At Bridgelea we want our children to love Maths. We want them to have no limits to what their ambitions are and grow up wanting to be architects, pharmacist and accountants. We want them to make active and positive contributions to the society they grow up in and to enjoy their lives. The Maths curriculum has been carefully designed so that our children develop their Mathematical skills and understanding. We want our children to remember their Maths lessons in our school, to cherish these memories and embrace the opportunities they are presented with.
The Maths curriculum promotes curiosity and a love and thirst for learning. It is ambitious and empowers our children to become independent and resilient – like all curriculum areas.
At Bridgelea we recognise that Maths is a journey and a process. We encourage a child centred approach to Maths so that children can do more, know more and remember more. The Maths Curriculum and teaching resource we have selected to support our children to achieve this is Numicon. We have purchased the full use of resources including teacher handbooks & online resources. Numicon gives children the opportunity to learn, do and remember through “real life” and practical activities. The CPA approach meets the needs of our pupils as it supports them to visualise and remember learning, as well as appropriately challenge them to realise their potential. We believe this will help our children to “see their maths” and understand Maths better to equip them with life skills to improve their outcomes.
Bridgelea is a nurturing school and staff understand that children’s learning is developmental and staff are equipped with training to deliver differentiated activities to support children’s Maths learning. Children generally are taught in mixed age classes within a key stage. This has caused some difficulties due to the “spiky profiles” presented by our children, thus a thorough baselining and transition information from the mainstream setting is important. As children settle and re-engage with learning, they quickly adapt to the teaching approaches in Maths. Last year, precision teaching was implemented to support children with rapid recall of number facts to help with their learning. At Bridgelea we also use ICT games, practical activities to support children to recall key number facts such as number bonds, multiplication facts.
Bridgelea’s Maths curriculum has been carefully built and adapted to reflect the needs of our children. The learning opportunities and assessment milestones for each milepost are crafted to ensure progression and repetition in terms of embedding key learning, knowledge and skills. This is captured in the school’s long term plan and reflected in the school’s bespoke tracking system.
Children make good progress in Maths in our setting. In order to support this staff are required to know the next steps in the following curriculum. Staff may teach across more than 1 year group, however, staff should only work with objectives across 2 year groups for individual children. For example a chronological Y5 pupil maybe working at Y2 but able to access some of the Y3 curriculum. The Curriculum has been adapted from the Numicon approach to reflect this. Our teaching model is built around Y2 and Y4. This means staff can easily access prior learning and next steps for students in the next year group.
At Bridgelea teachers capture teaching and learning in a child centred way. This means that they have the freedom and opportunity to capture learning in a way that suits them. All assessment is recorded on Classroom Monitor. There may be limited evidence of “work” in books as at Bridgelea we recognise Maths as a process and journey for each child. Children may use concrete, pictorial and abstract approaches throughout lessons or sequence of lessons. This usually would be captured in books but the marking grids are used daily to capture what the children are doing, how much support and their next steps. Recently “Explorer Books” have been used to capture evidence of increasingly independent work at the end of a unit. This will support the limited evidence in books and will capture some independent work.
All children are encouraged to work independently but we recognise this may look differently for each individual pupil. The level of support required should be recorded on the marking grid to see independence being fostered over time. This may be a task plan, visual scaffolds or an adult sitting close by to support attention and communication skills. At Bridgelea, teachers plan for opportunities for children to work independently or in small groups using the Numicon Teacher Handbooks – independent activities.
Working walls are used to support the children to remember their learning and to foster independence in Maths.
