At Carlton Miniott Primary Academy we firmly believe that children should access exciting, yet
challenging learning opportunities, where there is a clear progression, to master the mathematical
curriculum. We feel that Mathematics is an interconnected curriculum area in which pupils need to
be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. It is paramount that pupils
make vivid and deep connections across all mathematical ideas to develop fluency, reasoning and
high levels of competence in solving increasingly challenging problems. We strive for all pupils to
achieve their maximum potential by having high expectations and excellent standards. We ensure
every classroom offers a rich and varied approach to the teaching of mathematics guaranteeing
every child the opportunities to achieve through exploration, clarification, practice and application.
Through a Mastery approach to our Mathematical Curriculum; at each stage of our pupils’ learning,
we expect every child to be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of a topic, and be
able to build on this, each time they are presented with similar problems and linked units.
Throughout their mathematical journey at Carlton Miniott Academy, learners achieve excellence
through positive experiences and become resilient individuals who persevere through given
problems, applying their knowledge and understanding to solve these, in a variety of ways.
Early Bird Maths
At the start of each day, all children in Classes 1 -5 access Early Bird Maths, with Class 6 accessing Numeracy Ninjas. This is an initiative used to ensure fluency is rehearsed on a daily basis, separate to that in the discrete Mathematics lessons. As the year progresses, the children become more competent in solving these fluency style questions, devising different, individual strategies to solve questions including formal written methods, mental calculations and jottings. In Key Stage 1, foci include fractions, geometry, number bonds, place value and number. In Key Stage 2 (Classes 3-5), teachers select an appropriate question set from myminimaths.co.uk to follow for the week that become progressively harder. Each week has a ‘Focus’ set of questions and ‘Back to Basics’ set. The ‘Back to Basics’ questions allow children the opportunity to complete an example of each operation, daily. Numeracy Ninjas allows Year 6 pupils the opportunity to practice a range of fluency questions over a range of topics including time, decimals and percentages.
Following Early Bird Maths, children take part in the CLIC programme (Counting, Learn Its, It’s nothing new and Calculations) to strengthen their understanding of key skills required for each year group. Key Stage 1 work from 10.30am – 10.45am and Key Stage 2 complete the work from 9.35am – 9.45am. The programme follows a weekly timetable of topic areas including place value, rounding,
Roman Numerals and the four operations; enhancing the children’s ability to understand number and fluency questions on a daily basis.
In EYFS, the children access CLIC daily, as a whole class or in smaller or individual groups. Following the CLIC termly objectives including counting, reading numbers, doubling and halving, 1 more and 1 less, subitizing, addition and subtraction; children develop mathematical fluency through games, movements and songs. These activities occur from 1pm-1.15pm, daily.
Mastering the Mathematics Curriculum at Carlton Miniott
To ensure our vision of all children ‘Mastering the Mathematics curriculum’, children must firstly become confident in their understanding of the fundamentals of maths, through a firm foundation of mathematical teaching in EYFS and Key Stage 1 and then become competent and efficient within the five strands of mathematical proficiency; conceptual understanding, productive disposition in mathematics, procedural fluency, strategic competence and adaptive reasoning.
Conceptual Understanding – Comprehension of mathematical concepts, operations and relationships with topic
Productive Disposition – Habitual inclination to see mathematics as sensible, useful and worthwhile, coupled with a belief in diligence and one’s own efficiency. This can be seen on our ‘Working Walls’, under the title ‘Who uses this in the real world?’ to provide context to real life learning.
Procedural Fluency – A skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately.
Strategic Competence – An ability to formulate, represent and solve mathematical problems.
Adaptive Reasoning – A capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation and justification.
Across EYFS, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, objects, pictures, key vocabulary, numbers, concrete apparatus and visual representations of examples are readily available and easily accessed. The ‘Mastery’ approach incorporates all of these to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what new learning they have. All pupils, when introduced to a key concept, should have the opportunity to build a high level of competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically or visually represent mathematical concepts. Objects, pictures and other visual representations are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build upon this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can be used to reason and problem solve.
Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Maths in EYFS
In the Early Years Foundation Stage there is a daily, short whole class maths session. This may include counting songs, number rhymes, games, hands on activities and recall of key facts. Key concepts are taught in small focus groups. Wherever possible the learning is embedded in real contexts and stories. Spontaneous opportunities which lend themselves to mathematical exploration are seized. Children are given opportunities to practise mathematical skills and explore concepts within the provision areas, indoors and outdoors. Adult interaction scaffolds and supports children’s learning and adult questioning encourages children to develop mathematical reasoning.
