The School operates a Creative Curriculum, which incorporates all the knowledge, skills and objectives of the National Curriculum, while also offering a carefully planned, thematic approach to teaching and learning. For example, recent work covered by ‘In Space, You Can’t Hear Me Scream’ included a special focus on topics including: the Solar System, space travel, the history of space, gravity and a trip to The Science Museum in London.
Our mathematics curriculum is delivered based on a mastery approach. This means that pupils gradually master important concepts over time. Each lesson provides an important step, leading to all pupils thoroughly understanding even the trickiest of ideas. After a high quality initial year in the Foundation Stage, pupils begin to learn with more teacher guidance. In Year One, the pupils focus almost exclusively on having a deep understanding of numbers up to 100.
They begin within 10, learning crucial, fundamental ideas alongside the use of specific resources that make the mathematics obvious (resources such as ten frames, Numicon, Dienes apparatus and more). By the end of Year One, all pupils have gained a strong understanding of how numbers can be written, read, compared, ordered, decomposed and reassembled. They are also introduced to the concept of part-part-whole (e.g. 4 + 5 = 9 where 4 and 5 are the parts that make 9, the whole).
This secure understanding is carefully built on in Year Two. Pupils perform more complex operations with the numbers and solve increasingly more difficult problems. As pupils progress through school each year, the previous ideas are revisited and built upon, allowing for all pupils to gradually gain a deeper understanding of ideas.
At the heart of our curriculum lies the Maths, No Problem approach. This is based on the successfully methodology used in Singapore. All pupils have three mathematics books: a textbook (meticulously designed to show the most effective models and routes through learning a concept), a workbook (designed to challenge the pupils in every lesson) and a mathematics journal (in which pupils are challenged to effectively communicate their mathematics). The teaching approach contains five key lesson components:
- An anchor task - every lesson starts with a problem to solve. Pupils are encouraged to find multiple solutions to enable deeper learning.
- Journaling – pupils often reflect on their methods, sharing them in their own way or using a model provided by the teacher.
- Structuring – new learning is extracted from the anchor task and structured effectively for the pupil understand.
- Guided practice – we value talk highly in our lessons. This part is the opportunity for pupils to discuss maths challenges with their partner.
- Workbook – independent work. Pupils complete a progressive set of activities and challenges.
The approach has a strong focus on problem solving, reasoning (explaining or understanding how and why) and fluency. These are the three aims of the National Curriculum.
We continue to be part of the National Textbook Piloting scheme through the South Leicestershire Maths Hub. This involves trialling the use of textbooks in the classroom.