At King’s Academy College Park, we believe that every child within our school will achieve a high level of numeracy. Our aim therefore, is to equip our children with the knowledge and skills needed for them to be confident in applying and using Maths within school and for the future. We want our children to enjoy and be inspired in Maths lessons, and since 2015 we have adopted the mastery approach to teaching Maths. This method has been successfully trialled and embedded in Shanghai and other countries around the world that have a proven record of improving Maths teaching.
In Early Years, all children follow a curriculum in line with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Framework. The framework is split into seven areas of learning and development (Prime Areas: Communication and Language; Physical Development; Personal, Social and Emotional Development. Specific Areas: Literacy; Mathematics; Understanding the World; Expressive Arts and Design.) The EYFS (2021) framework makes it clear that ‘all areas of learning and development are important and inter-connected’, so children are provided with a balance of formal mathematics opportunities, as well as child-led exploration across the curriculum which incorporates all elements of Maths. This also supports the EYFS Framework’s four overarching principles of; the unique child, positive relationships, enabling environments, and the characteristics of effective learning. At the end of Reception, children are assessed against two Early Learning Goals (ELGs) in Number and Numerical Patterns.
In KS1 and KS2, Maths is taught following the 2014 National Curriculum Framework, offering opportunities for the teaching of the different areas of Maths throughout the year. The mastery style of teaching ensures that pupils are taught as a whole class through the use of interactive teaching and by working together on the same lesson objective at the same time. This ensures that all pupils can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, as they have gained a deeper understanding of the mathematics that they are learning. Teachers will use their judgement to decide when to move on in a teaching sequence and will also offer support and guidance if children need further consolidation. Children that are able to grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through deeper thinking and questioning linked to the daily objective.
In the Infants, we are working with Solent Maths Hub on the Mastery Readiness Programme. This tailored support will help us to develop our pedagogy, classroom practice and vision for Maths across EYFS and KS1. We currently use the White Rose Scheme of Work and are beginning to transition our curriculum planning towards using the NCETM Curriculum Prioritisation materials. Using small teaching steps, developing arithmetical proficiency, and increasing independence through high quality reasoning and problem solving activities, will provide the vital foundations of mathematics, preparing children for further study in KS2 and beyond.
Within KS2, Maths lessons are held on a daily basis for an hour. We have worked hard on changing the daily planning to ensure that children are following the aims of the National Curriculum enabling them to become fluent in Maths. Children are exposed to a number of different problems and are able to recall and apply the knowledge they have learnt accurately and rapidly. We use the guidance of the White Rose Scheme of Work to support teachers with the planning and delivery of lessons. Each objective is broken down into small steps for children to work on their fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
As part of our arithmetic practice, we are using PIXL arithmetic assessments on a weekly basis to test children on their understanding of the four operations; addition, subtraction, multiplication and division (including fractions and decimals). These assessments help the children to build on their speed and stamina in a timed condition. The children thoroughly enjoy trying to beat their score each week and are able to understand their own development within Mathematics. We also support our daily lessons with 10 minutes of arithmetic practice at the beginning of each lesson. The arithmetic starters are personalised to support the development of individual classes based on their results from their weekly assessments. This is a teaching approach which makes progress in Maths easy and fun. It seeks to address children’s confidence in Maths as well as revisiting and recapping previous learning. Targeted teaching groups have been introduced again this year in Year 6 and Year 5.
As children progress through each Key Stage, we aim for them to become increasingly fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, with strong conceptual understanding as well as the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
They should have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge to a variety of situations with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. Children will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using appropriate mathematical language.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attainment data for primary schools was not published in 2020 or 2021. Results from 2019 are as follows:
- In 2019, EYFS results showed that the percentage of children achieving Expected in the Number strand of Maths was 82%. This was 10% above the national average. (These results were assessed against the previous EYFS (2012) statutory framework.)
- In 2019, the KS1 Maths EXS+ were 85% and GDS 23%. These results remained above both Portsmouth and National averages.
- In KS2 Maths the results were 67% EXS+ and GDS 14%.