“Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about understanding.” – William Paul Thurston
Subject Champion for Maths - Robin Smith
At Millfield we want our pupils to be eager and fearless mathematicians who can calculate, remember, reason and investigate mathematical concepts whilst relating them to real life. We want them to be able express their thinking through concrete resources, pictures and mathematical statements. Finally, we want them to see links between mathematical ideas and enjoy a challenge.
Because of its links with all other areas of the curriculum; from the more obvious such as measuring in Science or logic in ICT, to creativity in art and justifying a point of view in English, the skills embedded will enable them to more deeply understand other subjects and flourish. A sound mathematical skill set helps to underpin children’s understanding of the world around them and interact with it. From learning to tell the time, to measuring when cooking or coding an app; they will begin to ‘see’ the maths in their day to day lives and relate it to what they have learnt in the classroom.
The mastery approach to mathematics reflects our pupils’ needs as it aims to fill gaps in their understanding, make links between the various areas of maths and give all learners a deeper level of understanding of mathematical concepts before moving on to more advanced material. Furthermore, some pupils at Millfield have low self-esteem and are put off maths as they do not like to get things wrong in front of their peers. The mastery approach of exposing the children to varied fluency (both conceptual and procedural), multiple concrete and pictorial resources, reasoning, mathematical talk and investigation, aims to give them the skills and confidence they need to understand the maths in their everyday lives. It aims to build resilience and a can-do attitude; enabling a culture of sharing and learning from mistakes and a firm belief that everyone can be great at maths.
Using the non-statutory guidance from the DfE will ensure that we have a clear progression of the core skills that our pupils need. This was created to help to fill possible gaps by focusing on core skills and the links between mathematical areas.
The White Rose Maths scheme gives a LTP to follow that encompasses the ready to progress criteria, indicates where connections can be made between the areas of maths and identifies possible gaps in prior learning.
Based on the ‘5 big ideas in maths’
For additional explanation of how these will look in a lesson, see the ‘Millfield maths lesson’ document.
Maths assessment at Millfield should be an ongoing process with the aim of addressing misconceptions in children’s understanding. End of unit quizzes should be fairly short but cover the necessary ‘ready to progress’ criteria. They could be in the form of a WR paper or a list of questions on the IWB or an investigation. Children should be given opportunities to discuss their answers afterwards with a friend and justify their responses. While quizzes should be marked (by a peer or teacher as age appropriate) no final mark should be given. Any common errors can be followed up in subsequent lesson starters or intervention groups.
Testbase questions or white rose reasoning examples can be used in the upper and middle phase at the end of lessons as a basis for discussion and to give children a chance to explain and reason.
More formal end of year assessments can be used to gauge overall learning and to inform future planning to plug any common gaps. These can be found at: