regular access to ICT at home, computers are available in school.
Children earn certificates by completing tasks in Mathletics. If they earn a silver/gold certificate, these are printed off and presented in celebration assembly.