Maths in Key Stage 1 and 2
Across Key Stages 1 and 2, we link our planning to the ‘White Rose Scheme of Learning’, however continually assess, reflect and adapt these to meet the needs of our children. We supplement this further with resources including ‘Abacus’, ‘MyMaths’, ‘Nrich’ and NCETM resources, amongst others. Through effective planning of the Mathematics Curriculum, we ensure that, through a range of exciting learning opportunities, all children at Carlton Miniott are exposed to the five different strands through our ‘Chilli Challenge and Big Problem’ approach to teaching.
Conceptual Understanding and Productive Disposition
Conceptual Understanding is the comprehension of mathematical concepts, the understanding of operations and realising relationships between topics taught. At Carlton Miniott Primary Academy, we provide opportunities to explore concepts at the start of each topic taught, noting relationships with others where applicable. We allow children, in all year groups the chance to use concrete apparatus, before moving on to pictorial and abstract representations. Children discover this conceptual understanding as a class, in smaller groups and individually. This understanding and discussion is recorded on our ‘Working Walls’, when appropriate.
Procedural Fluency is the skill in carrying out mathematical procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently and appropriately. At Carlton Miniott, we allow children to practise procedures, using different approaches. Modelled examples are displayed on the working wall to scaffold children’s learning to allow them to work more independently. These procedures allow the children to become more confident in their mathematical understanding and to understand a range of approaches to solving given tasks.
Problem Solving (Strategic Competence)
Problem solving (Strategic Competence) is the ability to formulate, represent and solve mathematical problems, using a range of previously taught strategies through our ‘Procedural Fluency’ step of learning. At Carlton Miniott, we present children with a range of problems to solve, including multi-step and multi-operational problems. It is at this stage of the learning process that the teacher transforms from an instructor to a facilitator. Teachers are still expected to model examples and discuss possible strategies, however the children should be more independent in this stage of the learning process.
Reasoning is the capacity for logical thought, reflection, explanation and justification. Here, children display a deeper level of understanding, explaining and reasoning their understanding to solve problems. Children at Carlton Miniott are provided with an array of different style problems to explain and answer. Children formulate their answers, using a strong understanding of possible approaches and then supporting their answer with logical reasoning. Whilst children should be working independently at this stage, teachers should still address any misconceptions that may arise during class discussions and children’s justifications.
Throughout all Mathematics lessons, teachers provide high level questioning and encourage children to challenge each other to ensure verbal reasoning is common place within lessons. This can include debating and convincing others of an answer, explaining why a question may have more than one possible outcome and proving their answer using the evidence and information in a word problem. These allow children opportunities to further explain their understanding and demonstrate deeper levels of concepts, but also ensure children have the confidence to challenge and correct any misconceptions that may occur during class discussions.
Following a unit(s) work, Classes 2-6 provide children with an investigation style question that allows them the opportunity to independently use the skills they have been taught. Through these, there is a real sense of challenge and, where possible, real life questions and challenges are utilised. Big Problems allow the children to demonstrate their understanding of the skills learnt, often in multi-step, multi-operational problems.
We understand the vitality of a strong mental maths ability to support our deeper mathematical understanding; therefore in addition to the structure outlined above, each Friday Classes 2- 6 hold weekly ‘Mental Maths Friday’ sessions, where there is a strong focus on teaching different strategies to solve mental arithmetic style questions. The focus of these alter on a weekly basis and are assessed regularly with mental arithmetic papers, sourced from Testbase.
Keep Up Not Catch Up
At Carlton Miniott Primary Academy, we are completely immersed in the Keep Up Not Catch Up approach, adapted in partnership with Elevate Multi-Academy Trust. Through regular progress sweeps, five minute boxes and work watch weeks, staff continually monitor the progress of each child and ensure that any areas of weakness are tackled at the earliest the moment possible. In addition to this, pre-teach sessions allow children to learn skills, vocabulary and operations before a lesson is taught, to ensure they can readily access the teaching within the lesson. Corrective-teach sessions, follow lessons and are an allocated time where children who may have found an area of the curriculum challenging, to work with a teacher for additional quality first teaching, to guarantee they achieve the WALT by the end of the lesson or teaching block.
Assessment and Tracking of Pupil progress
Using a thorough and rigorous assessment process, staff continually assess the children’s understanding of the National Curriculum. This includes evidence collected through assessment of children’s books (including external moderations with Elevate), pupil voice, group conversations, discussions observed in mental and oral starters, in addition to the termly ‘PUMA’ assessments and regular mental arithmetic papers. Staff use an assessment software program to both record and monitor pupil progress in Mathematics (Insight Tracking). Assessment is linked to the ‘Elevate Academy Maths Assessment’ statements. Following regular, ongoing assessment of children’s work, developments and adaptations can be made to planning to enhance the children’s learning, designed around their current needs.