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Maths at Birkby Junior School

At Birkby Junior School we are committed to ensuring that all children experience the full richness of an exciting, varied Mathematics curriculum that enables them to develop their ability to work co-operatively, communicate clearly and fluently so they can solve problems effectively.

What we use to support Maths teaching

The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths is used to support our planning, teaching, learning and assessment. The National Curriculum gives detailed aims for the teaching and learning of Maths, which is taught through a daily Maths lesson in each class.

In each child’s Maths books are a set of age related expectations that cover the aims set out in the National Curriculum. These ‘targets’ are used as a way of assessing children, on a lesson by lesson basis, against the criteria laid out in the curriculum for their age group. Targets are used as the basis for learning objectives within lessons so children are well versed in what they are and teachers encourage children to talk about them and use them as a self-assessment tool.

At Birkby Junior School we use a range of documents to support teachers in planning and delivering lessons that encourage depth and breadth within a unit of Maths learning Documents include those provided by the Maths Hub and Power Maths scheme.  

To support the use of formal written methods, all teachers follow the Birkby Junior School Written Calculation Policy. This focusses on written methods across the four calculations and outlines expectations for each year group.

To further support Maths teaching in school, teachers are guided in sequencing their planning through the objectives laid out in medium term plans for each year group. These are adapted yearly following reflections made by teachers and suggestions from the Maths Hub.

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Daily Maths Lessons

Within each daily Maths lesson children are given the opportunity to master Maths skills through a combination of fluency, problem solving and reasoning tasks. These are carefully tailored to individual groups of children through well sequenced, detailed planning so that the majority of children in a class are moving through a concept at the same speed.

All children, no matter their age or ability, are encouraged to use concrete resources to understand and embed a Maths skill before they move on to pictorial and written methods.

Assessment in Maths

Children are regularly assessed through targeted questioning in lessons and through the outcome of activities completed in lesson time. Teachers mark Maths learning daily and give a ‘next step’ that the children respond to promptly to develop depth of understand or eradicate a misconception. When a child has achieved a ‘target’ within a Maths lesson, this is noted on the target sheet at the front of their book as a measure of progress.

At the end of each term, children sit a PUMA assessment (Progress and Understanding in Maths Assessment). This is a formal piece of assessment that aims to support teachers in making accurate judgements as to the progress each child in their class is making.

In Year 3 and 4, fluency of times table skills are tracked termly in order to best prepare children for the MTC (Multiplication Tables Check) at the end of Year 4.

In termly Pupil Progress meetings, teachers are able to present assessment data and discuss strengths and weaknesses of Maths within their class with the Senior Leadership Team.

Mathletics

Mathletics is an online tool for which each child has their own username and password. This enables children to access Mathletics at home and school. It improves pupils Maths skills and engagement through fun activities linked to the National Curriculum.

Aspects of Mathletics include:

  • Learning activities linked to all areas of maths.
  • Learning is individual - at their own pace, children can complete activities they would like to do or complete activities set by their teacher. If the activities set are too easy or too hard this can be adjusted by the teacher to meet a child's ability.
  • Children who struggle to read the instructions on the screen can use headphones and the speaker button to have the instructions read out to them. This is a great way of engaging all learners.
  • Live Mathletics - improving mental maths fluency by answering questions against the clock, whilst competing against other children from all around the world. Also children can invite their friends at school to compete against them.
  • Problem solving games. 
  • Times Table Tunes - children can learn their times tables through fun, animated songs.
  • Concept search - children can use the Mathletics dictionary to find out what different mathematical vocabulary means. 
  • Clear charts to show pupils their strengths and areas for improvement – a pupil can complete any activity as many times as they would like.

Times Table Rockstars (TTRS)

TTRS is an online multiplication fluency tool which children can access at school and home. An excellent understanding and recall of times table facts is fundamental to success in Maths lessons and TTRS supports children with this.

Aspects of TTRS include:

  • Children can compete against others from around the world in live games and they can play easily against their classmates.
  • Teachers can select times tables for individual children to practice.
  • Incorrect answers are always immediately corrected so that children start to associate the correct answer to every question.
  • If a particular times tables facts is consistently taking a child longer to answer then TTRS gradually starts to present this fact more frequently until the child has mastered it.
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