Maths is the study of numbers and how they are related to each other and to the real world.
At Elmhurst Junior School, our maths curriculum is designed to provide children with the opportunity to expand upon and develop their mental maths skills, and prepare them for the wide variety of problem-solving opportunities that they will encounter in their lives.
We aim to foster positive attitudes, fascination and excitement of discovery through the teaching and learning of mathematical concepts and to develop a ‘can do’ attitude in our children, especially when problem solving. At Elmhurst we are passionate about broadening children’s knowledge and understanding of how mathematics is used in the wider world by making rich and varied real life connections.
To ensure that we use an adaptive approach to teaching mathematics, we aim to ensure that challenge is built into every lesson for pupils who grasp concepts rapidly through sophisticated problems and an opportunity for children to demonstrate their understanding creating their own problems.
Through our maths vision, we are passionate and fully committed to developing a balance between the children’s procedural fluency and a conceptual understanding.
At Elmhurst Junior School, we follow the blocking sequence from the White Rose Hub, to build children’s depth of understanding when teaching each mathematical skill. At the beginning of a Maths lesson, our children are exposed to a mental oral starter, which consolidates previously taught learning. This is to ensure prior knowledge is consistently drawn upon. Pupils are encouraged and supported to use a range of concrete and pictorial representations to improve their understanding of key concepts.
The calculation policy is used within school to ensure a consistent approach to teaching the four operations over time. These key skills are revisited within weekly arithmetic sessions in all year groups, which enable children to consolidate their learning of calculations and improve their mathematical fluency.
To enable our pupils to confidently reason about their mathematics, we expose pupils to a suitable range of mathematical language, recognising its importance for communication and deep thinking. Pupils therefore use stem sentences in maths lessons to support the articulation of their reasoning and explanation skills. Reasoning and problem solving tasks are apparent in whole class teaching, group and paired discussions and individual activities.
At Elmhurst, we use Maths Whizz as an online personalised learning platform, which addresses gaps in pupils’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts. In addition, each child has a TT Rockstars account and competitions are implemented across the school to enthuse and ensure that their recall of multiplication and division facts are secure.
Outcomes in pupils’ maths books provide clear evidence of a broad and balanced curriculum and demonstrates children’s acquisition of key knowledge. This knowledge is formatively assessed on a lesson-by-lesson basis through the use of verbal feedback, written feedback, peer and self-review. This evidence is used by the maths subject leader as part of the monitoring process. Weekly celebration assemblies and displays showcase a variety of maths activities and work completed across all year groups.
We use Cornerstones termly to track the academic level of each child and, to measure the impact of maths, the school uses NFER papers in Years 3-5 and past SATS papers in Year 6 to measure attainment against a national standardised score in both arithmetic and reasoning.
Key questions are planned into each unit of work for pupils to show progression of knowledge and understanding of key skills taught, through verbal feedback. This allows teachers to assess pupils’ skills and knowledge throughout each unit. Knowledge retrieval activities are used at the start of maths lessons to enable teachers and children to monitor the depth of understanding of core substantive knowledge and vocabulary and the strength of its retrieval.
The maths subject leader talks to pupils about their learning as part of the monitoring process to gauge attainment and enthusiasm. Children’s books are used to guide discussion and provide the subject leader with the necessary information to measure how much core knowledge and vocabulary has been remembered and understood.
Planning and progression
Elmhurst Calculation policy
Useful websites to help at home