At Parkside Primary Academy, we endeavour to teach our children a rich and progressive curriculum. We believe that mathematics teaches us how to make sense of the world around us through developing our ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. We want to help children to understand and appreciate the pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives, in and out of school.
Fundamentally, we encourage a positive attitude towards maths, drawing on our school’s core values of resilience, courage and high aspirations. At Parkside, children are supported to be inquisitive, creative and confident mathematicians. ‘Growth mindsets’, which recognise that mistakes are ok and that practice helps us to learn, are fostered not only within our maths lessons but also across school as part of our assembly programme and our PSHE/Wellbeing Wednesday curriculums.
Parkside’s mathematics curriculum is ambitious, and covers the statutory requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum. In EYFS, a blend of White Rose resources, the Number Sense Programme and teacher subject knowledge is used to ensure children are exposed to high quality mathematical teaching and provision activities. In Years 1-6, maths is taught using the DfE recommended ‘Power Maths’ scheme, using a mastery approach to ensure all children can achieve and develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts through small, well-sequenced steps.
At Parkside, we know that children learn by making connections to prior knowledge. We structure our curriculum accordingly, making sure that new topics build on what children already know. For example, in Year 5, the concept of area is taught after children have been taught to multiply as they will be reliant on this skill.
A wide range of manipulatives and practical resources are used throughout school to make learning accessible, promote reasoning and demonstrate mathematical ideas clearly. Children may use bead strings, Numicon shapes, counters and more so that they can ‘see’ their maths. We use a CPA (concrete, pictoral, abstract) approach to maths lessons.
Finally, Parkside recognises that reasoning and problem-solving skills are an important part of the National Curriculum. We encourage children to be logical thinkers, work systematically and use trial and error to reason independently.
By beginning each maths lesson with a ‘discover’ problem from Power Maths, we ensure that problem solving is at the heart of our teaching and that all children have the opportunity to practice and develop this skill. This year, we became a 'Problem Solving School', meaning we are supported by NRICH to develop this even further.
Furthermore, we hold half-termly Mission
Impossible maths events, where each class carries out an open-ended problem at an appropriate level for them. Children will work in mixed ability pairs to work through the problem together using their growth mindsets to aid them. This develops resilience in problem solving, strategic and logical thinking and the children’s ability to apply what they have been learning. After each session, a Maths Star will be selected from each class and celebrated in our assemblies.
We also have rewards for learning key declarative knowledge linked to maths - times tables and number bonds. When children demonstrate they know these facts to an adult in school, they'll receive a band or badge in assembly which they can then wear to school.