Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
Burford Primary School
The Curriculum

Mathematics at Burford Primary School

"Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of the subject"

Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

We aim for all pupils to:
  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language
  • have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.
Mathematics is an important discipline that helps us to understand the world we live in. We want all pupils at Burford School to build their mathematical understanding and develop a confident, fluent and resilient approach to all aspects of mathematics.

At Burford we promote a 'can do attitude' so that the children feel confident to "have a go", regardless of their age or ability. Our teaching is based on the belief that ALL children can achieve in mathematics and that by breaking new learning into achievable steps all children will build a secure understanding of mathematical concepts. By providing an accessible learning environment including a wide range of practical resources, we support all our children to make progress in maths.

We intend for every child to develop fluency in number and calculation. This means that they will understand the value of each number through place value work, and that they will be able to use written and mental strategies to calculate accurately. This will enable our children to reason and problem-solve efficiently. Children not only become fluent in mathematical processes, but learn to reason and problem solve too. This prepares children for using mathematics in their future and to develop resilience when facing new problems. In our lessons, we provide a blend of mathematical challenges where children can apply their knowledge and deepen understanding in addition to activities which enable skills to be practised and fluency developed. We embrace mistakes and misconceptions and use these as an opportunity for further learning.

What do we teach? What does this look like?

At Burford School, we utilise maths learning opportunities to embed the school’s vision of Respect, Aspire, Achieve. We teach the National Curriculum, supported by a clear skills and knowledge progression based on the NCETM and DFE maths guidance materials. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year by year and are sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children in a planning document covering termly topics.

Our approach is to teach using 3 clear stages to develop mathematical understanding. These are:
  • Concrete-Using physical equipment (manipulatives)
  • Pictorial- Using diagrams and pictures
  • Abstract-Using processes (algorithms) and factual knowledge
This is supported by NCETM/DFE guidance on appropriate representations to build clear understanding at each stage of learning.

To achieve this, Mathematics is taught daily using resources based on the NCETM professional development mastery materials and the DFE maths guidance. Using these resources, we help children to develop fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills across our mathematics curriculum. Tasks are broken up into small stages, using the ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach to enable children to learn through observation, engagement and practice. We also teach the key vocabulary necessary for children to "think and talk like mathematicians". Stem sentences are an integral part of our maths learning, used by adults and children to develop the understanding of key concepts and to use key vocabulary in context.

Mathematics lessons at Burford are planned so children in mixed-age classes are taught age-appropriate objectives. This means that the year groups may be taught separately in focused group sessions, with independent practice built in; or children may be taught on a similar theme with questioning differentiated to meet the different year-group expectations. Lessons are broken down into small connected steps what explore aspects of the concept, leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept in a variety of activities.

Within lessons, all children have opportunities to embed their learning through practise or application of the skills and concepts being addressed, to build fluency and confidence or demonstrate a greater depth of understanding. Challenge, variation and support are an integral part of mathematics lessons and teachers recognise that children's needs vary according to the content being taught – this means that differentiated support through use of representations or further teacher examples is responsive to the needs of children at any point.

In a very few cases, a personalised curriculum is provided to enable children with identified specific needs to make progress and access appropriate maths concepts.

Children in Lower School (Year R to Year 3) also take part in daily fluency sessions from the ‘Mastering Number’ scheme which builds a deep understanding and number sense. In Upper School (Years 4-6), Number patterns, times tables and arithmetic revision are taught daily in a maths fluency session which may be part of the mathematics lesson or taught at a different time depending on the needs of the class. Regular practise of all these aspects are essential to build fluency and instant recall which in turn will lead to a growth in confidence and provide a secure framework on which to build.

What will this look like? By the time children leave our school they will:
  • Be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and the have ability to recall and apply this knowledge accurately.
  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and use mathematical language to justify and explain their reasoning.
  • Solve problems by applying their mathematical understanding and knowledge including unfamiliar and real-life contexts.
Throughout our maths teaching, teachers assess the impact of what has been learnt through classroom observation, feedback and marking of work. They then adjust the next lessons appropriately where needed. All lessons are tailored to the needs of the class and the small steps are adjusted as appropriate to help reduce the cognitive load placed on the children.

Maths Progression of skills

Burford Primary School
Priory Lane
OX18 4SG
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