At Oakmeadow CE Primary and Nursery School, we believe that anybody and everybody is a mathematician. Our aim is for all children to develop a positive mind-set and a passion for maths through fostering an environment of risk-taking, mistake making, investigating, reasoning and learning together.
As a Maths Hub primary lead school in Salop and Herefordshire, our learning-teaching approach is step-by-step and steers towards ‘Teaching for Mastery’ where the focus is on creating as many relationships and links between the skills and concepts – depth as opposed to acceleration. We want our children to understand that it’s the process that matters, not just the winning answer.
‘The answer is only the beginning.’ - Chinese proverb.
We have been part of the NCETM England-China Teacher exchange programme, and hosted two Chinese teachers for two weeks. This fantastic experience has enabled us to consider and adapt our pedagogy and practice, and further develop mathematics teaching for our children.
Lessons are carefully designed to include relevant and efficient mental, written calculations and informal recordings (jottings) to trace our thinking as fundamental tools to help with solving word problems and problem solving investigations. We have a real focus on mathematical thinking and reasoning, using effective representation, models and images to help us. We aim to expose the maths structures through different representations and encourage children to develop their own representations and models of proof so that all children embed the depth in conceptual understanding as well as being confident with the procedural fluency.
Fluency in number is taught through a sound conceptual knowledge of place value. We aim to develop children’s ability to have rapid recall of times tables up to 12 (which is needed by the end of year 4) so that related multiplication and division facts is at the heart of our vision to empower pupils to be proficient at number crunching.
Performance data is above national and we believe this is because we focus on developing a love for maths, a clarity in maths and a confidence our children can take to secondary school and further.
We believe that sharing practice through collaborative lesson design, observation of lessons and post-lesson discussions helps us to continually develop our pedagogy and practice. Furthermore, we have supported numerous schools in their mathematics teaching using this approach, and offered support and guidance with curriculum design, calculation policy, maths visions and teaching and learning.