At The Brent, fluency, reasoning and problem solving are at the core of our Maths learning.
Maths at The Brent aims to develop confident, competent and curious mathematicians who acquire the fundamental skills in order to problem solve and reason in the wider world. At The Brent, we strive to provide children with high-quality Maths learning that meets the individual needs of all of our pupils and enables them to build firm foundations in Maths that lead them to be successful mathematicians in the wider world. We ensure children acquire a breadth of understanding that enables them to build on their learning year on year.
At The Brent, we advocate the use of the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach to enable pupils to gain a deep and secure understanding of concepts. The CPA approach is a system of learning that uses physical and visual aids to build a child’s understanding of abstract topics. We believe that using this approach helps pupils better understand the relationship between numbers and the real world, and therefore helps secure their understanding of the mathematical concept they are learning.
Why do we teach what we teach?
At The Brent, we follow The Early Years Framework and The National Curriculum and implement this through the small steps approach of ‘White Rose Maths.’ Our fidelity to White Rose Maths ensures that children acquire a depth of understanding that enables them to build on their learning year on year through a clear progression of skills, whilst also considering the individual needs of our pupils.
Our Maths curriculum is taught through fluency, reasoning and problem solving tasks. Children are taught arithmetic skills regularly to enable them to reason and problem solve with confidence. As well as daily fluency starters, fortnightly written arithmetic practice enables children to build fluency in their arithmetic skills by rehearsing and developing the required skills needed to apply to more complex problems. Levelled times table tests (100 Club) are completed weekly in Years 2 – 6 to practice and rehearse times tables (up to 12 x 12). Years 3 and 4 have a high importance on learning the times tables up 12 x 12 with increasing fluency. From Sept 2022, Times Table Rock Stars (an online times table programme) is accessed by children in Years 3 -6. This platform consists of a variety of engaging and competitive games online to develop children’s fluency in the multiplication facts.
Prior knowledge is revisited at the start of each lesson (Flashback 4) to reduce cognitive load and allow pupils to feel successful from the very start of each lesson. All pupils have access to manipulatives and, using their Growth Mindsets, are expected to take ownership of their learning, using the manipulatives to support their Maths learning.
Place value is taught at the start of the academic year, with the understanding that children must have strong conceptual knowledge of number and place value before using and applying them in a range of contexts.
Vocabulary teaching is fundamental to children’s ability to talk mathematically, reason and problem solve. Therefore, key vocabulary is identified and taught at the start and throughout each lesson. Children are expected to use this vocabulary verbally and in their books, enabling them to speak confidently about their Maths learning.
Opportunities are planned in to IGNITE topics that enable the children to apply their mathematical skills in meaningful ways across the curriculum.
Mastering Number Project 2022/23
This year, we are working with our local Maths Hub and the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) to participate in the Mastering Number project.
This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.
Teachers in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 are providing an extra 15 minutes in addition to their normal Maths lesson. The Year Group Leaders are also contributing to an online community to share practice and engage in critical reflection.
Within the Mastering Number sessions, children use a Maths resource called a ‘rekenrek’ (a Maths counting frame) to help develop their number sense.
Times Tables Rockstars
To support children in Years 3 - 6 to learn their times tables, this year we are using Times Table Rockstars (TTRS)!
Times Tables Rock Stars is an award-winning maths learning platform where children can practise their times tables like a rock star! The carefully sequenced programme enables children to practise their times tables in a fun and competitive way, improving their speed and accuracy each time they play.
Research shows that playing for just 3 mins every day has the most impact in children learning their times tables.
Please encourage your child to play and engage with this fantastic programme and see if they can become a ‘Rock Hero!’
To celebrate its success so far and to further encourage our children to engage with the programme, we held a TTRS Dress Up Day on Friday 25th November 2022.
Children (and adults) in Y3 – 6 came to school dressed up as their version of a rockstar and took part in different times table activities throughout the day.
Part of the day included the children completing Battle of the Bands. This involved class Vs class battles in the main hall to see which class could achieve the most correct answers in the time given.
Maths in the EYFS
Maths in our EYFS follows the Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, alongside ‘Birth to five Matters’, with a high emphasis on independence and a balance of quality child-initiated and adult-led learning. Maths is evident in the Foundation Stage environment to enable children explore Maths and build firm foundations in Number. Number is a key focus in EYFS and children work on only small amounts of numbers at a time. The ethos behind this is that they really understand the numbers before they move on and, like the rest of the school, learn in small, manageable steps. Children work on representing numbers in different ways (number bonds for any number up to 10/20). This supports them in their work in Year 1 as they have a strong grasp of each number, helping them to visualize amounts.
This knowledge and development of skills enable children to enter Year 1 with a secure Mathematics grounding in preparation for the NC.
How is Maths organised in KS1 and KS2?
Our Year 1 Maths practice follows the same practice as in EYFS - with a balance of child-initiated learning and adult-led learning. Throughout the year, children will receive teacher input followed by a range of teacher led, as well as child-initiated Maths activities. Maths is evident in the Year 1 environment and enables children to explore Maths and continue to build firm foundations in the Year 1 curriculum.
In Year 2, children receive a 50 minute maths learning each day. This involves an active teacher-led carpet session, followed by independent activities that the children complete to apply the skills taught. Children have access to a range of manipulatives and Maths equipment that they can use to support their understanding.
KS2 children receive a one hour Maths session each day. In our Upper School, at different times during the year, different grouping and setting may be used to ensure targeted teaching matches the needs of individual children. This enables children to leave KS2 ready to embark on the next stage of their education. When used, setting is fluid, with children moving from set to set when developmentally ready. In this way, misconceptions can be addressed and remedied before becoming engrained.
Throughout the school, individual recording of Maths work is not always appropriate, especially for younger pupils; pupil’s knowledge and understanding are essential and there is a focus on developing all children’s reasoning skills through appropriate challenge and questioning.
Mental Maths strategies, to develop mathematical fluency, are systematically taught and, in Years 2-6, 100 Club (levelled times table tests) take place weekly. Fortnightly arithmetic test practice also takes place in Years 3 – 6 to improve speed and accuracy and develop children’s fluency in arithmetic skills.
Our school’s Calculation Policy (from White Rose) outlines the progression in calculations from Reception to Year 6. This enables all children to develop a secure understanding of each mathematical operation and apply them to a range of problems.
Year 4 Multiplication Assessment
Our Year 4 children sit an on-screen Multiplication Check assessment which consists of answering a set of timed questions. This is a compulsory test for Year 4 pupils to check children’s fluency and recall of times table facts up to 12 x 12. The National Curriculum states that ‘by the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 x table and show precision and fluency in their work.’ The children are working hard in school to learn the times table facts and have started to complete practice tests to enable them to become familiar with the format of the questions and to experience recalling the multiplication facts with growing speed.
- Calculation Policy Addition and Subtraction
- Calculation Policy Multiplication and Division
- Times Tables and 100 Club - Parent Guidance
- Year 1 Maths End of Year Expectations
- Year 2 Maths End of Year Expectations
- Year 3 Maths End of Year Expectations
- Year 4 Maths End of Year Expectations
- Year 5 Maths End of Year Expectations
- Year 6 Maths End of Year Expectations
Help support your child with their Maths learning at home.