Mathematics Curriculum Statement
Mathematics transcends everything. It is a unique language which can be used to describe the vast beauty and hidden truths of the world in which we live. Good mathematical skills help us to fit into the world in which we live; from taking part in wider society’s big debates to solving everyday problems at work or in life.
Whilst children have different starting points, we have a common aim: that is mastery of mathematics. This leads to children having a fundamental, water-tight understanding of concepts that create a solid foundation upon which further study is built.
Where children have a firm bank of known facts that they can rely on, they are empowered to tackle problems with confidence. We aim to equip children with all the mathematical vocabulary and skills they need to reason effectively. Our curriculum will tap into children’s inner desire to find the truth, and to prove it. This may require a good measure of resilience, but at Willow Brook, being committed to your aims is second nature.
Good mathematicians make connections across different topics and are able to draw upon their robust understanding of concepts to find a way to unlock even the most complex problems. We understand that creativity is a fundamental part of a mathematician’s tool kit. Good mathematicians are adept at spotting patterns; they notice and wonder in order to delve deeper.
Our maths teaching will ensure that our children grow up to feel secure and included in the magical world of mathematics.
Our Vision for Implementation
At Willow Brook school we teach children the skills they need to be able to speak the language of maths. Starting with the first few days at school, simple number games, songs and imaginative play immerse our children in rich mathematical vocabulary and concepts.
With daily ‘quick fire maths’ lessons, children are taught how their commitment to learning essential facts develops confidence and fluency in working with numbers. Key concepts are regularly revisited during these sessions so our children work mathematically several times a day. These short burst of work boost long term memory and applying skills across the curriculum secures knowledge. Focused, weekly homework tasks which help to reinforce classroom learning and involve parents in the process.
Our curriculum planning ensures progression within individual lessons, within blocks of learning and across year groups. Previous learning is referred to and concepts build in complexity as children become more confident. For many units of work, teachers work around a CPA approach, that begins with concrete examples and works towards pictorial representations before settling on more abstract ways of working, such as with numbers. Even our older children experience real life practical maths before working on larger numbers.
We understand that reflexive teaching enables children to progress at the speed that is appropriate for them. With classroom investigations and open ended tasks, children are then shown how their own creativity and commitment can help them to find solutions to complex problems. Our maths curriculum is one which demands that the children are active learners. Lessons often begin with children using their imagination to notice and wonder. Our youngest children should notice empty spaces at the teddy bear’s picnic and wonder how many extra invitations need writing. Our older children notice the relationship between vertices and edges on polyhedra and wonder if they can apply their algebra skills to express this. Our daily focused lessons are enriched beyond the discrete timetabled hours in the classroom with whole school themed weeks, competitions and special assemblies. These allow children to learn through story, statistical analysis of real world data sets and in other ways. Children are required to apply their mathematic skills through the combined teaching of STEM subjects. Past engineering projects have involved designing and creating electrically powered vehicles for a school wide competition. Even our youngest children counted wheels, costed components, measured wood to the nearest millimetre and worked with our older children who used radius and circumference to calculate gear ratios, all under the watchful eye of the experts at Rolls-Royce.
When we search for impact…
We regularly review teaching practice with lesson observations and see that staff receive continuous professional development. Class teacher’s weekly and medium term planning is monitored and work in books is scrutinised regularly in order to drive improvement. Classrooms and learning environments reflect our intent. When we elicit children’s attitudes towards maths, we see it is viewed positively.
Our children leave our school with the skills that they need to tackle the next stage of their learning. They have securely embedded number facts, mastered key vocabulary and have confidence in their own ability to reason mathematically. Children can vocalise the power of mathematics, they know the impact it has had on the world and the vital role it will play in their future lives at work and in the outside world.
Our outcomes in maths are continually at or above national expectations and those children who require more support still make good progress from Foundation Stage through to Year 6.