Curriculum – Maths


Calculation Policy

At Berkley we want to foster a positive approach to Maths and an ‘I can’ attitude, we call it mathematics for all.

We teach Maths using the Mastery approach, linked to the National curriculum. The mastery approach allows children to gain a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. We teach by breaking down concepts into smaller steps to enable the scaffolding of children’s learning, allowing them time to secure their understanding and then to apply this knowledge to their first-hand experience through problem-solving activities. We focus on teaching through developing fluency, reasoning and problem- solving using concrete, pictorial and abstract techniques.

Fluency: Knowing key mathematical facts and methods and recalling these efficiently.

Reasoning: Children are able to reason, justify and explain their thinking and how they have solved a mathematical problem.

Problem-solving: Children are able to apply their mathematical understanding to a broad range of problems, including those relating to first-hand experience. Problems can be open-ended with more than one right answer providing challenge. It allows children to seek solutions, spot patterns and think about the best way to do things, allowing them to make sense of the role of Maths in everyday life.  We are continually developing new activities, games and problems to solve to extend, develop and consolidate numerical concepts. We have been working on our progression in calculation and developed our Calculation Policy

Concrete:  the ‘doing’ stage, using concrete objects to solve problems. It brings concepts to life by allowing children to handle physical objects themselves. Every new abstract concept is learned first with a ‘concrete’ or physical experience. We teach children how to use such apparatus as Numicon, Dienes, hundred squares and number lines and part, part whole models.

Pictorial: is the ‘seeing’ stage, using representations of the objects involved in Maths problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding, by drawing or looking at pictures, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem. Building or drawing a model makes it easier for children to grasp concepts, as it helps them visualise the problem and make it more accessible.

Abstract: is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model and solve Maths problems. Once a child has demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the ‘concrete’ and ‘pictorial’ representations of the problem, we can introduce the more ‘abstract’ concept, such as mathematical symbols. Children are taught the signs for each mathematical function, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They learn to use these to read and write number sentences.

We use the White Rose Hub materials to support our planning and delivery in Maths. We supplement this with other materials. All teachers plan Maths lessons on a daily basis. This allows us to ensure that we are using our assessments to feed into planning and to fully meet the needs of children.

Each class includes mental Maths sessions and reasoning tasks as part of their daily teaching.

Essential Characteristics of Mathematicians

•An understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics.

•A broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics.

•Fluent knowledge and recall of number facts and the number system.

•The ability to show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts, including the new or unusual.

•The ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with challenges, showing a confidence of success.

•The ability to embrace the value of learning from mistakes and false starts.

•The ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions.

•Fluency in performing written and mental calculations and mathematical techniques.

•A wide range of mathematical vocabulary.

•A commitment to and passion for the subject.