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Learning in Maths

Mathematics is an essential  life skill that enables us all to carry out everyday activities, often without even realising it.  It is the ability to do this that is the aim for Mathematical learning at Crabbs Cross Academy. Often our parents are much less secure in Maths than they are in English.  One of our key tasks is to engender in parents an enthusiasm for Mathematics so they are keen to support their child.  The school will use the agreed Pyramid calculation Policy which gives agreed progression across the EYFS, KS1 and KS2 in the four rules of number.  This enables differentiation to be clear and the information will be shared with parents at the start of each academic year in the form of a booklet so they are clear about the learning approaches that children will be exposed to.  In addition, the academy will provide parent workshops to clarify teaching processes so parents can help their own child effectively at home.

Children need time to talk about maths as it can appear that an adult has plucked a number out of thin air.  Teachers will therefore spend time exploring the thought processes and  calculations needed to be worked through to get to the correct answer.  Much of this work will be verbally carried out with concrete modelling using children's ideas to develop their thinking and identify misconceptions It will be important for children to recognise that mistakes can be made and that they can be corrected. Wherever possible practical life situations will be used to develop skills such as counting stairs, shopping, journeys, planning TV viewing and playing games. Other contexts will be drawn from the curriculum, and mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding will be independently demonstrated through problem solving and investigation in real situations in this way providing strong assessment evidence.

The curriculum will be planned from the National Curriculum expectations and careful gap analysis of what children need to learn next, in line with demanding end of year targets so that expectations are appropriately high for all pupils.  We will continue to use APP statements for the first year as we establish systems in line with the changes resulting from the new curriculum as this gives very clear evidence of what children need to learn next and staff will plan to continually move children on through these methods. A much greater emphasis will be placed on number than other strands and to aid pupils mental recall the Academy will be putting in place two systems - a weekly test of recall, building in its difficulty from number bonds to 10, through table recall to a mix of application of the facts.  Expectations will rise for the speed of recall as they move through the levels.  To support this a web-based system 'Mathletics' will be put into place.  This is a system that staff can pitch at a level suitable for each child who uses the system at home, competing against children from across the world to see who can most speedily and accurately answer in a given time.  There are intrinsic rewards in the system. Children with no access at home will be able to use the system in a study club.

As with English, the wider curriculum will be exploited to develop and practice mathematical skills after they have been initially taught in Maths. This will enable the tighter focus on number within Maths lessons.  So, for example, data would be taught through Science and Computing, elements of shape through Art or Design Technology, weight through cookery and measuring length through PE.

Staff will use a range of resources to support Mathematical learning.  Each class will have a set of 'Toolkits' for children to independently select appropriate concrete support materials such as digit cards, number strings, blank number lines, 100 squares, cubes within them. They will also use materials from the previous national strategy, particularly those which support closing the gap.  High quality questioning will be a central tool for staff, as will the utilisation of IT based resources, activities and websites.

Homework will be set weekly for all year groups, though Reception will not start formal Maths homework for the first term.   Homework will be directed at practising learned skills from the week, or mental recall (Mathletics will be over and above homework) or it may be investigating something in the home environment such as listing 10 items with a cylinder shape.