'Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.'

Shakuntla Devi

At The Oval, we have implemented the mastery approach in order to deliver the fluency, reasoning and problem solving. The intent of our mathematics curriculum is to design a curriculum, which is accessible to all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. We want children to make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.

We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. As our pupils progress, we intend for our pupils to be able to understand the world, have the ability to reason mathematically, have an appreciation of the power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

Aims of Mathematics at The Oval School

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

At the oval, teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics. The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to promote deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.  Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. All children are catered for within the maths lessons ensuring that the teacher offers the necessary support and challenge for each individual to make progress.

To ensure consistency and progression, the school uses the White Rose Maths scheme and ongoing engagement with DFE funded Maths Hubs programmes and continuous training to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach. In early years, children are using manipulatives to have deeper understanding of number and learning to subitise patterns for fluency. In KS1, children solve problems using concrete manipulatives. In KS2 children may also use the manipulatives. Teachers use questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. ICT is used widely across each year group to deliver the maths curriculum and to offer our pupils a range of exciting activities to challenge and inspire.

Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.

The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Children can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The careful planning addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mind set. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.

Related information

Maths: Progression


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