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 definition of mastery:
Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. (NCETM - October 2019).
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 (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. We also ensure that every lesson provides the opportunity for children to review previous objectives and explore mathematical vocabulary.
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 have been trained by the ‘Maths Hub Programme’ which brings together mathematics education professionals in a collaborative national network of 40 hubs, each locally led by an outstanding school or college, to develop and spread excellent practice, for the benefit of all pupils and students. The maths leads also promote professional development for colleagues by hosting regular staff meetings for both teachers and teaching assistants and also parent ‘cafes’ - a place for parents to ask questions and further their own knowledge of mastery mathematics. Staff members are also required to join the NCETM and encouraged to regularly check the website for resources and articles.
The design of our curriculum is inclusive for all, it ensures that children learn calculation methods, but then look at the inverse, see these applied in real-life situations, in problems including missing-box questions, and in open ended investigations.
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 for support; 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. Teaching Assistants are trained in how to deliver effective mathematics intervention and this happens daily, teachers are also encouraged to select pupils for a ‘pre-teach’ session each day - for children who benefit from viewing activities prior to whole class teaching. Support and intervention for those who need it, is key in maths lessons, but the children are encouraged to work independently and strategically through their tasks to build independence and resilience.
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 the children are ready to face the mathematical realities of everyday life. Our mathematics curriculum design ensures equal learning for all.