Mathematics at Winterslow
At Winterslow, we teach mathematics so that all pupils develop their understanding and skills across the mathematics curriculum. Mathematics is taught in a structured way following the 2014 National Curriculum. Throughout their time at Winterslow, children will have the opportunity to explore the mathematics curriculum using a range of resources and methods. All learning is put into a real-life context where possible to help them understand the role of mathematics in the world around them.
Mathematical language is introduced and encouraged from the beginning of their learning to support their understanding and to help them discuss their own learning. Children are encouraged to talk about their learning in full sentences to consolidate their understanding and that of the children around them. No one word answers!
Maths is regularly included in the homework timetable as well as the learning of times tables. Times tables and mental arithmetic are a vital part to the mathematics curriculum and are included in the weekly timetable throughout the school.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract
Children at Winterslow experience new concepts in Maths in a variety of ways often using concrete objects, drawings and pictures as well as symbols to explore and reinforce learning. We have a good range of resources in each classroom to support the children’s learning. Children have access to these resources at any point and are encouraged to use their ‘diamond power’ to find objects or draw pictures to help them to solve problems for themselves.
Each class has access to number lines, Numicon, Diennes, arrow cards, cubes, counters, dice, hundred squares, bead strings, calculators and can even be found to be using resources like homemade sparkly playdough to help children explore number in a visual and tactile way.
By experiencing a wide range of problems in real life contexts it helps to give purpose to the children’s learning. We often use investigations, role play and word problems in each class so that the children can Master the key learning for their year group.
In November/December 2018 Mrs Hill was chosen to join 86 other Mastery Specialist teachers from across England to go to Shanghai for two weeks to learn more about teaching for Mastery from the country that that has been pioneering this technique for the last 30 years. China and other Asian countries currently lead the way in terms of top scores for mathematics in the world. Mrs Hill spent time at Shanghai Normal University and in two different schools observing and exploring what it is about their teaching style that makes their children so confident in Mathematics.
These are the “Shanghai Secrets” that Mrs Hill discovered:
All children are very confident and fluent in number facts. First addition and subtraction key facts and then times table key facts. Children learn them well, supported by parents at home to achieve quick recall. When children are confident with their key facts their brains are free to tackle more complicated problems.
Lessons are designed carefully to make connections between what children already know and new learning.
Children move through the curriculum at the same pace, all children working on the same objective. This means no one is left behind and all children feel confident with their learning. No one says ‘I can’t do Maths.’
Children explore concepts with concrete objects, then pictures, they then visualise the pattern or concept to internalise it before being asked to use it abstractly. Children therefore have deep and secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Staff have regular CPD and are encouraged to observe and be observed in order to learn from each other and constantly improve their practice.
In January 2019 Winterslow School hosted two teachers from Shanghai as part of the England- Shanghai teacher exchange programme as organised by the DfE and NCETM. It was lovely for Mrs Hill to see her Chinese friends again after working with them in China for two weeks in November.
Ms Wang and Ms Lingyi, went on a Maths Learning Walk around the school. They loved seeing all the interesting activities going on and how we use resources to support children’s understanding of abstract mathematical concepts. They particularly liked the diennes which they don’t use in Shanghai as much.
Year 4 were very lucky to be able to have the opportunity of being taught by Ms Wang. They looked at division together. Ms Wang was very surprised by how articulate our Woodpeckers class were. They were confidently able to reason and make links between numbers quickly. This is something that we have been working hard on at Winterslow over the last few years. Mrs Hill and Mrs Groth were very proud of their class, who loved the lesson.
It was very reassuring for us all at Winterslow to have two experts in Teaching for Mastery come to our school. Our staff have regular CPD in Maths and Teaching for Mastery.
Children are encouraged to use ‘Emerald Power’ and takes risks with their Maths learning. Making mistakes means we are learning and children don’t shy away from taking their learning to the next steps. Using the Paddle, Snorkel Dive charts in each class children can choose the level of challenge that is right for them and know where they are aiming for by the end of a unit. Classes frequently have extended Maths lessons for an entire Morning or a whole day so that concepts can be fully explored and embedded and giving lots of opportunity to explore their Maths at Greater Depth.
Any child who is on the SEN register is monitored in pupil progress meeting by the teacher, head teacher and inclusion manager each term. They are also set maths termly targets by their teacher, if their needs are related to maths. Their termly targets are shared with parents and are worked on both in class and through personalised learning opportunities and interventions. Please see the SEND report on the school website for more details.
At Winterslow we have a variety of interventions we use to support children struggling with maths. These are in addition to the children's daily maths lessons.
In year 1 and 2 - Max's Marvellous Maths. This is a 6 week programme to support gaps in understanding in the very early stages of number and counting.
In year 2 - First Class@ Number for KS1 (1) This is an exciting 12 week programme based around and the post office. Children begin to consolidate their understanding in the foundation areas of maths.
In years 3 and 4 First Class @ number for KS2 This is for the children who did not reach their age related expectations in Year 2. (30 sessions run over 13-14 weeks)
In year 4, 5& 6 we use Rapid yellow and Purple level maths. These are catch up interventions 3 or 4x a week for 30 minutes and also in addition to their daily class maths lessons.
Every class in the school has a Maths Working Wall. These Working Walls represent the current learning that is taking place in the classroom and demonstrates the learning journey the children are experiencing. These walls have been invaluable in helping the children to understand the processes they go through when learning new concepts in Maths.
Mrs Hill is a Mastery Specialist trained by the NCETM (National Centre of Excellence in Teaching Mathematics) she is also training to be a Professional Development Lead and will be accredited by July 2019. As she is now in the second year of her Mastery Specialist programme she runs a local Teacher Research Group. Currently she is working with 14 teachers from 7 local schools from the Salisbury area. She visits each school three times a year and supports them to develop Teaching for Maths Mastery in their own schools. Mrs Hill also hosts the 7 schools once a term where they come and watch her or other colleagues teach. They look at aspects of mastery within the lesson and choose a GAP task to develop between visits. The feedback from these schools so far has been overwhelmingly positive. Teachers report increased confidence and enjoyment in teaching Maths; that children are more articulate and better able to reason and that children’s understanding is more secure. They find that being able to watch lessons is invaluable at allowing them to reflect on their own practice and see new ideas and the opportunity to discuss ideas and questions with other colleagues to be very helpful.
Feedback from the TRGs:
“It’s made a big impact on my confidence in teaching maths.”
”really supportive and great subject knowledge.”
“very informative and enlightening”
“very good to be able to reflect on own practice and impact”
“enjoyable and useful.”
“a very supportive group and leader”