This policy outlines the leadership, management, teaching, learning and organisation of the mathematics taught and learned at Woodside School. The implementation of this policy is the responsibility of all staff.

The Ethos of our school

Woodside School promotes learning for life.

We are an inclusive, aspirational learning environment where children, families, staff, governors and the wider community learn together in an atmosphere of co-operation and tolerance. As a community we promote self-discipline, understanding, empathy, co-operation, perseverance and independence. We encourage a culture of high standards, achievements and expectations. We aim to develop the full potential of every individual. Every child brings valuable experiences and strengths to our school. We build on these by offering a curriculum that is stimulating, accessible, challenging and differentiated to meet the needs of all children. We provide an open, stimulating environment in which every child feels safe, valued and happy. We encourage parents and the wider community to take an active interest in the education of all of our children and to feel an ownership of their school. Our ethos forms the core of our planning and teaching. Our teaching is our ethos in action.

The Aims of our school 

  • To create an inclusive culture of achievement, high standards and high expectations
  • To promote the spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of all of our children.
  • To create a stimulating school environment where children feel valued and safe. Bullying is not tolerated.
  • To enable all children to use language and mathematics effectively.
  • To ensure that all children have equal access to effective teaching and learning in all areas of a rich, broad, balanced curriculum.
  • To develop sensitivity, friendliness, courtesy and tolerance towards others.
  • To help children develop lively, enquiring minds, the ability to question and discuss rationally and to acquire knowledge, skills and understanding relevant to a fast changing world.
  • To be a school dedicated to self-evaluation, ongoing review and continuous improvement.
  • To work in partnership with parents/carers and our immediate and wider community for the greater benefit of all children’s education.
  • To empower every child to fulfil his/her potential.
  • Children learn best within a culture of high standards and high expectations

Our Philosophy of Learning

  • Children learn best in a stimulating, caring, safe environment
  • Children learn best when offered a range of learning experiences
  • Children learn best when a range of appropriate teaching strategies are employed
  • Children learn best when they understand the purpose of what they are doing and have ownership of the learning activities and the curriculum as a whole
  • Children learn best within a well-planned developmental curriculum which has continuity and progression as its core
  • Children learn best when they know that there is a partnership between home and school
  • Children learn best when the activity they are undertaking is differentiated, as necessary, to meet their needs
  • The quality of a child’s learning is determined by the quality of our teaching
  • Children learn best when lessons are engaging, enabling and motivating

The Five Outcomes

The five outcomes that are most important to children and young people are:

  • Being healthy
  • Staying safe
  • Enjoying and achieving
  • Making a positive contribution
  • Achieving economic well-being

These five outcomes are universal ambitions for every child whatever their background or circumstances. Improving outcomes for all children underpins all of our work.

Children learn and thrive when they are healthy, safe and engaged and educational achievement is the most effective route to meaningful employment and economic independence and well-being later in life.

Excellence and Enjoyment

The Principles of Learning and Teaching

Good learning and teaching:

  • ensures that every child succeeds. At Woodside School we provide an inclusive education within a culture of high expectations
  • builds on what learners already know. We structure and pace our teaching so that our children know what is to be learnt, how and why.
  • makes learning vivid and real. We strive to develop understanding through enquiry, creativity, e-learning and problem solving.
  • makes learning an enjoyable and challenging experience. We aim to stimulate learning through matching teaching techniques and strategies to a range of learning styles.
  • enrich the learning experience. We build on learning skills across the curriculum.
  • promotes assessment for learning. Our children are partners in their learning.

Teaching and Learning of Mathematics

Mathematics is a tool for everyday life. It is a whole network of concepts and relationships which provide a way of viewing and making sense of the world. It is used to analyse and communicate information and ideas and to tackle a range of practical tasks and real life problems. It also provides the materials and means for creating new imaginative worlds to explore.

Using the Programmes of Study from the National Curriculum and the National Numeracy Strategy together with the National Strategy Mathematics Framework, Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum and the Numbers and Patterns programme, it is our aim to develop:

  • a positive attitude towards mathematics and an awareness of the fascination of the subject
  • competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills
  • an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately
  • initiative and an ability to work both independently and in cooperation with others
  • an ability to communicate mathematics
  • an ability to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life
  • an understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry and investigation

Teaching time

Years 1 – 6: To provide adequate time for developing a range of mathematical concepts, skills and processes – ‘using and applying mathematics, counting and understanding number, knowing and using number facts, calculating, understanding shape, measuring and handling data’, – each class teacher teaches a daily mathematics lesson. This may vary in length but will usually last between 45 minutes and an hour. Through careful assessment, planning and preparation, we aim to ensure that children are given opportunities for:

  • practical activities and mathematical games
  • problem solving
  • individual, small group and whole class discussions
  • open and closed tasks
  • a range of methods of calculating e.g. mental, paper and pencil and calculator
  • working with ICT
  • outdoor learning

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Teachers and practitioners support children in developing their understanding of mathematics in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding. This area of development includes seeking patterns, making connections, recognising relationships, working with numbers, shapes and measures, and counting, sorting and matching. Children use their knowledge and skills in these areas to solve problems, Ogenerate new questions and make connections across other areas of learning and development.

Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active, and through creative and critical thinking which takes place both indoors and outside. We recognise that children learn through routine, continuous provision and incidental learning opportunities, as well as planned sessions and activities. Mathematical understanding can be developed through stories, songs, games, routine, questioning, imaginative play, child initiated learning and structured teaching.

In Foundation Stage 1, group activities are timetabled and planned. In Foundation Stage 2, daily time is dedicated to mathematics. Overall these lessons include a good balance between whole-class work, group teaching and individual practice. In the Autumn term, these sessions are similar to those in Foundation Stage 1. However throughout the year there is a gradual shift where adult-directed sessions are extended in preparation for Year 1.

Class Organisation

From Foundation Stage 2, all pupils have a dedicated daily mathematics lesson. Within these lessons there will be a good balance between whole-class work, group teaching and individual practice. Children may also work in cross class ability groups.

A typical lesson

A typical lesson in Year 1 to 6 is structured as follows:

  • Oral work and mental calculation (about 5 to 10 minutes)

This will involve whole-class work to rehearse, sharpen and develop mental and oral skills.

  • The main teaching activity (about 30 to 40 minutes)

This will include both teaching input and pupil activities and a balance between whole class, guided groups, paired and individual work.

  • A plenary, about 5 – 10 minutes at the end of the lessons and, where appropriate, short ‘plenaries’ interspersed throughout the lesson.

This will involve work with the whole class to sort out misconceptions, identify progress, to summarise key facts and ideas and what to remember, to make links to other work and to discuss next steps in children’s learning.

Our scheme of work is a working document and as such is composed of ongoing plans produced on a week by week basis. This is developed from the National Curriculum, National Numeracy Strategy, NNS Framework, EYFS Curriculum and the Numbers and Patterns programme, and is tailored to meet the learning needs of all our children.

Out-of-class work and homework

Daily mathematics lessons provide opportunities for children to practise and consolidate their skills and knowledge, to develop and extend their techniques and strategies, and to prepare for their future learning. These are extended through out-of-class activities or homework. These activities are short and focused and are referred to and valued in future lessons. All children are encouraged to access on-line NumberGym at home (user name and password available from school) and the homework links on Learning Gateway.

Calculating Strategies

The ability to calculate mentally is an important part of mathematics and an important part of preparing learners to cope with society’s demands and help them to manage everyday events.

However, we aim that by Year 6, as many children as is possible, will understand, and use successfully, effective written strategies, to carry out and record calculations they cannot do mentally.

To enable children to move towards effective and efficient methods of more formal written calculations, with full understanding, a step by step approach is taken (cross refer to our Calculations Policy)

Links Between Mathematics and Other Subjects

Mathematics contributes to many subjects within the primary curriculum and opportunities are sought to draw mathematical experience out of a wide range of situations. This allows children to use and apply mathematics in real contexts.

Information and Communication Technology

ICT is used in various ways to support teaching and motivate children’s learning.

Equal Opportunities

All children are offered a broad, balanced curriculum differentiated to meet their needs as necessary. There is equality of access to the whole curriculum. No child is denied access to any part of the broad curriculum unless specific physical need or religious/cultural considerations make it inappropriate. We are very mindful of the learning needs of all of our children and those with Special Educational Needs are supported well within Mathematics via effective planning, teaching and assessment, differentiated activities, as necessary, high, realistic expectations, suitable resources and recording formats. Learners who have particular needs in relation to literacy will receive direct adult support in reading and recording.

Gifted and Talented Children

Where possible, more able children are taught with their own class and their learning extended through differentiated group work, extra challenges and opportunities for independent learning/challenges. Where appropriate, special arrangements are made for an exceptionally gifted child e.g. they may be taught with children from a higher age range or may follow an individualised programme with more challenging problems to tackle.

Learners with Special Educational Needs

All learners are catered for fully in their daily mathematics lessons. All children benefit from the emphasis on oral and mental work and participating in watching and listening to other children demonstrating and explaining their methods. Children with SEN are taught within the daily mathematics lesson and are encouraged to take part. Where applicable, children’s IEP targets incorporate appropriate objectives from the National Curriculum, National Numeracy Strategy, NNS Framework, EYFS Curriculum and the Numbers and Patterns programme. Where additional support staff are available, they work collaboratively with the class teacher   However a pupil whose difficulties are severe or complex may need to be supported with an individualised programme in the main part of the lesson.

Inclusion: providing effective learning opportunities for all children

When planning and teaching the curriculum, we have due regard to the following principles:

  • Setting suitable learning challenges

We give every child the opportunity to experience success in learning and to achieve as a high a standard as possible. The National Curriculum Programmes of Study set out what each child should be taught at each Key Stage, but Year Groups/teachers teach the knowledge, skills and understanding in ways that suit individual children’s abilities. This may mean teaching knowledge, skills and understanding from earlier and later Key Stages/phases, so that individual children can make progress and show what they can achieve.

