At The Berkeley Academy, we want all children to:
Fluency is about knowing number facts such at number bonds and tables. It is also about the understanding and flexibility of knowing when and how to apply these facts.
Reasoning is about explaining choices and looking for efficient methods. We can use known facts to work out other facts
eg I know that 6 +4 = 10 therefore I know 4+ 6 = 10, 10-6 = 4, 10-4 = 6, 60 + 40 = 100 and 40 + 60 = 100.
Problem solving is at the heart of mathematics and relies on fluency and reasoning skills. It sets us up to tackle life and be able to use our mathematical knowledge to solve a range of everyday problems that we may encounter.
We aim to give children a deep understanding of maths concepts. We provide a range of resources to enable them to have a concrete and visual platform on which to build. From this they can work towards developing an understanding of the abstract.
Maths lessons are a daily focus of the curriculum from Nursery right through to Year 6. Children are provided with a broad range of opportunities and experiences which develop their mathematical fluency using a range of representations such as concrete (physical resources), pictorial (pictures and images) and abstract (the numbers and symbols that we are familiar with).
Children learn a range of methods and are encouraged to show their working out in a series of ways including calculations, images and as a reasoned explanation. They learn new vocabulary which helps them to securely grasp new concepts and explain their methods and choices. In order to help children to begin comprehending new concepts, a solid emphasis is placed upon the use of concrete resources such as base ten, numicon, bead strings and place value counters. These resources are used throughout the school so that all children are able to visualise the maths that they are learning and can ‘see’ how it works before delving into it further.
Once a child has become fluent in the area of maths they are currently focusing on, they are then guided towards applying this fluent understanding to a range of reasoning and problem solving activities which allow them to demonstrate that they have a secure, in-depth grasp of the new mathematical concept.
Learning objectives are dictated by the National Curriculum programme of study to ensure that all children are achieving the range of mathematical knowledge required. Medium term plans are dictated by these objectives with teachers drawing on a wealth of other guidance and resources to build an effective sequence of learning such as the NCETM Teaching for Mastery document, First4Maths planning support documents and, where applicable, the Teacher Assessment Framework for the end of KS1 and KS2. Although all children will progress through the curriculum at broadly the same pace, decisions on when to progress onto the next skill or objective will be dictated by the security of pupils’ understanding and readiness to move on. Pupils who grasp new concepts quickly will be challenged through the use of more advanced puzzles and problems which will require them to apply their understanding in a range of ways.
Each half term, children’s knowledge is assessed through the use of NFER assessments or, in Year 2 and 6, past SATs papers. Nursery and Reception children’s knowledge and understanding is assessed via continual teacher assessment throughout the term which is then document on Tapestry. In addition, children in Years 1-6 are also tested on their mental arithmetic once a week and their basic number skills and speed of number fact recall via ‘2 minute tests’ twice a week.
In order to develop children’s fluent recall of the vital times tables facts, the use of Times Tables Rockstars as a platform for quick recall practise is encouraged and utilised from Year 2 upwards. Regular ‘battles’ are set between classes and year groups to promote consistent use through healthy competition and striving to be the best. Children who have worked hard and achieved the highest results in each class on Times Tables Rockstars are celebrated each week during our Berkeley’s Best assembly with their name being displayed on a leaderboard in the hall for everybody to see.
Children in Year 1 are encouraged to regularly use NumBots as a way of developing their fluent recall of basic number facts. This is a pre-cursor to Times Tables Rockstars and is a fun way for children to practice their skills by progressing through different levels playing as their own robot character which they have selected.
Through a broad curriculum, rich in fluency, investigation and manipulation of number, children will leave The Berkeley with a secure understanding of all areas of maths. They will be able to apply this understanding to a range of problems and questions including those presented to them in their everyday lives. Children will also, as a result of securing and embedding their mathematical skills, be prepared for the next phase of their education where they will be able to further develop what has been learnt so far. Berkeley Academy pupils will leave us as confident and able mathematicians who are ready to tackle and solve whatever maths-centred problems and questions that may be presented to them in their everyday lives.
A child who has mastered maths will be able to tackle a range of problems with confidence. They may make mistakes but will be able to learn from these and explain the processes and strategies they have used to tackle a problem and the reason why they have chosen them.