Purpose of study
Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
Our approach to maths
Within BWA, maths follows the mastery approach from the National Curriculum and is taught using ‘Singapore style’ maths. Singapore has consistently ranked amongst the highest countries in the international PISA tests due to their world renowned methods in the teaching of maths.
As in Singapore, maths at Belleville is taught through the use of the concrete-pictorial-abstract (C-P-A) approach, from Bruner’s enactive-iconic-symbolic modes of representations, giving our students a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. We use the 'Maths - No Problem!' textbook scheme - the first textbook to meet the DfE textbook criteria - ensuring lessons build on one another in a logical progression.
Maths is taught for an hour each morning.
Every lesson has a real-life, open-ended problem as a starting point for learning. Students solve the problem in small groups or with partners using the C-P-A approach and after exploring their own methods they are guided towards the most efficient approach.
Children spend time in lessons working in groups or with partners to support articulation of their ideas before showing deep understanding with independent work.
After practice, children work independently in workbooks that link directly to the textbooks. All children have their own workbooks.
Core curriculum elements
Our maths curriculum follows the National Curriculum objectives for each year group.
Using the Singapore approach to teaching maths encourages students to explore their thinking using manipulatives and pictorial representations before moving onto the abstract. For quick learners, this gives them opportunity to examine concepts in different ways and make judgements as to the efficiency of different methods as well as articulating their learning with high expectations of the use of mathematical reasoning. For those who may struggle with maths, their understanding is supported through the use of manipulatives.
Every lesson has an open-ended problem as a starting point for learning. Usually the question can be investigated and answered using multiple strategies with the teacher converging ideas to teach the most efficient method. The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach is used throughout to support the deep understanding of concepts.
Students solve the main problem in small groups or with partners with teacher questioning giving opportunity for exploring and articulation of explanations by the students before moving into practicing the preferred method.
Workbooks provide independent practice and additional activities consolidate and deepen conceptual learning.
Fluency of facts such as multiplication tables, estimation and comparing amounts is in incorporated into each lesson.