At Abbey Farm ET, we believe that in maths the answer is just the beginning.
Maths is incredibly important in our lives and, without realising it, we use mathematical concepts, as well as the skills we learn from doing maths problems, every day. The laws of mathematics govern everything around us; maths nurtures qualities such as reasoning, creativity, abstract or spatial thinking, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities and effective communication skills. A solid grounding in maths equips a child with uniquely powerful ways to describe, analyse and change the world.
How maths is taught at Abbey Farm
We have adopted the ‘mastery’ approach to teaching maths. Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.
The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths.
Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.
Effective teaching for mastery is underpinned by five big ideas.
Lessons are broken down into small, connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.
Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation.
If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others
Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics
Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding. It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes, to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure.
The Abbey Farm Educate Together Calculation Policy will be developed with staff once the school is open. This policy contains the written procedures that will be taught within our school alongside practical resources. It ensures consistency and progression throughout the school and reflects a whole school agreement.
To see the Redfield ET Policy, click below. The document is broken down into addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Each operation is then broken down into skills and each skill has a dedicated image showing representations and models that could be used to effectively teach that concept. There is an overview of the progression of skills linked to year groups to support cohesion across the school and a glossary of terms, representations and models that can support the teaching of different concepts.
In order to support with fluency of recall of key mathematical number facts, children at Abbey Farm participate in maths champion challenges. These challenges require the children to complete a series of associated number facts across the four operations within a given time limit (normally three minutes). The difficulty levels of the challenges become progressively harder, and the achievements of the children are celebrated each week.
Schemes of work
Each year group follow a scheme of work when planning and delivering maths. Samples of work schemes from our Redfield school can be seen here.
We recognise and place great importance on parent/carers engagement with their children’s mathematical development. We understand that the maths being taught can, on occasion, seem confusing or daunting and that the methods being used are occasionally unfamiliar. To address this a termly topic map is sent out that contains details of the children’s maths learning for the forthcoming term. We will also be holding and recording regular webinars in which parents/carers will be able to find out more about the methods that they can use to support their children’s maths learning.