Maths at St Chad’s Patchway CofE Primary School

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”

Albert Einstein

At St Chad’s, we believe that maths is integral to everyday life; it teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing an ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. We want our children to appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics and to have a love of learning in line with our school vision.

Our maths curriculum is based on a ‘mastery approach’ where children secure an understanding of mathematical concepts and processes, combined with a genuine procedural fluency. A child who has mastered a skill is able to apply their understanding in a different context and choose the appropriate method to solve different types of problems. Within a lesson, our children have the confidence to choose their level of learning from the ‘hinge question’ and are then directed to appropriate fluency, problem solving and reasoning activities to deepen understanding. With guided practice tailored to individual needs, each child can move in and out of support (‘ping pong’) where necessary. Children of all abilities develop their mathematical understanding through the use of manipulatives such as ‘bar models’, ‘base ten’, ‘place value counters’ and ‘numicon’. There is no ceiling to achievement in our lessons and children report that they feel happy to make mistakes, enabling them to improve along their journey.

In order to expand upon and develop their mental maths skills, we teach ‘Big Maths’ for the first 20 minutes of every maths lesson. Big Maths ensures every child has a solid foundation of core knowledge before they start to use and apply it to wider mathematical concepts. Recognising the evidence of ‘Cognitive Load Theory’, Big Maths helps to manage the load and maintain balance between working and long-term memory. We do this with CLIC in the first 20-minutes of our maths lessons. This stands for ‘Counting’, ‘Learn Its’, ‘It’s Nothing New’ and ‘Calculation’, and a child journeys through them chronologically before moving into wider maths in the remaining part of the lesson.

With maths being critical to science, technology, engineering, financial literacy and most forms of employment, cross-curricular maths is regularly embedded within lessons at St Chad’s. Children are provided with real-life learning experiences and opportunities to ensure they are confident to deal with everyday mathematical challenges. Walking through our school, you will notice our corridors are filled with high quality cross-curricular displays, reflecting the children’s love of the subject. Pupils enjoy the challenge of our annual maths tournament, where they have the opportunity to compete against other children from local primary schools.

Overall, our children are provided with the tools to leave our school as confident, skilled and resilient mathematicians, who understand that mathematics is a fundamental part of everyday life and the world we live in.

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