Mathematics - Our Vision
At Levens CE School, we take a mastery approach to mathematics. As the National Curriculum states, “[maths] is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.” As a result, we strive to develop a curriculum which students find valuable, relevant and useful to them, regardless of age or ability. We firmly believe that all students have the potential to become fluent in mathematical techniques and develop their reasoning and problem solving abilities so that they are confident, systematic and inquisitive when exploring, understanding and solving a range of mathematical puzzles and real-world problems.
The intent of our mathematics curriculum is to develop the skills, fluency and problem solving skills students need to make use of mathematics throughout the rest of their lives. Students are exposed to a broad range of mathematical fields as directed by the National Curriculum, with opportunities to refine and develop their skills as they progress throughout school. Day-to-day, broad concepts are broken down into manageable “small steps” using the White Rose scheme of work. This allows the vast majority of children to maintain progression as part of a whole-class group and fosters a deep understanding of the broad range of topics taught.
Due to our unique class structure and small-school setting, mathematical content is delivered in a variety of ways to suit the needs of each specific year-group. Broadly, teaching follows the White Rose mixed age progression of skills, with the exception of our Reception year who follow the relevant single-age planning.
Nursery children are exposed to mathematical concepts in line with “development matters” within the EYFS framework. As some children attend nursery for two years, this is formed as an “A” and “B” cycle to ensure all children experience the same learning goals but do not repeat content.
At all times, teachers use their professional judgement to inform their approach, for example; they may modify the length of time spent on a given unit to allow more time to embed key skills; change the order of some steps to address identified misconceptions; or split teaching time to address topics which only feature in the National Curriculum content for one year-group. This is particularly relevant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where teachers prioritize developing secure understanding of the key elements of mathematics (as outlined in the DfE “Ready to Progress” criteria) before progressing onto further material on which this is based.
While all children within a class are exposed to the same teaching in line with a “mastery” style approach, this does not mean that every child has the same experience. All children are unique, therefore support, scaffolding or extra challenge is provided where appropriate to ensure that every pupil makes small steps of progress each lesson.
The impact of our curriculum is measured frequently in a variety of different ways. During a lesson, the class teacher will gather informal feedback on a continuous basis, for example through directed questioning, low-stakes quizzes, pupil work etc. More formal assessments may be carried out at the end of a unit of work, and at least once termly, to measure progress and identify the next steps for learning.
As a result of our teaching, students are engaged with mathematics as a subject. They recognise that it can be a useful tool both across and outside of the curriculum, and use mathematical concepts to help make sense of the world around them. Students feel confident in selecting and performing mathematical operations and have developed the skills they need to assist them in the wider curriculum, their own personal lives and the next stage of their learning journey.