At Bishop’s Primary, we aim to enable all children to master the mathematical concepts they meet. This means that our pupils are able to represent their understanding in multiple ways, using the appropriate mathematical language to communicate related ideas. They are able to apply concepts to new problems and unfamiliar situations.
At Bishop’s Primary, teachers extend children through depth, as opposed to acceleration onto new content; the challenge is to investigate concepts in new, alternative and more complex ways. Time is always given for children to become confident with content and they move on when they are ready.
We use resources from the White Rose Maths Trust to support planning.
All pupils can achieve in mathematics
We believe that all children are able mathematicians. By making high expectations clear and emphasising the value of mathematical education, pupils are encouraged to build confidence and resilience. Mathematical abilities can be developed through practise, support, dedication and hard work. Natural talent is just a starting point and does not determine who has more or less potential to achieve.
Multiple representations for all
Objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols are everywhere. Our mastery approach incorporates all of these to help pupils explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they have learnt.
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
Fluency, reasoning and problem solving – supporting the aims of the National Curriculum
Mathematical problem solving is at the heart of our approach. Pupils are encouraged to identify, understand and apply relevant mathematical principles and make connections between different ideas. This builds the skills needed to tackle new problems.
Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience. Pupils combine different concepts to solve complex problems, and apply knowledge to real-life situations.
The way in which pupils speak and write about mathematics transforms their learning. Mastery approaches use a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Pupils explain the mathematics in full sentences. They should be able to say not just what the answer is, but how they know it is right. We believe this is the key to building mathematical language and reasoning skills.
Pupils should be able to recall and apply mathematical knowledge both rapidly and accurately. However, it is important to stress that fluency often gets confused for just memorisation – it is more than this. As well as recalling facts and procedures, pupils should recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics. This should help pupils develop a deep conceptual understanding of the subject.
Number at the heart
A large proportion of time is spent reinforcing number to build competency and fluency. Number is at the heart of the Bishop’s Primary mastery scheme of learning, with more time devoted to this than other areas of mathematics.
It is important that pupils secure these key foundations of mathematics before being introduced to more difficult concepts. This increased focus on number will allow pupils to explore the concepts in more detail and secure a deeper understanding. Key number skills are woven throughout the scheme so that our pupils become increasingly fluent.
Director of Numeracy: Graham Russell