For children whose attainments fall significantly below the expected levels at a particular Key Stage, a much greater degree of differentiation will be necessary. In these circumstances, it may be necessary to use the contents of the Programmes of Study as a resource or to provide a context in planning learning appropriate to the age and requirements of the child.

For children whose attainments significantly exceed the expected level of attainment within one or more subjects within a particular Key Stage, we plan suitably challenging work as well as drawing on materials from later Key Stages or higher levels of study. We plan further differentiation by extending the breadth and depth of study within individual subjects, or by planning work which draws on the content of different subjects.

Responding to Children’s Diverse Learning Needs

When planning, we set high expectations and provide opportunities for all pupils to achieve, including:

  • Boys and girls
  • Children with Additional Needs
  • Children with disabilities
  • Children from all social and cultural backgrounds
  • Children from different ethnic groups including travellers, refugees and asylum seekers
  • Children from diverse linguistic backgrounds

We are aware that all children bring to school different experiences, interests and strengths which influence the way in which they learn. We plan our approaches to teaching and learning so that all children can take part in lessons fully and effectively.

We are mindful of the requirements of equal opportunities legislation which covers race, gender and disability.

We respond to children’s diverse learning needs by:

  • Creating effective learning environments
  • Securing their motivation and concentration
  • Providing equality of opportunity through a range of teaching approaches
  • Using appropriate assessments
  • Setting targets for learning

Overcoming Potential Barriers to Learning and Assessment for Individuals and Groups of Children

Some children may have particular learning and assessment needs which go beyond the provisions described above and, if not addressed, could create barriers to learning. These needs are likely to arise as a consequence of a child having a special educational need or disability, or may be linked to a child’s progress in learning English as a second language.

Our planning and assessment for children with special educational needs takes account of the type and extent of the difficulty experienced by the child. In many cases, the action necessary to respond to an individual’s requirements for curriculum access will be met through greater differentiation of tasks and materials. A smaller number of children may need access to specialist equipment and approaches or to alternative or adapted activities.

We work closely, where appropriate, with representatives of other agencies who may be supporting the child (e.g. Behaviour Support Team, Educational Psychologist, Learning Support Advisory Teacher etc.)

Not all children with disabilities will necessarily have special educational needs. Many children with disabilities learn alongside their peers, with little need for additional resources beyond the aids which they use as part of their daily life e.g. wheelchair, hearing aid or equipment to aid vision. We ensure that any child with a disability is enabled to participate as fully and effectively as possible, within the National Curriculum and the Statutory Assessment Arrangements.

Children for whom English is an additional language have diverse needs in terms of support necessary in English language learning. Planning should take account of factors such as:

  • The child’s age
  • Length of time in this country
  • Previous educational experience
  • Skills in other languages

Careful monitoring of the child’s progress in the acquisition of English language skills and of subject knowledge and understanding will be necessary to confirm that no learning difficulties are present.

The ability of children for whom English is an additional language to take part in the National Curriculum may be ahead of their communication skills in English. We take specific action to help children who are learning English as an additional language by:

  • Developing their spoken and written English
  • Ensuring access to the curriculum and assessment

Assessment

Key assessments are:

  • day to day
  • periodic
  • transitional

These are used to inform teaching and learning in a continuous cycle of planning, teaching and assessment.

Day to day assessments are an informal part of every lesson and enable us to monitor children’s learning and progress

Periodic assessments (APP) take place through evidence collected and through the ‘assess and review’ lessons timetabled each half term. These assess some of the ideas linked to the key objectives that have been covered during the half term.

Transitional assessments take place towards the end of the school year to assess and review pupils’ overall progress and attainment. Teachers also draw upon APP, their class record of attainment against key objectives and supplementary notes and knowledge about children to produce a summative record. Accurate information is then reported to parents and the child’s next teacher.

Resources

Resources are reviewed and updated regularly.

Leadership

The role of the Leadership Team:

  • To be lead teachers
  • To ensure all teachers are familiar with the Primary Framework for Mathematics and support them in ensuring that all mathematics teaching is of a high quality
  • To lead by example in the way they teach in their own classroom and in other classes in each Year Group
  • To prepare, organise and lead INSET as necessary
  • To work co-operatively with our SENCOs to ensure that the needs of all children on the SEN List are met
  • To monitor colleagues’ teaching capability with a view to identifying the support and development they need
  • To monitor children’s learning and the progress that they are making
  • To ensure that all children are progressing towards meeting their individual mathematics target
  • To attend INSET provided by Shropshire LA numeracy consultants and other external providers
  • To ensure that all parents/carers are kept informed about their children’s progress
  • To work in partnership with our governors’ Curriculum Committee in raising standards in Mathematics across our school
  • Working with our Mathematics governor and governors’ curriculum committee, ensure that mathematics remains a high profile in the school’s improvement plan
  • To deploy support staff effectively and to maximise their impact upon children’s learning and overall standards across our school
  • To undertake half termly formal Pupil Progress meetings with teachers in each Year Group