At Northfield House Primary Academy, children are taught the Mathematics National Curriculum (outlined in the programmes of study). Teachers are guided by the Abacus Scheme of work to ensure coverage and progression, but they do not stick rigidly to the format, and use assessment information to inform planning for learning. They are free to use a wide variety of appropriate learning resources. Each National Curriculum objective is broken down further by the Abacus scheme and taught sequentially to ensure that children develop a rich conceptual understanding.
There are five weekly maths lessons. Each lesson includes a starter activity, the main objective introduction, independent activity time and plenaries as needed to address misconceptions and pull the learning together. Within each lesson, there is a strong focus on understanding and using key vocabulary. Children are given time to respond to marking and any other feedback in order to address any misconceptions and deepen their understanding. This reflective process is an integral part in the teaching and learning cycle and is positively encouraged. All groups of learners are challenged appropriately through questioning and tasks so that they are able to develop and deepen their mathematical understanding.
Each week in years 2-6, an Assertive Mentoring Skills check is carried out to ensure that key skills are revisited regularly and progress is closely monitored. Teachers use the skills checks to inform next steps in learning. Skills checks are undertaken once a fortnight in year 1, and used in Foundation Stage when teachers deem them to be appropriate.
A copy of the Assessment Criteria for the skills checks is included in this handbook for teacher reference. Children should work on the correct Stage for their year group whenever possible (e.g. Stage 0= Reception, Stage 1=Year 1, etc.). A minority of children (who are significantly underperforming) should work on an appropriate skills check from a previous year group that will enable the teacher to identify and tackle the gaps in their learning.
The skills checks should not be seen as a test, and children should be supported through the process and have questions read to them whenever needed. Younger children and those who are struggling should complete them in small groups as needed. The class teacher has a responsibility to encourage the children to improve their scores every week, and personalised feedback should be given to enable the child to tackle their misconceptions. There is no strict time limit, and the teacher should manage this within the context of their class. The teacher should use the assessment information to inform planning for the next steps in learning. A record will be kept of the scores, and the information from skills checks can be used as one of the ways in which assessment judgements are made on the ‘I can’ grids.
The new calculations policy is an integral part of how maths is taught at Northfield House Primary Academy. A clear progression of how the operations are taught across the school has been shared and reviewed with staff in order to ensure consistency.
A copy of the Calculations Policies can be downloaded from the links at the bottom of the page.
To ensure that the children have an opportunity to apply their mathematical reasoning, tasks are planned at least every two days whereby they are able to investigate, reason and problem solve. These sessions are aimed to develop all pupils’ ability to investigate and persevere in a challenge and thus assessing the children’s true understanding of applying mathematics in a range of situations.
Every child in the class will have an “I Can” grid in the front of their maths book. This grid includes all the objectives needed for their academic year from beginning, within and surpassing age related expectations. If the child is working below their age related expectations, then they will have the “I Can” grid suited to their ability. This grid is an ongoing assessment which teachers highlight before each data point in order to assess which objectives the child has met. The weekly Assertive Mentoring Skills checks are a good indication of a child’s understanding and can we be used to highlight objectives and assess them. Similarly, if during the week a child has shown that they can independently apply certain mathematical skills to a problem solving or reasoning activity, than that can be the basis for an assessment judgement.
Miss M Chandarana
Miss R Morjaria