“Doing Mathematics should always mean finding patterns and crafting beautiful and meaningful explanations”
Teaching of Maths
What we teach
At Mersey Park we follow the Early Year Statutory Framework and National Curriculum for Maths in Key Stage 1 and 2, which aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
- Are able to reason mathematically
- Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics
At Mersey Park, these skills are embedded within Mathematics lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children understand the importance of Mathematics in the wider world and that they are able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and in future employment. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject. We place a strong focus on ensuring our pupils are able to recall key mathematical facts, reason mathematically and explain their thinking.
Right from the start of Foundation Stage, we model and encourage a curiosity about Mathematics, as well as an appreciation of the beauty, power and enjoyment of the subject.
Our whole curriculum is shaped by our school vision, which aims to enable all children, regardless of background, ability and additional needs, to flourish in this subject.
How we teach it
At Mersey Park we foster positive can do attitudes through our Mersey Park Mindset and we promote the fact that ‘We can all do maths!’ We believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable steps. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems. At our school, the majority of pupils will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways. Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
Our curriculum provides a clear progression of knowledge and skills progression, as set out in our school’s calculation policy. To ensure whole school consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved ‘Power Maths’ scheme. This ensures that knowledge and skills are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately. Teachers use the ‘Power Maths’ scheme to structure their planning, however lessons are adapted to meet the needs of our pupils at Mersey Park. Problem solving activities are often linked to real life situations to ensure our Mathematics curriculum takes pupils beyond their own experiences. Lessons are also enhanced using other high quality resources such as White Rose, Ready to Progress activities and NCETM Teaching for Mastery. Foundation Stage and Key Stage One teachers have also completed the NCETM Mastering Number programme and use these materials to enhance their lessons.
We ensure our pupils know how to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly complex problems. Children’s explanations and their proficiency in articulating reasoning using precise mathematical vocabulary, are supported through the use of stem sentences modelled by the teacher. We also provide opportunities for pupils to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects and these opportunities are highlighted on our medium term subject planning.
We encourage an inclusive environment and ensure all pupils, including those most vulnerable and those who are disadvantaged, have the opportunity to access the full and broad curriculum through carefully planned support as required. The expectation is that the majority of pupils move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace, and it is this inclusive approach, which means pupils are provided with the models, and scaffolds that they need to access the mathematics curriculum. We ensure pupils develop secure knowledge and understanding before progressing on to the next concept. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, through additional practice, before moving on. Teachers are trained in EEF approved interventions, such as First Class@Number and Success@Arithmetic, and these are used to support children with gaps in learning to help them catch up quickly. Pupils who grasp content rapidly are challenged through being offered activities, which consolidate and develop a deeper understanding of concepts and reasoning skills, in order to develop mastery in mathematics.
Each topic starts with an initial introduction lesson where teacher activates prior knowledge by asking a few questions – What did you do in the last topic that could help you? What did you do last year that could help you? What do you do in Maths Dictionary that could help you? And the children have opportunity to respond as a group and individually. During this lesson the teachers also discusses the mathematical vocabulary the children will be using in this topic and explain the meaning of any new vocabulary. The children also complete a short assessment which includes some questions from the previous year to recap key facts and concepts and some questions containing mathematical objectives they will be covering in the upcoming topic to gauge prior knowledge and inform future planning.
New mathematical concepts are shared within the context of an initial problem, which prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. Children are encouraged to solve problems each day through the use of concrete resources, pictorial representations, language and abstract thinking (CPLA approach). This helps children tackle concepts in a tangible and more comfortable way. Knowledge Organisers are used for each topic to revise key concepts and embed learning.
Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, with pupils being taught how to select the most efficient method. Children then progress to supported or individual carefully planned practice where questions vary one element at a time to move children on in their thinking. Children are then challenged through a variety of high-quality resources, including use of Mastery questions and Mild, Hot and Spicy challenges that allow children to choose their own level of challenge. This provides an opportunity for children to reveal the depth of their knowledge and understanding before moving on to more complex related problems. Teachers use carefully elected stem sentences to support children’s ability to express their mathematical thinking and help to develop their reasoning skills.
At Mersey Park, children study mathematics in whole morning blocks covering a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, calculation, geometry, measure and statistics. Alongside mathematics sessions, an additional 10 minutes a day is spent practising Maths Dictionary (focussing on number fluency, counting skills, mathematical vocabulary, number facts, geometry and measure) to build fluency in these areas. Weekly lessons dedicated to number fluency have been introduced where children are encouraged to make links between known facts and new knowledge and practice number manipulation skills. As well as this, children in KS2 complete regular arithmetic checks embed key concepts, practice written methods and recap mental methods. Learn by Questions is also used in upper Key Stage Two to revise key mathematical facts, identify gaps in knowledge and address misconceptions.
