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Learning Mathematics creates opportunities for and enriches the lives of our pupils. We aim to deliver a high quality mathematics curriculum which provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of excitement and curiosity about mathematics. We aim to equip our children with the conceptual understanding, skills and procedures that they need to solve problems in their everyday lives and in the future with confidence.

Mathematics is an inter-connected and highly creative subject that has been developed over centuries, providing solutions to some of the world’s most interesting problems. It is essential to everyday life, academic discipline and employment. At Summerseat Methodist Primary School we are passionate about our pupils leaving primary school with a sound foundation in the fundamentals of mathematics and the ability to reason, problem solve and follow lines of enquiry. Central to this lays a sense of pleasure and curiosity about the subject we hope to foster throughout our whole school community.

At Summerseat, we teach Mathematics using a mastery approach. The teaching for mastery approach enables children to develop their conceptual and procedural fluency without having to resort to rote learning. As a result, they are able to solve non-routine problems in unfamiliar contexts without relying on memorised procedures.

In maths lessons at Summerseat, where possible, the whole class moves through topics and concepts at broadly the same pace. We spend longer time on key mathematical topics and concepts in order to give all learners both the practice and depth of understanding they need. We believe that all pupils can access and understand the full mathematics curriculum. 

We challenge pupils by asking them to explore mathematical concepts in more depth rather than accelerate them onto new content. This has been found to have real benefits to children’s ability to access more complex mathematical ideas as they get older.

We give our pupils enough time to explore core concepts and ideas in mathematics at a deep level in order to foster their relational understanding. This slower pace and focus on depth eventually leads to greater progress because it gives all learners the chance to become secure in their understanding. As a result, each year we are able to build new learning onto children’s existing knowledge and it is not necessary to revisit learning from previous years.

At Summerseat we use concrete apparatus (things pupils can touch, hold and manipulative) and visual representations (things they can see) to help children to visualise and internalise mathematical concepts, allowing them to access, conceptualise and solve problems. Through the consistent use of these apparatus and representation, our pupils gain confidence as independent learners to use resources and solve problems. Our Calculations Policy which can be downloaded below clearly prioritises concrete - visual - abstract methods.

Our approach is developed from mastery teaching approaches and pedagogy used by China, Singapore and other high performing Asian countries. This has produced a high level of achievement for these nations. Pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time. Concepts are developed in small, logical steps with particular attention given to fundamental concepts. This ensures that all children can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind.

The Department for Education, the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), the National Curriculum Review Committee and OFSTED have all emphasised the pedagogy of mathematics teaching developed in Shanghai and the mastery approach.

We believe the best help you can give at home is to find ways to show children that maths has purpose and relevance to their everyday lives. If your child is in Reception or Year 1, talk about the numbers you can find on the way to school. If your child is in the middle of the school, count up coins when paying for things and ask if you have received the correct change. Meaningful experiences with maths will not only help children see the purpose of learning maths but also give them practical experience with mathematical problems.

If you have any questions or concerns about Mathematics at Summerseat Methodist Primary School or the mastery approach please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of the teachers or the Maths Lead Mrs Whittaker.