Mathematics at Courtney
At Courtney, we believe all children can enjoy mathematics and make good progress in the subject. We do not put children into fixed groups for maths; instead we use our ongoing assessment to ensure that in each lesson children receive the support or challenge required to help them flourish. We nurture the children to recognise mistakes as opportunities for learning. The emphasis is on children’s mathematical thinking – their reasoning and methods – rather than just their final answer to a question.Maths is taught daily in all classes. In reception there is a mix of short whole class sessions and small group sessions. The maths in the younger years is very practical and there are always mathematical activities available in reception, in class and outdoors, which children can independently choose to do. For example, they may use board games to learn about counting, a till to learn about money, a water area to learn about capacity.
Y1 to Y6 have two maths sessions a day:
- A fluency session, which lasts 15-20 minutes, to learn number facts (such as times tables) and practise written calculations. We want all children to be fluent mathematicians who are able to quickly recall key number facts, and use them flexibly and efficiently to tackle a wide variety of problems. The repetition in these sessions encourages children to ‘over learn’ these key facts to ensure speed and accuracy in mental calculation.
- A maths lesson, which lasts 50 minutes, to teach the national curriculum for that year group, including fluency, problem solving and reasoning. Each series of lessons is planned so that children can see the links within the subject, such as linking division to fractions. We encourage children to use practical resources and drawings to support their understanding of mathematical concepts.
We use our ‘Multiplication Masters’ scheme to inspire children to learn their multiplication and division facts. Children can earn certificates and badges as they progress through a series of challenges. ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ is a popular online programme which children enjoy using at home to hone their skills ready for Multiplication Masters challenges in class.
Teachers are continually assessing the children’s mathematical understanding to inform the lessons which they plan. In addition to this, children will take particular tests to monitor their progress: statutory assessments (sats) are taken at the end of KS1 and KS2, and we use NFER tests in Y1, 3, 4 and 5. In reception, teachers will use what they know about the children to assess their grasp of ‘number’ and ‘shape, space and measure’.
As you walk through Courtney Primary, you will see maths boards in the corridor which celebrate the learning each class has been doing in the last term. The displays include examples of children’s work, photos of pupils tackling mathematical activities, examples of problem solving and reasoning, and some ‘marvellous mistakes’ they have learned from in their lessons. The children are excited by seeing their work and photos on these boards and are inspired to discuss this maths with pupils from other classes, as well as adults in the corridors.