All children have SEND or have been permanently excluded from mainstream due to SEMH. They are undergoing assessment to better understand their individual needs. Children come to Bridgelea with a “spiky” profile. This is often caused by missed learning opportunities due to their significant SEMH difficulties that presented in mainstream. Often they have been disengaged but once settled at Bridgelea can quickly make academic progress. Most children have comorbid underlying difficulties including SLCN. The Numicon approach supports this as leanring is presented in manageable chunks or “activity groups” for teachers to select to match their children. Learning is also revisited and built on throughout the year. Teachers are encouraged to revisit learning of key facts such as multiplication and division or number bonds, throughout the year in Early Bird. The visual, hands on aspects of Numicon supports learners at Bridgelea to make progress despite additional SEND needs. This is because our children at Bridgelea thrive in a practical but systematic way of learning. Most of the children are highly familiar with Numicon so that the methods being taught are not abstract and teaching approaches generally is consistently similar.
Children often have difficulties with working memory and mathematical fluency is a barrier to progress. The academic year 2018-19, precision teaching was introduced with support from the EP – what is the impact of this?
Teachers are encouraged to use “number of the day” as a daily approach to fluency skills. In these sessions, skip counting, number facts – multiplication, bonds and place value is covered.
At Bridgelea, we hold high expectations in regards to the achievement of our pupils. We believe that our children have high potential and regard our children’s learning as important and crucial for them to succeed in later life.
Our Maths curriculum is currently being reviewed to ensure it fully meets the needs of SEMH children. How do we support learners with working memory and attention difficulties?
The Maths curriculum review will link to the missions and values.
At Bridgelea, our teachers have a secure subject knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. To support our teachers with the planning and delivery of high quality maths lessons, we use the teaching resource, Numicon. This includes the full set of teacher handbooks, implementation guides and various manipulatives that supports this approach. Staff are exposed to quality CPD to help support their teaching and delivery of mathematics. All of our children are provided with the opportunity, regardless of their ability, to work through fluency, reasoning and problem solving activities.
We use the CPA approach to help give children a deeper understanding of maths.
Concrete resources give the children time to investigate a concept first and then make connections when formal methods are introduced. To support our children’s learning, all classrooms have a range of mathematical resources including Numicon, Cuisennaire rods, place value counters and Base10.
The pictorial stage allows children to demonstrate and sustain their understanding of mathematical concepts and processes. We use approaches outlined in the Numicon approach, such as bar modelling, sketching, blank number lines to help pictorially represent problems to children.
The abstract stage runs alongside the concrete and pictorial stage which enables our children to read mathematical statements and show their understanding using concrete resources or pictorial representations.
At Bridgelea, children generally have poor working memory skills. Our children need opportunities across the year to revisit areas of the curriculum to ensure that knowledge is fully embedded. Children are given daily opportunities through mental oral starters to practice their mental maths. This needs developing further and consistently across all classes to ensure that meaningful practice is supporting children to embed basic skills. There is a progression map of basic skills to enable all staff to appropriately support children. Precision teaching is also used to support poor working memory for our most vulnerable children.
Through our teaching we continuously monitor children’s progress against their starting points. As we know, children at Bridgelea enter at lower starting points than their chronological age. Part of our transition policy states that we work with the mainstream school to capture progress and children are exposed to a thorough baseline of their Maths skills. We make formative assessment notes and use these to inform our discussions in termly Pupil Progress Meetings. Teachers update Classroom Monitor (our school assessment tracker) on a regular basis. The main purpose of all our assessments are to ensure that we are providing high quality provision for all children. This helps them form planning and assessment for learning.
After the implementation of our maths curriculum, our children will understand the relevance of what they are learning in mathematics and how it links to everyday life. Our children will foster an enjoyment of mathematics and this will be evident from speaking to the children and also the pride that they take in their work. They will not be afraid to take risks and will relish in the challenges that are presented to them. Outcomes will be strong and our children will better their basic skills in Mathematics. There will be evidence of progression within a unit of work across a wide range of evidence, and from year to year. Using children’s books, Classroom Monitor and the Explorer Books, there will be evidence of varied fluency, reasoning and problem solving and feedback given to children will have a clear impact on their outcomes. Children will show a deeper level of understanding due to the CPA approach which will be used across all areas of maths. Interventions will enable a greater proportion of children to be on track to meet year group expectations or in the case of those working significantly below expectations to make better than expected progress.