From June 2022, schools in England were required to administer an online multiplication tables check to year 4 pupils. The purpose of the multiplication tables check is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It helps schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided. To support the children with their multiplication practice we use Times Table Rockstars and Purple Mash as online and fun learning platforms, which also offer resources that can be used in the classroom.
SMSC through Maths
The study of mathematics enables students to make sense of the world around them and we strive to enable each of our pupils to explore the connections between their mathematics skills and every-day life. Developing deep thinking and an ability to question the way in which the world works promotes the spiritual growth.
Problem solving skills and teamwork are fundamental to mathematics through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas. Pupils are always encouraged to explain concepts to each other and support each other in their learning. During this discussion time, pupils realise their own strengths and feel a sense of achievement which often boosts confidence. Over time they become more independent and resilient learners.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as the importance to recognise the achievements of others. All children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a Mersey Park Mindset.
Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 in line or above the national average, as well as a steady proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.
Throughout each lesson, formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through marking and next step tasks to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a mathematics curriculum that will allow each child to progress. Targets are used in children’s books each lesson to document progress. These targets are taken from the National Curriculum and Ready to Progress Criteria for Years 1, 3, 4, 5 and 6 and from the End of Key Stage Framework for Year 2. The teaching of mathematics is monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. Half termly, children in Key Stage 1 and 2 complete a summative Power Maths assessment and termly, complete a Number Facts and Multiplication Test, which are analysed by teachers and SLT and are used to inform future planning and interventions.
By the end of KS2, pupils will be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, with conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They should have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. Children will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, to develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language. Our whole school curriculum supports pupils to develop an enjoyment of mathematics and the confidence to apply their knowledge in their everyday lives.
Topics of Study
Here is a copy of our Long Term Overview for Maths.
Maths at Mersey Park
In Foundation 1 children develop a love of maths through games, songs, rhymes, and play using concrete manipulatives. The children begin to learn the basic counting principles; one to one correspondence, stable order and cardinal principle. Children’s fine manipulative skills are a focus to develop 1-1 correspondence so children count each object only once.
In Foundation 2 the children begin to follow the Power Maths Programme. High quality learning environments are provided and meaningful interactions with adults, support children in developing mathematical thinking and discussion. The children learn through games and tasks using concrete manipulatives and pictorial structures and representations which are then rehearsed applied and recorded within their own child-led exploration. The children enjoy exploring shapes which can stack and roll. The children create their own patterns using paint. The children measure salt, flour and water to make salt dough. They use comparative language to describe their actions.
In Year 1 the children start the year by learning about place value. They revise numbers to 10 and use models such as ten frames and part whole models to visualise the value of numbers. They learn about the symbols greater than, less than and equal to. They also learn about one more and one less and this is introduced through a game of musical chairs. They begin to explore addition and numbers to 20.
Year 2 start their maths journey by learning about place value of numbers to 100. They build upon their knowledge of numbers to 50 which is introduced in Year 1 and revise some of the common representations we use to visualise numbers. The children revise number bonds and use this to derive related facts. They partition numbers into different combinations of tens and ones using part whole models to support their thinking.
In Year 3 the children start the year learning about place value of 3 digit numbers. They use a range of concrete manipulatives to form 3 digit numbers. The children then use their knowledge of place value to add and subtract numbers, then eventually progress to the column method to answer addition and subtraction calculations.
In Year 4 the children begin the year with place value where they learn four digit numbers and practise adding and subtracting them. They begin revising for the multiplication test by recapping previous taught times tables to improve fluency. They also multiply and divide by 10 and 100 and divide 0 and 1 using concrete manipulatives. The consolidate and develop their learning on rounding numbers to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000. The begin learning roman numerals to 100 using practical methods.
In Year 5 the children start the year consolidating their knowledge of place value. They revise pictorial representations used to represent numbers to 1 million. They use concrete manipulatives to make numbers using place value charts. They also learn to read and write Roman Numerals. Year 5 then move on to addition and subtraction where they build on the skills taught in Year 4 by adding and subtracting increasingly large numbers up to 1 million using formal methods. Towards the end of the term, Year 5 then work on their statistics topic where they gain an understanding of how to read and interpret line graphs and two way tables.
In Year 6 the children start the year by learning about the value of numbers up to 10 000 000. They then secure their written method for the four operations and apply these methods to reasoning word problems. The children then revise their knowledge of multiples, factors, prime numbers, square numbers and cubed numbers. They finish this term by consolidating their knowledge of addition and subtraction of fractions and learn how to multiply and divide fractions.
