Mathematics equips pupils with a 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, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy,the environment and development, and in public decision-making. Different cultures have contributed to the development and application of mathematics. Today, the subject transcends cultural boundaries and its importance is universally recognised. Mathematics is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a pupil solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees hidden connections.
At St Nicholas’ we teach maths in two parts: Maths meetings and Inspire Maths.
What is a maths meeting?
What is it:
- 15 minutes daily arithmetic/maths facts/vocabulary/mental maths on top of and before the maths
lesson. This could be timestables, fractions facts or place value. Children will devlop clear routines and will be able to run the lesson without support from the teacher.
- The content is drawn from the 2014 National Curriculum. This teaches children exactly what they need to know and how to apply it. Extra information is gathered from assessments and class work.
- Very little NEW stuff is taught, children build up routines to answer questions independently. This allow children to build confidence.
- The session is fast and pacey, every child answers ever question and is therefore responsible for their own learning.
2014 is a knowledge based curriculum, There is a need to ensure key maths, mathematical vocabulary, mental maths and arithmetic
knowledge and skills are learned; that they stick and continue to be practised so that children develop automacity which enables them to access more complex content; to problem solve and to reason.
Maths meetings have led to progress scores of +4 over ks2 with 100% of pupils in some cohorts reaching expected levels in schools that use them. Math’s Meetings are transformational because they use what neuroscience teaches us about the forgetting curve and the spacing effect.
We follow the ‘Inspire Maths’ approach to teaching mathematics. This was introduced with Year One children in September 2018, and is now embedded practice across KS1 and up to year 4. The principles of Inspire Maths are also used in KS2.
What is Inspire Maths?
- ‘Inspire Maths’ is built on the proven approach to teaching mathematics in Singapore, recognised globally as one of the most impactful ways to teach and learn maths.
- ‘Inspire Maths’ has been developed with leading UK educational experts and correlated to the new National Curriculum in England. It was selected by the Department for Education and NCETM for the national textbook research project with Maths Hubs
- The programme follows a concrete – pictorial – abstract approach which ensures deep understanding of mathematical concepts during individual lessons and over time.
- Carefully-designed spiral progression in the programme builds up knowledge over time, enabling all children to become confident mathematicians.
- Inspire maths guided sessions promote discussion and exploration, with a strong emphasis on mathematical language, speaking in full sentences, and reasoning (by children consistently being required to explain how they know).
- Inspire maths guided sessions include specific questions, which draw out children’s understanding and identify and misconceptions immediately. Examples of these questions include:
- How do you know?
- What do you know?
- What do you see?
- What is the relationship between…?
- Say it in a full sentence
- What if…
- Prove how you know
- Talk to me in fractions/measure/ shape properties (correct maths vocab)
- Is there another way?
- Use resources to explain your thinking
- Tell me about…
- Show me another way
- If you know that, what else do you know?
Each child records their learning in a practice book. The practice books reinforce the concepts that have been introduced and encourage extensive opportunities for independent practice. This builds fluency through frequent and varied practice leading towards mastery of concepts. Practice books include a variety of questions and word problems (including non-routine) for consolidation, and challenging questions.
How are children assessed in Inspire Maths?
Comprehensive reviews provide consolidation after every two or three unit. Each child has an Inspire Assessment Book. These books support teachers to assess children’s mastery of concepts and create a record of individual progress. Inspire Maths provides a range of summative assessments that can be used after teaching 2-3 units, mid-term or termly. Children are also assessed against Age Related Expectations in Mathematics using our school tracking and assessment procedures, supported by Assertive Mentoring summative assessments. At St Nicks’ we also use a range of other assessment tools to assess and support our children. We use both the headstart assessment papers, previous SATs paper (in year 2 and 6) and evidence from Maths meetings.
How can parents support their children’s maths learning at home?
Each unit in ‘Inspire Maths’ includes suggestions for how parents may support learning at home Class teachers will explore children’s maths practice books with parents during the termly Assertive Mentoring meetings. This will include discussions about the methods that the children are learning and how to support children at home. Workshops will take place in the Autumn term for parents wishing to find out more information about the maths that their children will be learning that year, and how to support at home.