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At Navigation, we are proud of all our curriculum, but we feel maths is area of particular strength. On this page we hope to explain our approach to the teaching of maths. We have broken this page into three broad sections:
Intent: the knowledge and skills that pupils will gain
Implementation: how the curriculum developed or adopted by the school is taught
Impact: the outcomes that pupils achieve as a result of the education they have received
Curriculum Vision Statement:
'By the time children leave Navigation, children will be learners who have developed excellence in maths skills in order to equip them to understand the world and have the crucial foundations to access all other areas of learning.'
Our curriculum vision statement outlines our broad goals for maths, whereas below our whole school curriculum progression map gives a detailed breakdown of what each year group is taught. Below this there is also an overview of the different units of work that each year group covers. You can also download these documents at the bottom of the page or click in the top right corner to expand it into a new window. At the bottom of the page, you can also find the national curriculum statements for each year group to download should you wish to view them.
The central principal that underpins our maths curriculum is teaching for mastery. Key to our approach is the shared belief that all children can be successful mathematicians, regardless of starting points. The journey to mastery is not always easy, so we use a variety of strategies and approaches to guide pupils, but all are underpinned by the following organising principals and themes that allow for consolidation and building on previous learning.
Our maths curriculum is informed by White Rose Maths, a well-established approach that is used in over 80% of primary schools and 140 countries. However, this is supplemented by a variety of other tried and tested resources and teachers make adaptations to the learning journey to support and challenge all learners in their class.
Mastery of anything – playing an instrument, speaking a new language, mathematics – takes a very long time. That is why we like to think of it in terms of the ‘journey to mastery’, rather than ‘having mastered’. For example, children start learning to add in early years and keep developing their skills over many years – from single digit numbers, to multi-digit numbers, then decimals, then fractions, then negatives. So in order to help learners on that journey, we break it down into small steps, spending time carefully considering each. Through repetition and varied practice, gradually we move towards mastery where pupils are fluent in the unfamiliar and can apply their skills in new situations.
Time for consolidation
Our approach to maths is designed to give children space and time to think deeply about an area of maths, develop their understanding and also to realise that perfect mastery will not have been achieved by the end of the unit, whatever its length. The small step approach is designed to ensure that students will come back to topics time and time again, both within the particular unit of study and in other units so that they will continue to deepen their understanding through this revisiting and interleaving, as well as make connections between different areas of maths.
Mixed ability grouping
Guided by educational research and our own experiences, we believe all children benefit from mixed attainment teaching. Teaching for mastery does not mean we do not differentiate (providing different adjustments or work for children based on their current attainment and needs), but we do aim high for all students. By teaching in a more inclusive manner, we ensure that all children are exposed to different representations, to reasoning and to problem solving, whilst also achieving fluency. Differentiation is achieved through varying the degree of support provided, using enabling and probing questions, providing alternative representations and giving pupils opportunities to deepen their understanding where appropriate. We have found that this has approach has also improved the self-confidence of our pupils and it has provided strong outcomes for all.
Concrete Pictorial Abstract
We believe that presenting concepts in varied ways is key to unlocking understanding of mathematical ideas and deepening understanding of underlying structures. Within our curriculum, we use a ‘CPA’ approach, in which we aim to build on children’s existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. Although CPA has three distinct stages, it is used in all year groups and we regularly go back and forth between each stage to reinforce concepts and build explicit links to previous learning.
Concrete: Students use concrete objects to model problems and understand the structure of the maths. This could be real life objects, such as sweets and coins, or maths manipulatives like interlocking cubes, place value counters and base 10 models.
Pictorial: Visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between physical objects and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models. Building or drawing a model can make it easier for children to grasp difficult abstract concepts (for example, fractions) or to interpret complex word problems.
Abstract: Abstract symbols are used to model problems. Children are introduced to the concept at a symbolic level, using only numbers, notation, and mathematical symbols (for example, +, –, x, ÷) to indicate addition, multiplication or division.
Each subject is driven forward by a member of staff who monitors the attainment and progress of our children. We do this in a variety of ways including speaking to children, looking at their learning in their books, observing lessons and using data gathered from our school’s assessment system. This analysis can then be used to provide support and resources where needed to maintain high standards across all subjects.
In maths, we also make use of termly testing to see how the children are progressing and as one of many tools to see what their next steps are. Maths in EYFS is often externally moderated for quality assurance. Years 2 and 6 are required to sit national tests in maths, in which our pupils outperform their peers both nationally, within Trafford and compared to similar schools. Year 4 sit a multiplication check test for which the most common score was full marks.
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