At Fircroft, our aim is that all children are competent, confident and successful mathematicians. We believe that children should be empowered to grow as curious mathematicians, with a strong depth of conceptual understanding. Through a fluent and meaningful understanding of mathematics, our children are able to apply their learning across the curriculum and their wider experiences, becoming resilient and investigative mathematicians. Our children learn to communicate mathematically, developing as confident and articulate learners with a broad range of mathematical vocabulary and the verbal dexterity to explain, examine and evaluate problem solving approaches. Our in-depth approach to critical thinking and open-ended problem solving aims to enrich our pupils with an exceptional mathematical foundation, on which our children are able to build successful educational careers. We use the national curriculum and White Rose Mathematics, in conjunction with the NCETM resources, through which teachers work to support and guide their children through the stages of mathematical development, with a sincere focus on the depth of understanding and application at each stage.
Mathematics at Fircroft follows a Maths Mastery approach. We works closely with the NCETM London South West Maths Hub and our teachers are trained in the Maths Mastery approach. A central component of Maths Mastery at Fircroft is the development of 'Five Big Ideas', drawn from research evidence, underpinning teaching for mastery.
The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure careful cumulative coverage, with a taught focus on the connectivity of mathematical concepts applied throughout the school year, with precise sequencing of taught knowledge and skills to enable strong progression for all pupils. Since September 2021, we have been implementing progression steps into our teaching aspects to ensure that prior learning has not been missed and gaps in learning are addressed before moving onto the next steps. Our cumulative and in-depth application of the curriculum allows our pupils to develop a more profound depth of understanding and application, as they build on previous learning while engaging with challenging and meaningful tasks. We believe that our regular arithmetic and number-fact sessions promote confident mathematical fluency and this, along with number fact and times table knowledge support, is taught, tested and celebrated across all year groups. Through rigorous and consistently high expectations of pupils’ fluency, we ensure that pupils have the number knowledge to access the ambitious range of reasoning and problem solving ingrained in our curriculum. Further to this, we work to promote a love for the subject and celebrate the influences it has had on our world today by taking part in maths days, tournaments and competitions.
Throughout Fircroft, the most powerful and formative tool to assess and support progress is our teachers’ expert use of assessment for learning. In each mathematics lesson, teachers identify and quickly address misconceptions, enabling the forging of connections between concepts, and recognising opportunities for challenge and in-depth reasoning. Teachers and teaching assistants deliver targeted maths interventions to address specific learning needs and to provide additional greater depth learning experiences. Older pupils are formally assessed on their taught content each term and their next steps become the next lessons. Pupil attainment in mathematics at the end of Key Stage 2 is well above national average at Fircroft.