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Who leads this subject?
Subject Co-ordinator: Miss L Bolton
Maths Consultant: Mrs S Skelley
Curriculum Design: White Rose Maths

Mathematics Curriculum Intent

At Birchwood, Maths is designed to enable a coherent learning progression encompassing the mastery approach. Children are taught to develop a deep and connected understanding of maths, whilst embedding mathematical fluency, reasoning and problem solving. At Birchwood, we ensure that all pupils can access the mastery curriculum through using a range of high quality learning resources including White Rose and the NCETM.

What is Teaching for Mastery?

“Mastering maths means pupils of all ages acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.” – NCETM.

What does a 'typical' lesson look like at Birchwood?

Each maths session begins with an interesting problem or task to ignite children’s curiosity, or a retrieval task to enable children to recall previously learnt facts or knowledge. This is called a ‘hook’.

One of the main principles with Mastery Maths involves children working through concrete – pictorial – abstract approaches, meaning that children have access to practical apparatus through the sessions to help embed the learning. This may include counters, Base 10 and Bead Strings. Children move at different paces through the stages, but teachers ensure that pupils can move back and forth to embed conceptual understanding. Eventually, learners will move through the guided practise and independent tasks. At the end of each session, children have access to a ‘Push It’ task, which challenges their thinking further. There are aspects of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving in each session. If you entered one of our classrooms during a maths session, you would notice teachers and teaching assistants using high levels of questioning. At Birchwood, we call this the ‘Ping Pong’ approach and it enables children to refine their thinking and progress.

How do we embed mathematical fluency and number facts across the school?

At Birchwood, we dedicate additional slots to developing children’s mathematical fluency and number recall. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children participate in the daily Mastering Number programme which aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children. Mastering Number has also recently been introduced in Year 4 and Year 5, enabling learners to develop fluency in multiplication and division facts. In Year 3 and Year 6, fluency is taught based on assessment and aims to close any gaps through identifying any target areas. Year 6 also have weekly arithmetic sessions and access to online maths tuition ran by Third Space Learning.



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long term plans & progression

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