At Princess May, we believe that children should leave primary education as confident, resilient mathematicians with a deep conceptual understanding of the skills required to approach any maths problem. Our mission is to enable all learners to enjoy and succeed in mathematics. We want learners to think about maths beyond what is tested in national examinations and to be equipped with an understanding of mathematics that will be relevant and useful in their future studies and in the world of work. We understand that a deep grasp of mathematics is essential to enabling greater social equity and mobility.
We want our pupils to be successful not only in their schooling career, but throughout their adult lives. Through carefully designed lessons, our teachers are able to make meaningful connections between content with a high emphasis placed on problem solving. The Mathematics Mastery programme has been designed on principles to provide learners with a deep conceptual understanding of mathematical principles, the ability to confidently communicate in precise mathematical language, while becoming mathematical thinkers. The programme can be delivered with confidence in the knowledge that if a student understands the core principles, they will be able to remember more and do more maths, in whatever context they encounter it.
To ensure whole-school consistency and progression, Mathematics at Princess May is planned and sequenced using Mathematics Mastery. This is fully aligned with the National Curriculum and the school’s ongoing engagement with the Mathematics Mastery team continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach. New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem or ‘Big Picture’, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. In EYFS, KS1 and KS2, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) and pictorial representations. The programme uses a six-part lesson designed to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approach supports the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Students can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The Mathematics Mastery programme addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. It is imperative that the children have a secure understanding of each mathematical concept before moving on. At Princess May, we ensure that the children have mastered the maths in every lesson, by ensuring that teachers are expertly using assessment for learning, identifying and addressing any misconceptions as and when they arise. Where possible, teachers and teaching assistants deliver targeted focus groups, interventions and boosters based on assessment of the work produced to ensure that all children are ready to move on.
As well as assessment for learning during lessons, regular and ongoing assessment of the pupils’ outcomes informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child.
We use a variety of strategies to evaluate the knowledge, skills and understanding that our children gain as they progress from Nursery to Year 6:
- Regular feedback marking and pupil voice feedback
- Subject monitoring, including planning scrutinies, book looks and learning walks
- Regular low stakes knowledge assessments, using a range of creative approaches
- Hackney Learning Trust cross-school moderation to ensure secure teacher judgements
- Termly NFER tests to support our teachers’ assessment
These factors help us to maintain high expectations and high standards in Mathematics, with achievement at the end of KS2 in line with the national average and an increasingly higher proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.
With our firm belief that knowledge is transferable, our pupils are given every opportunity to participate in a wide range of learning experiences beyond their classroom. These experiences include trips to museums, theatres, adventure centres and community projects in and around London. They are also given regular opportunities to participate in school and national competitions to encourage more positive attitudes towards Mathematics. Cultural Capital is the essential knowledge that children need to prepare them for their future success – in the world of work, in relationships forged throughout life and as a valued contributor to society. When beginning their primary school journey in the EYFS, many children arrive to school with different and sometimes more limited experiences than others. Therefore, our aim is to give children the knowledge and skills to prepare them for what comes next in their lives. This includes the relevant vocabulary needed throughout their education and the opportunity to link maths to real-world problem solving.