All children, who attend Ridgeway Primary School, should enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of background because mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. We believe that it is necessary to equip every child with a high-quality mathematics education, which provides ‘foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’(National Curriculum 2013)
We believe the ‘mastery approach’ to teaching is the underlying principle of securing a deep understanding. At Ridgeway, we use Mathematics Mastery to equip every child with the mathematical thinking and problem solving skills necessary to succeed in all areas of their lives, as children and as adults. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, we want pupils to build a deep conceptual understanding of concepts, which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations. In order to achieve this, we ensure that each lesson is based around three key principles of learning, Conceptual Understanding, Mathematical Thinking and Language and Communication. These principles underpin maths learning at Ridgeway and enable all children to communicate their understanding clearly using a wide range of mathematical vocabulary, reason, challenge and explain their learning in order to solve problems and create a well-rounded, deep understanding of mathematical concepts.
At Ridgeway, we ensure that every child is able to access the curriculum and are challenged appropriately by using scaffolding and constraint. All children, with a variety of needs, are supported in order to develop, challenge and extend their thinking. Questioning is an important way of achieving this as using a range of open-ended and deepening questions provide discussion and enable children to use their mathematical vocabulary in order to explain their thinking. Rich mathematical discussion encourages children to learn from peers, challenge their ideas and consider different opinions. This ethos support children’s team work and develop their interpersonal skills for later life. To support and deepen learning, every child has access to a wide range of concrete manipulatives appropriate for all areas of maths that enable them to visualise concepts, explore and develop their understanding. This allows children to prove and disprove concepts, make links between mathematical concepts and create a well-rounded, deep understanding of the subject.
As we use Mathematics Mastery, a cumulative progression of knowledge and skills is present within all children’s mathematics education. Children begin to gain an understanding in areas of maths such as number, shape space and measure, data handling in the Early Years and as children journey through the school, the skills embedded from early in their education are developed and extended. This is in aim to provide all children with the mathematical knowledge needed for the rest of their education and beyond.
The 2014 national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.