Maths at The Oaks Primary School
The intention of the maths curriculum at The Oaks Primary School is that children are taught to become competent mathematicians. We strive to embed the skills and processes necessary to enable children to use and apply their Maths learning in a variety of contexts. We aim to develop children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges.
Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. We want children at The Oaks to have:
- fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
- a growing confidence to reason mathematically
- the ability to apply maths to solve problems and test hypotheses
Our approach to the teaching of mathematics develops children's ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team. Through mathematical talk, children will develop the ability to articulate and discuss their thinking through reasoning and problem-solving activities.
At The Oaks, we recognise that in order for pupils to progress to deeper and more complex problems, children need to be confident and fluent across each yearly objective. To ensure our pupils acquire a deeper understanding in their mathematical learning journey, we follow the White Rose Maths Hub schemes of learning. Within these, each National Curriculum objective is broken down into fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our teachers use the learning challenges to teach for mastery - an approach to extend and deepen the understanding of pupils within each year group. Our teachers use this document in conjunction with a range of high-quality resources such as NCETM and Master the Curriculum to support, stretch and challenge all learners within the classroom.
To raise fluency standards in Maths, we use KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) as a whole-school program. It is important that children know these facts thoroughly and can recall them instantly. The KIRFs are designed to be a set of facts that need to be learnt thoroughly as they build on each other year on year. When children are secure with these facts, they are then able to carry out calculations/methods without the lack of basic facts getting in the way.
As a school, we also use Times Table Rockstars for the children to practise their times tables at home and at school. We have recently subscribed to Numbots too which is for the younger children to be secure in subitising, addition and subtraction facts.
Children are taught in mixed ability groups and the groups within these are flexible and can change depending on the nature of the lesson. Teachers and TAs move around the classroom and actively respond, challenge and support children with their learning. Learning walls are used to display strategies that are being used and should include key vocabulary.
Our lesson structure includes:
- Retrieval (using White Rose’s Flashback 4 or a structured activity revisiting learning from the day before, last week, last month and last year’s lesson content)
- Chanting (times tables, number facts)
- Anchor Task (to find out what the children already know)
- Episodic teaching (teacher, children, teacher, children) where the children are actively involved in representing, calculating and discussing
- Guided practice (where the teacher can model work and assess what the children can do and who may need support in the lesson)
- Tasks in the style of: Do it - What it is and What it’s also (standard and non-standard), Twist it - What it’s not (an active argument about misconceptions and reasoning about mistakes), Deepen it - Opportunities to apply understanding to familiar and unfamiliar problems (including missing number problems - Always/sometimes/Never (designed by Steve Lomax from Glow Maths Hub)
Teaching throughout Nursery and Reception covers a range of areas of mathematics including: number and place value, addition, subtraction, shape, space and measure. We place a strong emphasis on fluency in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop a concrete understanding which can then be developed and transferred to conceptual understanding. A high focus is placed on using concrete resources such as numicon, part-part whole models and tens frames.
Key Stage One
Teaching throughout Key Stage One ensures that children at The Oaks are confident to manipulate numbers up to 100. The Key Stage One curriculum provides opportunities for children to develop their competency in place value and the four operations. A high focus is placed on concrete, pictorial and mental strategies to equip children with a readiness for more abstract concepts to be introduced in Key Stage Two. Teachers model correct mathematical vocabulary and children are expected to use this vocabulary to articulate their ideas. We use a range of concrete resources and introduce children to more pictorial methods such as part-part whole models, bar models, place value charts and number lines.
Key Stage Two
Teaching throughout Key Stage Two builds on the solid foundations of the previous key stage. Children are introduced to formal calculation methods in Year Three and these are developed and built on each year in line with age related expectations. The frequent opportunities to reason and problem solve in real life contexts, provided by teachers, develops their conceptual understanding and prepares them for the statutory end of key stage assessments. Children are encouraged to represent their thinking and understanding through concrete resources such as dienes and place value counters and pictorial representations such as bar modelling.
