Mathematics - The Whiteoak Way
‘Mathematics is how we describe our world when words are not enough. Everyone deserves to speak the language of mathematics and to play with mathematics to enjoy its beauty and its power.’
At The Whiteoak Academies, we strive to deliver a challenging and ambitious mathematics curriculum that meets and fulfils the needs of ALL learners. Embracing a mastery approach, we foster a belief that ALL children can access the mathematics and we fully support all staff to become highly skilled and passionate practitioners to deliver it. Ultimately, our Maths curriculum is designed in the aim that our children develop mathematical confidence, greater independence and life-long knowledge, understanding and skills.
‘The only way to learn Mathematics is to do mathematics.’
We plan to ensure that ALL children will develop a secure and deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations. We encourage our children to have a positive mindset and advocate that ALL children are able to succeed in mathematics, regardless of their prior attainment or starting point. Furthermore, we recognise that success is linked to effort and hard work, so we challenge and support all children to gain a greater depth of understanding, valuing marvellous mistakes as a key part of their learning.
‘All things in nature are written in the language of mathematics.’
At the Whiteoak Academies, our lessons are carefully planned and crafted to provide a step by step conceptual journey through the mathematics. In embracing a mastery approach, we engage our children in reasoning and the development of mathematical thinking and plan to include:
- Coherent, carefully structured learning steps (using our do it, twist it, deepen it approach).
- Conceptual variation: the mathematical concept is presented in a variety of ways so children are able to discern the essential features.
- Multiple representations: a variety of manipulative and pictorial representations are used to explain the mathematical concept.
- Procedural variation: questions are chosen with care to demonstrate a particular concept, ensuring that calculations are more than simply finding an answer, but about understanding patterns and concepts too.
- Depth for all: every child in the lesson has the opportunity to apply their key learning through extension, application, reasoning or problem solving (or a combination).
- Scaffolding: support is available for those who need it (this could be additional concrete resources or further peer or adult support where necessary).
Further to our mastery lessons, our curriculum is designed to include intelligent practice through Maths meetings where our children are encouraged and supported to develop and improve their fluency and understanding of concepts and strategies so that they can become confident, and enthusiastic mathematicians.
Ask whether it makes sense
Ask what if.
Ask what if not.’
Whiteoak Academies - Mathematics Progression Document 2020/2021
Whiteoak Academies - Progression in Calculation
Lighthouse Schools Partnership - Mathematics Intent Statement
The National Curriculum for Mathematics in England
At The Whiteoak Academies, we follow the National Curriculum (2014) for Mathematics.
In following the curriculum, we aim to ensure ALL children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Furthermore, the National Curriculum also states that:
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to Science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
‘Mathematics is like Ice-cream, with more flavours than you can imagine. If all your children ever do is textbook mathematics, that’s like feeding them just broccoli flavoured Ice-cream.’