Maths Intent Statement
At Westover, we believe that maths is an exciting, creative and visual subject. Mathematical concepts have origins, stories, logic, connections, big ideas and intuitiveness – we strive to allow all children to understand and question the mathematical world around them.
We aim to equip children with the tools needed to venture into further education as confident, competent and creative mathematicians with a secure understanding and enthusiasm to investigate and ask questions. To achieve this, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics and focus on the five big ideas that underpin the teaching of mastery: coherence, representation and structure, mathematical thinking, fluency and variation.
Children spend far longer developing a thorough understanding of key mathematical concepts and access these concepts at a greater level of depth. To develop children’s conceptual understanding, we use the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach. Problem solving, reasoning and fluency are central to our curriculum. By moving away from the idea that in mathematics speed is more important than depth, we promote teaching facts for automaticity which should be reached through understanding of numerical relations, achieved through thinking about number strategies. In order to reason successfully we teach children precise mathematical language and insist upon its use. This gives the children the ability to think mathematically and empowers children’s ability to think about the concept being taught and to communicate ideas and strategies.
Our approach rests on the belief that all children can – and indeed must - be successful in the study of mathematics. We believe that by embedding our school values throughout our mathematics teaching and learning, we will ensure that our children are active, resilient learners who become life-long mathematicians. This, combined with our Growth Mindset approach, encourages positive attitudes to learning and high aspirations where we aim to ensure that all children move together through their learning in order to avoid gaps in understanding from forming. Children who grasp concepts more quickly are given opportunities to deepen their knowledge and improve their reasoning skills rather than accelerating on to new curriculum content.
These policies contain the key procedures that will be taught at Westover Primary School alongside practical resources. Children will be introduced to a concept using concrete apparatus and pictorial representations to develop a secure conceptual understanding of the structure of the written, abstract method of calculating. Once secure, children will then be able to move away from the scaffolding of the concrete apparatus and apply the abstract algorithm fluently with problems.
Written methods are complementary to mental methods and should not be seen as separate from them. The aim is to produce mathematicians that use mental methods when appropriate, but for calculations that they cannot securely do mentally, they use an efficient written method accurately and with confidence. Choosing the appropriate strategy when calculating is an important tool both for furthering the understanding of ideas and for communicating those ideas to others.
By the end of Year 6, children should be able to confidently choose the most appropriate and efficient approach to solve a problem.