The National Curriculum emphasises the importance of all pupils mastering the content taught each year and discourages the acceleration of pupils into content from subsequent years. The current National Curriculum document says:
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 should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Progress in mathematics learning each year should be assessed according to the extent to which pupils are gaining a deep understanding of the content taught for that year, resulting in sustainable knowledge and skills. Key measures of this are the abilities to reason mathematically and to solve increasingly complex problems, doing so with fluency, as described in the aims of the National curriculum:
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.
The Intention of our Mathematics Curriculum
The intention of the maths curriculum at Southfield Primary School is that children are taught to become competent mathematicians; we strive to embed the skills and processes necessary to enable children to use and apply their Maths learning in a variety of contexts. We aim to develop children’s enjoyment of maths and provide opportunities for children to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. Our approach to the teaching of mathematics develops children's ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team. Through mathematical talk, children will develop the ability to articulate and discuss their thinking. By the end of Key Stage Two, children will leave our school prepared for the next step in their mathematical education.
We recognise that in order for pupils to progress to deeper and more complex problems, children need to be confident and fluent across each yearly objective. To ensure consistent coverage across the school, we use a range of agreed materials and resources to provide age-appropriate tasks for our pupils: in turn, practising key skills and allowing children to become confident when working on key strategies, calculations or methods. To ensure our pupils acquire a deeper understanding in their mathematical learning journey, we supplement our resources by using the White Rose Maths Hub and NCETM Assessment materials to support the teaching of mathematics.
Within the Maths hub schemes of learning, each National Curriculum objective is broken down into fluency, reasoning and problem solving; our teachers use the learning challenges to teach for mastery - an approach to extend and deepen the understanding of pupils within each year group. Our teaching staff use this document in conjunction with a range of high-quality resources such as NRich and NCETM to support, stretch and challenge all learners within the classroom.