Chesham Bois CE School
At Chesham Bois we recognise that mathematics is an essential discipline which permeates throughout all areas of our Independent Creative Curriculum. Fluency and confidence in mathematics is of key importance for all of our children in order that they can achieve and succeed while at CBS and are thoroughly prepared for the challenges of secondary school.
The student population at Chesham Bois represent a wide variety of backgrounds, interests and aptitudes for maths. Consequently, we tailor our approach to be inclusive for everyone and to create an environment where everyone can succeed, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable steps. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich and sophisticated problems. At our school, the majority of children will be taught the content from their year group only. They will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways.
The aims of our maths curriculum are to enable children to:
· become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
· be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios.
· reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
· have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.
SMSC in Mathematics
Spiritual development in Mathematics
The study of mathematics enables students to make sense of the world around them and we strive to enable each of our students to explore the connections between their numeracy skills and every-day life. Developing deep thinking and an ability to question the way in which the world works promotes the spiritual growth of students. Students are encouraged to see the sequences, patterns, symmetry and scale both in the man-made and the natural world and to use maths as a tool to explore it more fully.
Moral development in Mathematics
The moral development of students is an important thread running through the mathematics syllabus. Students are provided with opportunities to use their maths skills in real life contexts, applying and exploring the skills required in solving various problems. For example, students are encouraged to analyse data and consider the implications of misleading or biased statistical calculations. All students are made aware of the fact that the choices they make lead to various consequences. They must then make a choice that relates to the result they are looking for. The logical aspect of this relates strongly to the right/wrong responses in maths.
Social development in Mathematics
Problem solving skills and teamwork are fundamental to mathematics through creative thinking, discussion, explaining and presenting ideas. Students are always encouraged to explain concepts to each other and support each other in their learning. In this manner, students realise their own strengths and feel a sense of achievement which often boosts confidence. Over time they become more independent and resilient learners.
Cultural development in Mathematics
Mathematics is a universal language with a myriad of cultural inputs throughout the ages. Various approaches to mathematics from around the world are used and this provides an opportunity to discuss their origins. This includes different multiplication methods from Egypt and Maya civilisations. We try to develop an awareness of both the history of maths alongside the realisation that many topics we still learn today have travelled across the world and are used internationally.
Our whole curriculum places the children at the centre. Our programme of study is clearly mapped out in our skills and knowledge progression and is based on the National Curriculum supported by the Busy Ants maths scheme. This ensures that skills and knowledge are built on year-by-year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all children.
All children are taught maths for at least 4 hours each week.
In Year R and Year 1 lessons are less discrete, with maths incorporated into lessons designed to be delivered through themes and topic which are. These lessons strive to be
- Child centred
- Reflective of the needs of the learners
- Reflective of the interests of the learners
- Knowledge and skills based
This cross-curricular approach not only aids engagement but also allows repeated use of knowledge items, allowing deeper understanding of key concepts and making learning sticky.
In Years 2 to 6, maths lessons are more discrete. However, key concepts are incorporated in other strands of the curriculum as much as possible in order to again promote depth of learning. All maths lessons are appropriately differentiated to at least three levels, with split-teaching applied where necessary. Split-teaching involves the teacher giving a number of different inputs to different ability groups within the same class in order that children are quickly guided through only the new learning that is appropriate to them thus maximising the amount of time they spend on independently working toward their own personal learning goals. Whilst a teacher is inputting to one group of children, other groups may work on a DIRT (Direct Independent Reflection Activity) which allows the children to consolidate their mastery of the learning from the previous lesson under the supervision of a TA and also shows the teacher how much knowledge they have retained. Other groups might have an input before the lesson starts so that they are ready to begin working independently during the lesson. These approaches are not set in stone, teachers move fluidly between different set-ups depending on the needs of the pupils within a particular lesson.
First 20 minutes
Second 20 minutes
In KS2 we really emphasise the importance of independence and self-directed learning. Children are supplied with answer booklets and have been taught to self-check their own answers. If they make any mistakes, they will go back and repeat the question, showing their new calculation in red pen. If they again fail to find the correct solution, only then would they put their hand up and ask for help from an adult. This approach ensures that children make an effort to engage with their learning and identify mistakes and misconceptions independently; without needing to wait for support. It also ensures that children who have not quite understood the learning do not complete a large amount of work incorrectly. These children's misconceptions can be identified quickly and appropriate support given to ensure they make progress.
In all Key Stages, teachers will prioritise the mastery of mathematical core skills - such as place value, number bonds and multiplication tables. We believe that deeply embedded fluency in these areas is fundamental to children becoming confident mathematicians who can tackle all areas of the curriculum with understanding of the underlying mathematical principles. Once children have the required mastery, we then expose them to a range of problem solving and reasoning contexts - including open-ended investigations that allow the children to explore the depth of their learning by asking the question: What if I change this?
To support children who find the acquisition of core skills challenging, at CBS we run morning arithmetic sessions. These groups are typically composed of 6 - 8 children and make use of a range of approaches including Power of 2 and NumberShark. These sessions provide a friendly, motivating context where children are given the space to consolidate their learning at a pace more appropriate to them. We also incorporate the use of Cracking Times Tables in Years 2 - 5 once a week. This allows children to set their own targets and motivates them to level up their understanding of multiplication and division facts.
The teaching of mathematics at CBS has engendered a student body who are not only comfortable at working with numbers in a range of different representations but also who are able to apply their understanding to ask and answer questions about the word around them. KS2 data shows that CBS children are consistently amongst the highest attaining mathematicians in Bucks. Further analysis also shows that CBS is on of only a handful of schools whose children are able to demonstrate excellence of understanding in every strand of the curriculum. Children’s book also demonstrate their deep understanding of mathematics through their ability to investigate problems in novel ways, applying what they have learnt to a range of contexts. They are able to generate sound explanations for the patterns that they find and, crucially, extend problems by asking, ‘What if I do this?’
When a child moves on from CBS to secondary school, they are well-prepared and eager for the new challenges in mathematics that await.