Our unique curriculum stems from our school values: Excellence, Enjoyment, Responsibility, Respect, Community, Compassion and Perseverance and has been designed to reflect that life at Broad Square is rich, varied, inclusive, exciting, challenging and inspiring.
Our aim is to equip our children in such a manner which will prepare them to embrace the world of mathematics by the time they leave Broad Square. As the children implement their mathematical skills in the ‘real world’, they should be able to identify the practical relevance of this subject and be able to apply their knowledge in an ever wider set of familiar and new contexts. We have the highest expectations for all learners; we want our pupils to explore and master maths rather than relying on short-term knowledge.
At Broad Square we have adopted the following underpinning principles of mastery:
- Mathematics teaching for mastery assumes everyone can learn and enjoy mathematics.
- Mathematical learning behaviours are developed such that pupils focus and engage fully as learners who reason and seek to make connections.
- Teachers continually develop their specialist knowledge for teaching mathematics, working collaboratively to refine and improve their teaching.
- Curriculum design ensures a coherent and detailed sequence of essential content to support sustained progression over time.
(Taken from the Essence of Teaching for Mastery first published by the NCETM in 2022).
At the core of our curriculum is the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to mathematics; based on ‘small step’ teaching and inclusion for all learners. Teachers use the Power Maths scheme of learning (White Rose Maths edition) which is recommended by the DfE and follow the carefully mapped out yearly progression milestones (linked to the National Curriculum) to deliver lessons. Following the pandemic, we used the NCETM Curriculum Prioritisation documents to address learning gaps and prioritise concepts missed to ensure the children continue to build upon knowledge and embed learning. Our teachers adapt the Power Maths scheme where necessary in order to create a scheme bespoke to our pupils’ needs. Lesson design links to prior learning to ensure all can access the new learning and identifies carefully sequenced steps in progression to build secure understanding. ‘Keep up’ and ‘Catch up’ intervention is used to support all learners where necessary.
As an inclusive school, we strive to ensure that all pupils are able to access a broad and balanced Mathematics curriculum offer. Pupils with SEND are supported within lessons to ensure that a ceiling is not put on their learning. This is achieved through regular retrieval activities, over learning of vocabulary and different ways of recording evidence of learning. Where adaptations are necessary, these are planned carefully by the teacher to ensure that each pupil has rigour within their curriculum.
Our aim is to enable each child to enjoy Mathematics and to appreciate its value in everyday life. We aspire to foster a learning environment in which all pupils are provided with experiences that lead to a consistently high level of achievement in Mathematics.
Maths is a core subject, given significant time on the timetable, with a daily lesson in every class. Maths lessons should be approximately 50 minutes in length, but an additional 10-15 minutes should be allocated each day to focus on basic skills. Our curriculum is designed and monitored by the curriculum lead, EYFS/KS1 maths lead and KS2 maths lead. Our maths leads provide an ‘open-door’ environment which encourages other teachers to observe best practice and ask questions to improve their own practice. Both maths leads work closely with the NCETM NW3 Maths Hub which brings together mathematics education professionals in a collaborative national network of 40 hubs. Our KS2 lead is a Primary Mastery Specialist for the NW3 hub and frequently hosts Teacher Research Groups with local schools at Broad Square. The maths leads also promote professional development for colleagues by hosting regular staff meetings for both teachers and LSAs.
The design of our curriculum is inclusive for all, pupils are taught through whole class interactive teaching, enabling all to master the concepts necessary for the next part of the curriculum sequence. In a typical lesson, the teacher leads back and forth interaction, including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration and discussion, enabling pupils to think, reason and apply their knowledge to solve problems.
The subject is well resourced with practical materials for every year group, and staff are expected to guide children to understand when and where to use these. Over time, children should identify which calculations need a practical tool to support with exposing the mathematical structure of a concept; which should be completed using a formal method; and which should be done mentally or with jottings. Teachers use and emphasise mathematical vocabulary, and link the teaching to real-life situations and shape, money and measurement, wherever possible. Support and intervention for those who need it, is key in maths lessons and if a pupil fails to grasp a concept and procedure, this is identified quickly, and gaps in understanding are addressed systematically to prevent them falling behind.
Assessment takes place regularly during every lesson through ‘live marking’, peer and self-assessment - this ensures that children are challenged effectively at their own standard and encouraged to investigate why their answers could be incorrect at the point of learning. Children are also assessed formally following each unit; these ‘End of Unit Check’ results are monitored by the assessment leads and colleagues to ensure that the children have achieved and continue to achieve.
The significance of a Mastery approach to mathematics means that our pupils are taught to quickly and successfully manipulate numbers and apply their mathematical knowledge to an array of problems and applications. They have good mental maths and arithmetic skills and have a solid grasp of the key vocabulary. They are not intimidated by numbers and instead relish the challenge and sense of achievement they get from truly mastering mathematics. Mathematical confidence, the ability to take on new challenges and yet draw on previous experience, ensures that children are ready to face the mathematical realities of everyday life. Our mathematics curriculum design ensures equal learning for all.