Kinsale

Junior School

Mathematics

At KJS, we constantly strive to develop confident, enthusiastic and highly motivated learners who are forward-thinking, articulate, resourceful, resilient and reflective young mathematicians.  We expect pupils to become efficient learners by teaching a range of methods to use to solve problems so that they choose the most effective methods.

Looking around our school, you will see that mathematics has a high profile through working walls and displays which promote the enjoyment and celebration of the subject

General Information

During mathematics lessons here at KJS you will see the following:

  • All of our pupils actively encouraged to choose and use effective and efficient working strategies and to be persistent and resilient learners.  All teaching staff promote and model such methods and behaviours.
  • At the close of lessons, pupils will be given opportunities to reflect upon these key principles and the impact that they have had on their success.  This is discussed and/or recorded in their books.
  • Our system of assessment, ‘question level analysis’ and recording pupil progress informs our planning.  The attainment and progress of children is reviewed through regular and rigorous pupil progress meetings.
  • Our calculations policy is currently being reviewed in the light of implementing the ‘Power Maths’ scheme, but currently aligns with that of the local high school.
  • Teachers model and pupils work through ‘concrete, pictorial, abstract’ approaches in order to allow individuals to harness, consolidate and internalise skills.
  • Pupils actively and enthusiastically debate and discuss their mathematics and use/apply their understanding and skills to confidently, capably and independently tackle a wide variety of maths-based situations within many different contexts.
  • When capability and confidence with tasks and activities is displayed, our learners are quickly moved onto increasingly demanding work and this decision is clearly documented in books with the initials ‘MO’ (‘move on’). As a result, all pupils receive constant challenge.
  • Teaching Assistants work alongside our young mathematicians and support their understanding appropriately. TAs are included in relevant training to ensure that they have good subject knowledge and up to date good practice.
  • Learning is scaffolded, reinforced and extended through the use of carefully structured teaching and a wide variety of purposefully selected concrete and pictorial resources. Resources are readily available in classrooms, from which teachers can select and our young learners can independently choose in order to demonstrate and communicate their mathematical understanding and reasoning.
  • A ‘Mathematics Wall’ within each classroom is updated frequently and referred to often to support current learning and celebrate the mathematical achievements of individual class members. Mathematical vocabulary is prominently displayed to be used by pupils.
  • Our Year 6 pupils benefit from weekly after school (small group/teacher led) ‘Maths Busters’ (mentoring sessions). For the entire Spring Term Small focused tuition secures concepts and strategies and boosts confidence levels for our Year 6 mathematicians.
  • Before Covid-19 restrictions, popular and well-attended ‘Maths Cafes’ were presented by class teachers. Every class undertakes a ‘Maths Café’ at least once a year. The purpose is to engage families in maths activities.
  • Mathematics has good cross-curricular links and resources are shared with staff to use in other lessons.
  • Mathematics learning is reinforced with appropriate weekly homework tasks. ‘Times Table Rockstars’ use at home is expected. A class trophy and certificates for individuals are awarded to celebrate achievements
  • In previous years, a weekly ‘Times Tables Rockstars Club’ has been made available for all children to attend. Furthermore, our Year 5/6 children have had the opportunity to join a mathematically themed ‘Puzzle Club’. These clubs will be reinstated when present Covid regulations are lifted.

Power Maths

To ensure continuity and progression across the key stage we have invested in the ‘Power Maths’. This scheme is aligned with the new National Curriculum and is a whole-class, textbook-based mastery resource that empowers every child to understand and succeed. It develops growth mindsets and encourages hard work, practice and a willingness to see mistakes as learning tools.

Power Maths...

  • builds every concept in small, progressive steps
  • is built with interactive, whole class teaching in mind
  • provides the tools needed for growth mindsets
  • helps the checking of understanding and ensures that every child is keeping up
  • establishes core elements such as intelligent practice and reflection

Mastering Maths

Mastering Mathematics here at Kinsale Junior School means that our pupils are acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject which enables our learners to move on to more advanced material in a timely fashion.

There are five ‘elements’ to our Mastery Approach:

  1. Coherence
    Our lessons are broken down into small, connected steps that gradually unfold the mathematical concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of this concept and the ability to apply it to a range of contexts.
  2. Representation and Structure
    Concrete and pictorial representations are used liberally in our lessons to unlock and expose the mathematical concept being taught, the aim being that, ultimately, pupils can do the mathematics without recourse to the representations originally offered.
  3. Mathematical Thinking
    In order to be understood deeply, taught mathematical ideas are worked on by our pupils, they are thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others. They are not merely passively received.
  4. Fluency
    Our pupils quickly, efficiently and effectively recall facts and procedures and this allows them to flexibly move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
  5. Variation
    The teaching staff represent the mathematical concept (often in more than one way) to draw attention to fundamental critical episodes in order to develop a deep and holistic understanding. Furthermore, the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, pay close attention to what is kept the same and what changes. Variation allows the mathematics to be connected and draws attention to inherent relationships and structure.

"A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when, through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time, a person can represent it in multiple ways, has the mathematical language to be able to communicate related ideas, and can think mathematically with the concept so that they can independently apply it to a totally new problem in an unfamiliar situation."  (Drury, 2018).                             

 

Useful Links

  • BBC Bitesize - an easy to navigate, fun and child-friendly website with lovely supporting videos
  • White Rose Maths - Our whole school mathematics scheme is aligned to the planning found on this comprehensive website. Super video which clearly explain the strategies and methods we use in our daily mathematics lessons. Weekly homework is set for your child from this website
  • Times Tables Rockstars - A fun and rewarding website which supports the learning and reinforcement of times tables facts. This site is hugely popular with our children and is highly recommended
  • Nrich - This superb site is overflowing with wonderful mathematical problems and puzzles. Nrich activities are used weekly in school to support and enhance mathematical reasoning skills
  • Transum - Lots of fun interactive games and activities here which children enjoy and want to return to
  • Classroom Secrets - Lots of lovely free resources to support your child in developing their core skills in mathematics

 

Planning Overviews