Maths at Withernsea Primary School
At Withernsea Primary School, we are committed to ensuring that every child meets their full potential in mathematics. With this as the driving force behind all mathematical teaching and learning, we are currently in the process of adopting a strategy known as teaching for mastery. Teaching for mastery allows all children to work at a level of challenge that perfectly suits their level of understanding, whilst also ensuring that all pupils are motivated to challenge themselves in every lesson.
Whilst we use the mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics, we ensure coverage of the curriculum by using the White Rose Hub small steps. This method of teaching perfectly suits the mastery approach and allows all children to develop fluency in the mathematical concept and then apply this concept to reasoning and problem solving situations. All children will be given the opportunity to reason and problem solve in every lesson, whether this be as an individual or as a part of a group.
In every year group children will work in all four of the curriculum areas – number, measurement, geometry and statistics. Our aim as teachers is to ensure that every child is fluent in all of these areas and can then apply the skills to a problem solving and reasoning situations. For example, in addition the children need to be able to complete calculations in their simplest form. Once they can do this we do not simply make the numbers bigger, they will be given word style problems and reasoning style tasks to fully develop their understanding in this area.
In all year groups children will be given opportunities to use concrete, pictorial and abstract. The concrete method gives the children the opportunity to work with mathematical apparatus in order to link the ‘real world’ with an abstract concept, this link allows the children to see and feel the concept they are working with. Once they are comfortable with this method the children will be given pictorial representations of the same concept. Finally, once the children are truly comfortable with the use of pictorial apparatus they will then be better equipped to apply these methods to abstract concepts.
Alongside all maths lessons it is an expectation that all children will be given an opportunity to use their calculation skills every day at school. In KS1 this will often be spoken or whiteboard work. LKS2 the children will be focused upon their times tables and in UKS2 the children will complete arithmetic style quick starts at the beginning of each session. This has proven very successful at raising the standard of number work within the school.