Curriculum Design at St Thomas' Catholic Primary School
Curriculum Area: Mathematics
Curriculum Leader: Mr Jones
Mathematics at St Thomas’ is a creative and highly inter-connected subject, underpinned by the three statutory aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
Our intent is for all children to become fluent mathematicians, who are able to confidently recall and apply mathematical knowledge and demonstrate conceptual understanding. We aim for all of our children to be proficient users of mathematical language, which will support them in their mathematical reasoning in different contexts. Our ambition is for children to become competent problem solvers, through applying their mathematical knowledge to wide range of problems, in maths lessons, other subjects and in ‘real life’.
We use the Power Maths resources, which have been judged as fully delivering a mastery approach and are on the Department for Education’s list of recommended textbooks.
The curriculum overview outlines what each year group is learning and when.
Maths is timetabled for 5 hours per week in EYFS and KS1 and 5.5 per week hours in KS2.
Even though we are a mixed-age school, children are taught maths in their Year groups. This is to ensure the children master the topics at their age-appropriate level.
The Power Maths scheme is written so that careful sequencing of content, instruction and rehearsal shows pupils new and consistent patterns of useful information. These then form the basis of further concepts, rules and principles that pupils store in their long-term memory.
In addition, children complete daily maths practice exercises using number sense, mastering number and targeted spaced learning questions.
During the early years of Power Maths, there is a deliberate focus on foundational knowledge, particularly proficiency in number as this gives pupils the ability to progress through the curriculum at increasing rates later on. Therefore, the curriculum is designed to focus on depth over breadth, covering fewer topics but in more detail.
In mathematics, we implement an inclusive curriculum that meets the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum. We use ‘Power Maths’ as a spine in EYFS, KS1 and KS2.
At the beginning of each Maths lesson, children complete a prior learning activity to give them the hook to build their learning on and to strengthen children’s retention of knowledge. A series of stimulating lessons are planned, with clear learning objectives, to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving and the use of subject-specific vocabulary.
Children are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts using concrete resources, pictorial (models and images) to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Concrete - Examples include structural apparatus such as cubes, counters, 3D shapes or weighing scales as well as contextual objects such as teddies or coins for counting or sorting.
Pictorial - Examples include children’s own mark making and simple drawings, sketches, number lines and diagrams.
Abstract - Examples include young children’s emergent graphics, early number formation, number sentences and written expanded methods.
Fluency is a fundamental aspect of mathematics, ensuring that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately.
Children become confident in the two types of fluency:
Conceptual fluency, e.g. exploring the five strands of place value, (counting, recognition of cardinal numbers, knowing what each digit in a number represents, understanding our base-10 structure and exchanging), what an equivalent fraction is and identifying key features of different representations of data.
Procedural fluency, e.g. +- x ÷ calculation methods linked to whole numbers, fractions and decimals and exploring step-by-step mental and written methods.
Children are given regular opportunities to recall known facts, develop number sense, know why they are doing what they are doing and know when it is appropriate and efficient to choose different methods and will apply skills to multiple contexts e.g. multiplying and dividing by 10 to convert units of measurements.
Reasoning and problem solving is planned and interwoven into the mathematics curriculum.
Reasoning questions are explicitly taught and modelled through the use of discussion, maths partner talk, manipulatives, written words using ‘stem sentences.
Structure of Maths lesson
Our well-planned maths curriculum ensures that children are fluent and confident mathematicians, who exude an enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. Our children are enthusiastic and competent mathematical problem solvers, within maths lessons and across the curriculum. Children perform consistently well in Mathematics and are very well prepared for the next stage in their education.
Children are tested on a termly basis and support given where appropriate.