The following policy reflects our values and philosophy in relation to the provision and teaching of mathematics at the Independent Jewish Day School (IJDS) to produce children with mathematical fluency, children who confidently and successfully undertake mathematical activities both in the classroom and the world beyond. Mathematics is perceived as a vital life skill as well as an academic pursuit.
Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.
Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them.
Aims and purposes of mathematics
Maths teaching should contribute to the acquisition of life-long skills and promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion.
Through our provision we aim that children:
- will be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to solve problems, including those with real-life contexts, by choosing the appropriate operations
- can estimate the approximate size of the answer to check the reasonableness of their calculations
- will leave primary school with an efficient, reliable, compact written method of calculation for each operation
- develop a range of mental calculations strategies, aided by informal jottings where necessary
- are confident in the fundamentals of maths and be able to reason mathematically
- understand the importance of mathematical skills in everyday life
- feel confident to do maths at secondary school
Achieving and Maintaining High Standards
The staff at IJDS have worked hard to understand the factors that lead to high standards in maths, and have developed a common approach to teaching maths throughout the school based on the following assumptions:
- The need to follow the agreed school curriculum, alongside the mental and written calculation policies.
- The primacy of mental calculations, backed by accurate and rapid recall of number facts, is acknowledged.
- The importance of incorporating a range of teaching approaches, together with appropriate differentiation.
- The importance of applying learnt skills and strategies to real life scenarios and contexts.
Our medium-term mathematics plans give details of the main teaching objectives for each term. They ensure an appropriate balance and distribution of work across each term.
Our short-term planning follows four key principles. They are:
- a dedicated maths lesson every day
- direct, instructive, inductive, applicable, exploratory and reflective teaching with the whole class and groups
- emphasis on mental calculation
- controlled differentiation with all pupils working on a common theme
The Lesson Structure
Lessons are generally based on the accelerated learning cycle, although initial lessons in a unit are used to assess prior learning, to ensure appropriate future planning. Oral work/mental calculation starters are used to begin every lesson, linking where possible to the learning objectives of the lesson.
Organisation of Maths Lessons
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, maths is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Child initiated learning opportunities are cross-curricular and children experience a wide range of open-ended problems and resources, both indoors and out. In the EYFS maths is also taught as a discrete subject through child-led themes.
From Year 1, mathematics continues to be taught as a discrete subject, following the principles described above. Mathematical knowledge is applied and skills reinforced whenever relevant in other curriculum areas.
In the EYFS mathematics forms a fundamental part of the day through child initiated learning. Group activities in Nursery last between 10-15 minutes. In Reception adult-led lessons are held as well as opportunities for child initiated activities and free play. Maths lessons in Key Stage 1 also last between 45-60 minutes and 50 - 60 minutes in Key Stage 2. Daily mental maths sessions are an integral part of every maths lesson.
As with maths and all other subjects, we use a cross-curricular approach to learning where subjects are taught around topics of interest. Maths is incorporated in many areas of the curriculum for example, Science, Kodesh and D&T as well as extra-curricular activities such as charity days. This allows pupils to develop a broad understanding of maths in everyday life.
Assessment, Recording and Reporting
Assessment in maths is viewed as part of the assessment for learning cycle. Learning objectives and steps to success are shared with the children in every lesson. Children are provided with opportunities for self/peer-assessment and improvement. Marking is developmental and children are provided with next steps to extend their learning. Teachers monitor the acquisition of skills, knowledge and understanding through appropriate teacher intervention, observations and discussions with groups and individuals, and records of achievement in the key skills in maths for each year group are updated half-termly.
The maths policy firmly supports the equal opportunities philosophies of the school and all children will have access to the maths curriculum.
Every child is given opportunities to succeed in maths. Where necessary, adaptations will be made to the curriculum, to teaching, to equipment and to resources to allow access to maths for pupils with SEN, including provision for pupils that are more able in mathematics.
The role will include:
- Inspiring an exciting and creative approach to maths teaching
- Supporting maths teaching through advice, guidance, CPD and resources
- Sharing information acquired from courses or other sources that may be beneficial to staff
- Reviewing the maths policy and monitoring its implementation
- Regularly evaluating the maths scheme of work and amending as necessary
- The management, maintenance and storage of resources
- Organising pupils participation in maths workshops and events
- Effectively managing the maths budget
- Reporting to parents, governors and others when appropriate
Signed: Mrs D Newton
Date: January 2015