Mathematics Curriculum - Mastery through 'Singaporian Syle'
The information below describes our rationale for teaching science in our school.
a. Mathematics Curriculum Intent
Through a well-structured curriculum and specific mastery approach, predominantly adopted from a Singaporian style of teaching, children will be able to solve a range of problems, alongside developing mathematical fluency and the ability to reason and explain their thinking.
The explicit teaching to develop a deep conceptual understanding through ‘journalling’ as well as procedural flexibility, enables pupi ls to meet the aims of the National Curriculum. We utilise two DfE recommended core schemes to build on pupils learning and enable informed research sequencing of learning; Power Maths (Pearson) and MathsNoProblem
b. Mathematics National Curriculum Purpose
Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
c. Maths National Curriculum Aims
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
• 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
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.
d. Teaching for Mastery
The National Curriculum states that children should be able to solve a range of problems, alongside developing mathematical fluency and the ability to reason and explain their thinking. Through adopting the Singaporean model for teaching mathematics we are able to achieve this. We use the MathsNoProblem scheme of work as a vehicle to deliver a curriculum that revolves around teaching for mastery. Children are taught to develop a deep conceptual understanding as well as procedural flexibility, and through this they meet the aims of the National Curriculum.
e. A typical lesson
At the start of a typical lesson, children’s curiosity is ignited with an interesting problem, set in a real life context that children can relate to. This problem is then explored and referred back to throughout the lesson.
One of the key principles of the Singaporean style is the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach. This means that you will always see children working with practical apparatus, whatever their ability. More able children may move more quickly onto pictorial and abstract (symbolic) representations but reinforcement and deep conceptual understanding is achieved by going back and forth between the concrete, pictorial and abstract. Through this approach, and with careful questioning, children will notice patterns, make connections and begin to generalise.
Following the exploration of a problem, children will record their thinking in their journal. The purpose of the journal is to help children to embed what they have been doing and further refine their ideas. It is also used as a tool to help children improve their ability to communicate their thinking mathematically.
Throughout a lesson, you will hear the teacher and teaching assistants talking mainly in questions. This promotes thinking, and children have opportunities to discuss their ideas with talk partners as well as with the whole class. This enables them to refine their thinking and progress.
As set out in the National Curriculum, children are expected to move through programmes of study at broadly the same pace. In all year groups, children who grasp concepts quickly are extended through the use of effective questioning that aids higher order thinking. Children are challenged through the use of increasingly complex problems and are expected to show a variety of methods. Children who are less secure with a concept work more with practical apparatus and questioning is used to support and scaffold conceptual understanding.
Alongside the MathsNoProblem lessons, all children receive an additional hour a week of mathematics teaching. These sessions (usually split into three separate 20 minutes) focus mainly on arithmetic, for example, multiplication tables or number bonds. They can also be used to consolidate skills, for example, using equipment such as base 10 or place value counters.
Interventions are also planned for groups of children. These groups are fluid and based on assessment during mathematics lessons. They support children by giving those who find grasping mathematical concepts more difficult an opportunity to ‘catch up and keep up’.
The Singaporean model enables all pupils to receive high quality verbal feedback during each lesson. This is achieved through the effective dialogue between the adults and pupils that is embedded throughout each part of the lesson. There are also continuous opportunities for pupils to evaluate their own learning and the learning of their peers that run alongside the teacher-pupil dialogue.
Journals and workbooks are marked according to our school marking policy and half termly assessments are carried out to support on-going teacher assessment.