At Far Forest Primary School, we strive to ensure that all children enjoy mathematics and have the confidence to apply their knowledge and skills to their everyday lives. Our mathematics teaching nurtures a positive ‘can-do’ attitude and develops fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills.
To achieve this, we believe that all pupils should develop a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning as opposed to accelerating through curriculum content. Therefore, we are committed to spending a longer time exploring key concepts, especially number, place value, four operations, times tables and division facts to develop fluency, promote mathematical reasoning and problem solve. In order to support this, we follow a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach, which gives all children the opportunity to build a solid understanding of the mathematics that they are learning. Revisiting, refreshing and retaining skills enables our pupils to transfer this to their long term memory.
As a school, we believe that the vast majority of pupils can master the key ideas in mathematics and we have the confidence to take learning at a steadier and deeper pace in order to achieve this. In our lessons, the whole class work together on the same key area of mathematics with appropriate support, challenge and scaffolds in place. During every lesson, we assess the children’s understanding and plan greater depth activities and teacher-led support to ensure all children make excellent progress. We focus on all children having a deep and sustainable understanding of their year group targets and not accelerating beyond this. As a result, we believe pupils will become true masters of mathematics, applying and reasoning with new knowledge and skills in many ways.
Becoming fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice, ensures that that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. At Far Forest, fluency is developed through the use of ‘Fluent in 4’, children complete 4 daily arithmetic questions in 5 minutes, with immediate feedback given from their teacher. Rapid recall of times tables, including multiplication and division facts, is developed through the use of Times Tables Rockstars, providing children with engaging activities to learn their tables.
At Far Forest, children reason mathematically by accessing appropriately pitched maths content during lessons, so that they can think logically in order to arrive at solutions or sometimes find many different solutions. Children at Far Forest provide justification or proof using mathematical language to explain a solution.
At Far Forest, children solve mathematical problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems. Pupils achieve this by breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in finding solutions. Children often collaborate with others to share ideas. In order to solve a problem, children will draw on one or more problem-solving skills, such as:
Teachers use effective questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.