Summative assessment takes place at the end of each term and children’s progress and attainment is discussed with senior leaders in pupil progress meetings. We use the White Rose End of block assessments and the termly assessments. We also use NTS tests. The information from these is then used to inform future teaching. Formative assessment takes place on a daily basis and teachers adjust planning accordingly to meet the needs of their class. Attainment and outcomes in mathematics have a prominent focus throughout our school. The teaching of mathematics is monitored frequently by leaders through lesson observations, book scrutinies and pupil voice interviews. Children at The Oaks are proud of their work and demonstrate their understanding through these assessments.
Our Maths Lead is part of the NCETM GLOW Maths Hub TRG and we continue to develop our practice in line with theirs.
Aims of the new National Curriculum:
- to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasing complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of similar steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations.
Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help students master the times tables!
To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!
The goal is for all participating rockers to be Times Tables Rock Stars after 20 weeks!
World famous rock musicians are the best at what they do because they've spent hours practising guitar chords, writing music or playing on the drums. It's just the same with times tables – all Times Table Rock Stars need to practise and practise and practise.
It's absolutely essential that your child does a little bit of times table practice every night. In our experience, short bursts of practise on a daily basis are more effective than spending hours once a week.
And this is where you come in. For your child to be fully motivated and for them to get the best out of the practice, they need your help. Without your praise and your reminders, without you sitting down next to them or checking their work, practising times tables will not feel important to your child.
Over the course of the next few weeks and months, your child WILL get faster and more accurate with the times tables. All your hard work and theirs WILL make them a Times Table Rock Star!
It’s helpful to understand that the quicker your child can answer a times tables question, the higher their Rock Status.
Use this list as a guide to help your child work out their Rock Status:
≤ 1 sec/qu = Rock God
≤ 2 secs/qu = Rock Legend
≤ 3 secs/qu = Rock Star
≤ 4 sec = Headliner
≤ 5 secs/qu = Support Act
≤ 6 secs/qu = Breakthrough Artist
≤ 7 secs/qu = Unsigned Act
≤ 8 secs/qu = Gigger
≤ 9 secs/qu = Busker
≤ 10 secs/qu = Garage Rocker
> 10 secs/qu = Wannabe
Garage - the questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week. As pupils start to answer questions, TT Rock Stars works out which facts they take longer on and will give them more of these questions to answer. The Garage is best for getting quicker at a few facts. Players get 10 coins per question.
Studio - the questions in the Studio can be anything from 2x2 up to 12x12. TT Rock Stars calculates each the mean speed from their last 10 games in the Studio and translates into a Rock Status: Under 1 second per question to become a Rock God Under 2 seconds per question to become a Rock Legend Under 3 seconds per question to become a Rock Star Over 3 seconds is a Busker They earn 1 coin per question and the Studio is the place for them to set their best time across all the tables.
Rock Arena - The Arena allows players to compete against all other members of their Band (their Bandmates would need to join the same game in order to compete together). A new Arena game starts every 15 seconds and once the clock starts they race to answer more questions than the others. In the Arena, questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week, similar to the Garage. They earn 1 coin per correct answer.
Rock Festival - The Rock Festival games are open to players from around the world. Like the Arena, there is no limit to the number of players who can join a game; however, unlike the Arena, questions are selected at random from 2x2 to 12x12. Pupils might choose the Rock Festival if they were playing at home (and therefore couldn't easily synchronise playing against a classmate) or wanted to compete against others not in their Band. They earn 1 coin per correct answer.
The times tables to practice
As a rough guide, these are the tables to practice according to the year group of your child.
Year 2 – 2s, 5s and 10s
Year 3 – 3s, 4s, 8s and 11s
Year 4 – 6s,7s, 9s and 12s
By the end of Year 4, most children are expected to have a solid recall of all times tables (and related division facts) up to 12 x 12.
Note, each year group will revise the previous year group’s multiplication focus to ensure children are secure at recalling all facts.
If you click on Me>My Stats, a heat map like the one below will load. It shows how successful your child is at each of the facts.