Maths Curriculum Intent
“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” Paul Halmos
Maths at Peckover School sets children up for life, due to the fact that planning considers the incorporation of our creative curriculum, linking where possible to year group themes and ensuring practical opportunities to apply learning and build on knowledge are provided. Peckover School are on an ever improving journey with maths and our results reflect this.
Big Maths is at the heart of our Maths Curriculum and was chosen for Peckover School as it teaches children in manageable steps and takes them on a clear journey of progression. Each small step of conceptual learning makes up part of the jigsaw for an understanding of mathematics that is deep rooted and meaningful, providing the skills needed for our children’s futures. Big Maths guides teachers’ planning and has developed staff subject knowledge of the expectations of their year group, but also the knowledge that comes before and after each stage. Big Maths divides the mathematics curriculum into two parts; CLIC (counting, learn it, it’s nothing new and calculation) and SAFE (shape, amounts, fractions and exploring data). These areas are revisited weekly in CLIC & SAFE tests, ensuring children can apply their learning confidently and accurately. The Big Maths approach is a mastery approach, where all children have the opportunity to access the same step of learning, but build on their understanding through a range of experiences and tasks.
“Primary schools which fail to teach times tables by heart are condemning children to a lifetime struggling with numbers”
At Peckover, we recognise that basic number skills are the essential foundation of problem solving. To develop children’s times table knowledge we ensure regular skip counting, opportunities to practise in weekly tables tests and regular games/contests for quick and accurate reciting. Our aim is to ensure learning is committed to long term memory allowing children to access these skills in wider areas of maths and life.
Vocabulary development is key to supporting our children to be successful, in all areas of the curriculum. We facilitate this through investigative opportunities where all are encouraged to share and build on their ideas and understanding. The use of Kagan pairs/groups and language structures in maths lessons allows children to confidently discuss the processes which they have worked through to problem solve. This emphasis on vocabulary and discussion allows children to deepen their understanding. Fluency in mathematics is not enough, children need to be able to justify their answers and follow lines of enquiry to explore further possibilities.
Lack of vocabulary > Lack of explanation > Lack of reasoning
In classrooms, children are encouraged to be resourceful and independent in their learning. Resources are readily available and encouraged across the school and we challenge the children carefully to ensure all are reliant on prior learning and can access pictorial representations and concrete manipulatives effectively. In the continuous provision settings of EYFS and Year 1, areas both inside and out are fully equipped with challenges that engage our youngest learners in the subject and inspire them to reason and problem solve. From there and all the way through to Year 6, teachers think carefully about meaningful ways to cement knowledge and drive our children forward as mathematicians.
A typical maths lesson here at Peckover begins with a recap of the basic skills and progresses to exploration of the four rules through problem solving or a focus on one of the wider area of mathematics.
Maths is taught in carefully planned sequences, supported by Big Maths, which build on prior learning and work in small steps towards a deeper understanding. Sequences are adapted by staff to ensure all learners are progressing through the same step, although perhaps not completing the same activity, Our mastery approach ensures all children are exposed to building on skills for reasoning, problem solving and fluency. This helps us to achieve our aim of securing solid foundations for all.