“Some things will drop out of the public eye and go away, but there will always be science, engineering, and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.”
— Katherine Johnson, African-American mathematician
At Dickleburgh we believe that mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to use numbers, calculate, reason and solve problems. It helps children to understand relationships and patterns in both number and space in their everyday lives. Mathematics is a core subject in the National Curriculum and we use the objectives from the National Curriculum for Mathematics in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to support planning and to assess children’s progress. In our Reception class the statutory framework for the early years is followed and involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure.
At Dickleburgh we take a Mastery approach to teach mathematics using the Pearson Power Maths resource as our principle teaching material. Power Maths is based on a ‘small-steps’ approach. This means that the concepts are broken down so that children can master one idea without feeling overwhelmed. There are a range of fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions in each lesson that are designed to support the different needs and confidence levels within a class, while at the same time fostering a spirit of working and learning together. Each lesson includes a challenge question for those children who can delve deeper into a concept. The core concepts from the National Curriculum for each year group are broken into small steps and taught in blocks, meaning that children may spend several weeks working on the same area of mathematics before moving on.
To develop mastery in maths children need to acquire a deep understanding of maths concepts, structures and procedures, step by step. Complex mathematical concepts are built on simpler conceptual components and when children understand every step in the learning sequence, maths becomes transparent and makes logical sense. Evidence consistently shows that mastery of small, cumulative steps builds a solid foundation of deep mathematical understanding. We believe that Power Maths helps equip children with a deep and long lasting understanding.
At Dickleburgh we have always taken a flexible approach to teaching and learning which allows teachers to ensure that all children receive the most appropriate input and support for their needs.
- In a typical maths lesson children may begin with a Power Up activity, a whole class activity which supports fluency in key number facts.
- This is followed by a practical, real-life problem which is worked through in pairs or small groups and then together as a whole class and by teacher-lead, interactive activities which builds on the skills in the practical problem and developing a variety of methods and approaches that might be used to solve a single problem.
- Children then work in their practice books working independently or in small groups with teacher support on questions that follow small steps of progression to deepen learning.
- At the end of the lesson, older children may mark some or all of their work as a class with the teacher giving them immediate feedback and allowing the teacher to address any issues that have arisen during the learning right away.
- Each lesson ends with the children reflecting independently on their learning often through a question that requires them to explain something or spot a mistake, a valuable assessment opportunity for the class teacher to check the children’s deeper understanding of the target concepts.
In addition to these lessons, at Dickleburgh the children receive separate Written Arithmetic lessons which are supported by the homework that is sent out every week. In Key Stage 2 children also have times tables lessons which are supported by the use of the Times Tables Rockstars app. Each child has their own login for this service, meaning that they can also practice their times tables using this app at home too.