Mathematics forms one of the cornerstones of our provision here at West Rainton.
Every day in school, from our 2-year-olds in nursery to our Year 6 pupils, we are all experiencing the world of mathematics around us. As well as gaining the key skills and knowledge of number, shape, space and measures, statistics, calculation, algebra and much more, our lessons also strive to foster problem-solving, methodical thinking and logical strategies.
Mathematics offers children a powerful way of communicating. They learn to explore and explain their ideas using symbols, diagrams and spoken and written language. They also start to discover how mathematics has developed over time and contributes to our society and culture.
Leadership and intent of mathematics at West Rainton
The key aims of learning mathematics in our school are:
- To foster an early interest and intrigue in the world of mathematics;
- To facilitate the acquisition of basic mathematical concepts and computational skills;
- To support pupils in learning how to think creatively and strategically, communicate and problem-solve;
- To provide the contexts for pupils to become critical and resilient thinkers able to come up with multiple plans and solutions;
- To help students to develop number fluency and spatial sense with an ability to appreciate patterns, sequences and relationships in number and shape;
- To give pupils the skills and understanding to access the everyday real-life maths in the world around them;
- To enhance pupils’ lifelong learning abilities through secure mathematical knowledge.
You can read the full pen profile of our maths lead here:
The content of our maths curriculum mapping is reviewed annually and carefully considered based on prior learning and experiences. Being in a small school often requires curriculum tailoring to mixed-age classes which is thoroughly planned to ensure all children get their appropriate entitlement.
As subject lead, I regularly update my knowledge and skills with authority-led training as well as continuing my own studies in the subject.
You can read our full subject policy and curriculum mapping for maths here:
How mathematics is taught at West Rainton Primary School
Children in years 1-6 follow the national curriculum programme of study and receive a minimum of one hour of mathematics teaching and learning every day. The school follows the Collins ‘Busy Ants’ maths scheme to ensure effective coverage, but enhances and strengthens the breadth of experiences children receive with both Hamilton Trust and White Rose activities. The structure of the Collins scheme is such that core themes are often taught at the same time across the school. This allows for clear monitoring, by the subject lead, of progress and attainment across the school.
The school’s timetable allows for a ‘morning task’ session first thing each day, during which most classes receive additional opportunities to practise key performance indicators in maths such as number patterns, mental calculation strategies and relationships such as multiplication and division facts. The latter is also backed up with individual accounts on ‘TimesTable Rockstars’ which children in years 2-6 access at least three times per week in school as well as at home.
In the early years, children receive a daily maths input in reception which is supported with both teacher-led and independent child-centred tasks both indoor, in various areas of the classroom, and in reception’s exclusive outdoor area.
In our nursery 2-year-old provision and preschool classes, teacher-led maths focus at group time takes place at least three times per week with child-centred tasks readily available both indoor and outside in the nursery garden.
As part of our provision on offer, pupils with special educational needs are planned for very carefully in school. This may form a part of their SEN support plan, or individual learning plan as part of an EHCP. It is always a priority for us to ensure that pupils are taught the skills and coverage that they need, rather than just following the national curriculum expectations. We are aware that this is not always what our pupils need – they need a curriculum that is suitable, challenging and relevant. This was highlighted when we were awarded the inclusive ‘Centre of Excellence’ award in late 2020. It is crucial for us that our pupils with SEND make progress, and move on from where they are in their learning journey. This provision may look very different to our other pupils, through differentiation and modification of the curriculum. Our decisions are made in consultation with the SENDCo, Mrs Firth, who advises and supports members of staff with their provision.
The impact of mathematics at West Rainton
It is important that children know why and how they are taught each subject as this empowers them to make reasoned and informed decisions in the future where further education or careers are concerned.
The subject of mathematics, and the skills and strategies learned within it, are crucial to everyday life. We use mathematics all of the time in life; organising our daily routine, catching a bus, cooking a meal, living with a budget, driving a car, planning a holiday, DIY- the list is endless.
Careers that rely heavily on mathematics skills and knowledge include economists, accountants, business, retail, physics, astronomy and computer science. Most careers, however, require a secure understanding of maths concepts.
More than this, mathematics teaches us to think logically; to identify and state the problem clearly; to plan how to solve the problem; and then to apply appropriate methods to evaluate and draw conclusions on what we’ve found.