In Foundation 1 the children explore capacity in the water tray. They identify patterns around the different areas and then create and extend their own patterns. They also select the correct shapes to help them to build.
In Foundation 2 the children continue to learn all about numbers to 5, involving matching the numeral to the correct amount. They practice counting with 1 to 1 correspondence. They use models such as part wholes and five frames to make their numbers. They begin to explore different ways of making numbers up to 10.
In Year 1, the children continue to develop their addition and subtraction skills. They also introduce multiplication by counting in 2s, 5s and 10s. They explore problems using concrete manipulatives and move onto pictorial and abstract representations, such as number sentences. The children also explore place value and begin to partition and combine into tens and ones, using dienes material to support this.
In Year 2 the children revise greater than, less than and equal too. They learn how to divide into groups and share equally. They apply their knowledge of division and multiplication to show their answers as arrays, repeated addition number sentences and in bar models. They revise fractions and learn new ones such as three quarters and one third. They begin by exploring fractions of shapes and then move onto numbers. They make links to the two, five, three and ten times tables.
In Year 3 the children learn how to multiply and divide 2 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers. They use concrete manipulatives and pictorial representations to help them do so. The children enjoyed using classroom objects and hula hoops to further their understanding of division. The children also enjoyed learning how to convert, add and subtract money. They used real life money to solve different problems. They now understand the value of each coin.
In Year 4 the children continue to study fractions. This includes looking at families of equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominator and converting mixed fractions to improper ones.
In Year 5 the children advance their multiplication and division skills through the use of formal written methods. They learn how to solve real life problems using long multiplication and short division.
In Year 6 the children convert fractions, decimals and percentages using the most efficient methods. They apply their arithmetic knowledge to solve a variety of tricky reasoning questions in preparation for our SATs. They convert imperial and metric units of measurement and use formulae to calculate the area and perimeter of 2D shapes.
In Foundation 1 the children begin to recognise and write numerals. They also measure and compare items to see which is the longest and which is the shortest.
In Foundation 2 the children enjoy creating their own number track. They roll the dice and eagerly anticipate which number they will land on. The children explore height, building towers and comparing their height, using the vocabulary ‘taller’ and ‘shorter’ to describe them. They also find a selection of items from around the classroom to compare the weight of. They pretend to be a human balance first and feel which object is heavier. Then they use the balance to see if they are right. They begin to use the vocabulary ‘heavier’ and ‘lighter’. The children also enjoy making increasingly complex patterns and describing them to their friends.
In Year 1 the children build on their knowledge of number to create multiplication and division calculations using concrete manipulatives to help with their understanding. They work with shapes to investigate fractions and use coins in a number of situations to explore money, including setting up a role play shop. We finish off the year learning about time, exploring o’clock and half past.
In Year 2 the children continue with the wider Maths curriculum developing their knowledge of fractions, relating pictures to the written form and finding fractions of numbers. The children continue to work on making the same amount of money in different ways and build on their knowledge of time by looking at 15 minute and 5 minute intervals. They finish the school year measuring and comparing units of mass, capacity and temperature.
In Year 3 the children further develop their knowledge of fractions. To do this they learn to count up and down in tenths and recognise that tenths arise from dividing an object into 10 equal parts and in dividing one-digit numbers or quantities by 10. They use a variety of concrete manipulatives to support this including a ten frame and cubes.
In Year 4 the children look at word problems and finding change in their money work. They are still able to use concrete manipulatives to develop their thoughts and processes. They also cover time where they consolidate their knowledge of telling the time to 5 minute intervals, both on analogue and digital clocks. Then they solve problems involving converting between hours and minutes and calculating time intervals.
In Year 5 the children focus on fractions for the majority of the summer term. They learn how to convert mixed number fractions into improper fractions and how to add and subtract them. They have also learnt how to convert fractions into decimals and percentages. The children continue developing their wider maths knowledge by using protractors to measure angles.
In Year 6 they do lots of data handling in this term. They look at different types of graphs and how to find information from them. They also look at properties of 3D shapes. They match shapes to their nets and investigate how many different nets they can make for the same 3D shape.
Extra Curricular Clubs
The children also have the opportunity to attend Fun with Numbers where they get to combine learning number facts with some fun activities.
Ready To Progress Criteria
Shown below is the ‘Ready to Progress’ criteria for each year group in six key mathematical areas:
- Place Value
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
For pupils to be able to successfully access the curriculum in the next academic year, they should leave their current year group being able to understand and use the mathematical skills and knowledge listed. (Click on the tables below to enlarge)
Number: Place Value
Addition and Subtraction
Multiplication and Division