Maths at Anston Hillcrest
As of 2014, the math's curriculum has become statutory for all year groups.
There are many elements to the teaching and learning of Maths: it is not only the ability to calculate (being mathematically fluent) but also the ability to apply these skills to real life scenarios (solve problems and investigate) and also to talk knowledgably about mathematical working (reasoning).
At Hillcrest, we value the principles behind the Mastery approach to teaching Maths. We quickly identify children who need support to achieve their curriculum objectives and provide high quality support in personalised intervention sessions by Teachers and Learning Support Assistants. Where there is an LSA in class, they will support different groups throughout a lesson.
The depth of learning principles allow children to enjoy a range of investigations, activities and games, which really consolidates their understanding and ensures they are best prepared for their next academic year. In this way, they are applying their understanding and skills in different (and often real-life) contexts.
The 5 Big Ideas - Mastery Maths
Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, and ensuring that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small steps
Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the Maths without recourse to the representation
If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others
Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics
Varying the way a concept is initially presented to students, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. Also, carefully varying practice questions so that mechanical repetition is avoided, and thinking is encouraged.
The calculation policy was written with the whole school team in 2019. The document outlines not only the progression of written methods, but also the theory and principles behind these methods. We also have a progression of skills document showing the journey from concrete - pictorial - abstract. These documents can be accessed at the bottom of the page.
Hillcrest teachers use a range of resources to support children throughout their Maths learning, including when learning new content.
We believe in the concrete – pictorial – abstract principle, where children need to use resources to ‘do’ and ‘see’ the Maths, before using images, and then being able to work independently. This does not just happen during children’s early years, but throughout their Maths learning. For example, Upper Key Stage 2 children would use Base10 resources to ‘see’ calculations with decimals before being able to ‘do’ the Maths without them.
Numicon is a key feature of our EYFS and early KS1 children’s Maths learning – it is used in play and in explicit teaching of number facts / early calculation. Dienes are used for Y2 onwards to demonstrate calculation strategies, including those with decimals, and cuisinaire rods are also used, particularly when learning fractions.
Images are also a key feature of our Maths teaching and learning. They support children to understand the Maths (when it is related to real life) and indeed children are encouraged to ‘show’ the Maths by drawing their own images. (Can they draw 3 x 5 to demonstrate an understanding of arrays.) They also invent and solve their own word problems from a range of mathematically rich illustrations.
The Bar Method is used to support children in understanding and solving word problems. It begins in Early Years, where 1 symbol represents 1 unit, and progresses up the school where the bar represents a quantity.
Click on the links to find out more about the bar method. Also, parents can download the document showing the Progression in Bar Method Problem Solving.
Being able to talk about Maths, explain what is happening and use it to solve problems is a very important part of Maths at Hillcrest. Children are encouraged to talk about their Maths every session and there is written evidence of this in books. Problem solving, activities and investigations are a key part of a sequence of Maths lessons; again, this is evident within the children’s Maths books.
At Hillcrest, we use the Rising Stars assessment tests at the end of each half term.This gives a standardised score which shows if the pupil is working towards their full potential. As a school, we closely follow the White Rose medium term planning and throughout the term, the pupils are assessed to inform progress and future planning. Topics are taught in blocks. When nearing the end of a particular block, teachers ensure pupils' fluency in methods and reasoning and problem solving skills. Where it shows certain pupils are still struggling with a certain concept, support is put into place before moving on.
If you have any queries at all, please don't hesitate to get in contact.