At Barrowford St Thomas CE Primary School we value every pupil and the contribution they have to make. As a result, we aim to ensure that every child achieves success and that all are enabled to develop their skills in accordance with their level of ability. Mathematics is both a key skill within school, and a life skill to be utilised throughout every person’s day to day experiences.
Barrowford St Thomas CE Primary Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
The National Curriculum for mathematics (2014) describes in detail what pupils must learn in each year group. Combined with our Calculation Policy, this ensures continuity, progression and high expectations for attainment in mathematics.
We believe it is vital that a positive attitude towards mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our pupils in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in our society. At Barrowford St Thomas we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) and the Early Years framework 2021 as the basis of our mathematics programme. We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning as they move through education. Assessment for Learning, an emphasis on investigation, problem solving, the development of mathematical thinking and development of teacher subject knowledge are therefore essential components of the Barrowford St Thomas approach to this subject.
Historically at Barrowford St Thomas, results in mathematics have been well above the national average at the end of each Key Stage. In 2019, 100% of pupils achieved the expected standard and 44% achieved the higher standard at the end of KS2. Progress in mathematics from KS1 to KS2 was well above average at 3.4.
However, as a school we want to ensure that all our pupils have a deeper understanding of mathematics across the school. Therefore we introduced 'teaching for mastery' into our school in 2020 in KS1 and we have now been working with North West Abacus Maths Hub for three years.
The Subject leader is Mr O Haines (deputy headteacher)
Teaching and Learning at Barrowford St Thomas
Key Stages 1 and 2: We are using a teaching for mastery approach in all classes which is underpinned by the pedagogy demonstrated in the 'Five Big Ideas': Coherence, Fluency, Mathematical Thinking, Variation and Representation and Structure. We make use of a wide range of resources to promote our mastery approach including White Rose Maths, Red Rose Maths, NCETM, Learning By Questions, Numberland and Mastering Number. The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in mathematics during each lesson. The pupils in Years 1 to 6 are taught in separate year groups and seated in mixed ability groups as we believe that all pupils can attain highly in mathematics and every pupil will have different strengths and development areas. Therefore groupings within classes are flexible and pupils will work in different groups dependent on their need. Additional lessons on mathematical fluency take place each day.
The large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention. The questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class as they work through problems will differ and pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge further.
Practise and consolidation play a central role to mathematics learning. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts in tandem. Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils keep up. Teachers ensure that concepts are modelled to pupils using multiple representations. This ensures that procedural and conceptual understanding are developed simultaneously.
Early Years: EYFS Practitioners support children in developing their understanding of mathematics in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore and talk about their developing understanding in meaningful ways. Children develop skills in seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships, working with numbers, shapes and measures, and counting, sorting and matching. Children use their knowledge and skills in these areas to solve problems, generate new questions and make connections across other areas of learning and development through well planned indoor and outdoor provision.
Children in the EYFS learn by actively playing and exploring as well as being given opportunities to extend their thinking by solving problems. Mathematical knowledge and understanding is developed through a variety of ways such as games, songs, questioning, imaginative play, stories, child initiated learning and adult led teaching.
On entry to reception, adult led sessions are short. However throughout the year there is a gradual shift where adult led sessions are extended over time. Written methods are developed across the year with an expectation on recording their ideas in a way that is meaningful and age appropriate
KS1 and KS2
Mathematics is a core subject in the National Curriculum and we use the objectives from this to support planning and to assess children’s progress.
Staff in Years 1 to 4 use the Lancashire Red Rose Mastery Materials. Years 5 and 6 use White Rose Mastery Materials. These are supplemented by further resources including NCETM resources, Learning by Questions, Mastering Number and Numberland.
Class teachers complete the weekly plans for the teaching of mathematics. These weekly plans list the specific learning objectives for each lesson and give details of how the lessons are to be taught. The class teacher keeps these individual plans, which they annotate according to the success of the lesson.
Key Learning and LAPS documents are used to further support this process.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Our EYFS team use a combination of Numberland and Mastering Number resources to ensure that the principles and pedagogy behind a mastery approach (ie the Five Big Ideas) are developed in our children from their entry point.
CPA (concrete-pictoral-abstract) approach
At Barrowford St Thomas’ we follow the CPA approach. The CPA approach builds on children’s existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. It involves moving from concrete materials, to pictorial representations, to abstract symbols and problems. It is an essential technique within teaching maths for mastery.
- Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage. During this stage, our pupils will use concrete objects to model problems. The CPA approach brings concepts to life by allowing our children to experience and handle physical (concrete) objects. With the CPA framework, every abstract concept is first introduced using physical, interactive concrete materials.
- Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages our children to make a mental connection between the physical object they just handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem.
- Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where our children use abstract symbols to model problems. Students will not progress to this stage until they have demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem. The abstract stage involves the teacher introducing abstract concepts (for example, mathematical symbols). Children are introduced to the concept at a symbolic level, using only numbers, notation, and mathematical symbols (for example, +, –, x, /) to indicate addition, multiplication or division.
A bank of essential mathematics resources are kept in each classroom to facilitate the CPA (concrete-pictoral-abstract) approach. Further resources relating to key whole school topics are kept in the main maths cupboard.
Learning & Progression Steps