'Mathematics is a more powerful instrument of knowledge than any other that has been bequeathed to us by human agency.'
At Bentley West, we aim not only to prepare our children for the next stage of their education, but also to lay the foundations for successful lives after school. Our aim is to prepare our children for the jobs of tomorrow, which will require greater mathematical skills than in the past, including thinking mathematically in order to use technology that doesn’t yet exist.
The aims of our maths teaching at Bentley West are aligned with the aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving - both in the mathematics lesson and across the curriculum. We recognise that pupils need to learn basic number facts and acquire fluency in procedures, alongside developing conceptual understanding if they are able to solve increasingly complex problems in life and later in the workplace.
We place great importance on developing a ‘Growth Mindset’. At Bentley West, we believe everyone is capable of learning mathematics, given sufficient time, quality first teaching, having access to appropriate concrete and pictorial resources and effort. We encourage our children to believe they can get smarter, that effort makes them stronger and that they can achieve, treating apparent ‘failures or dips’ as opportunities to bounce back stronger from. Our aim is to ensure that all pupils develop a set of sound mathematical skills which they can utilise to solve problems when presented in an unfamiliar context. Alongside these mathematical skills, we plan to develop mathematical thinkers and talkers. As the quality of our maths teaching develops, so does our children's ability to draw conclusions and identify patterns.
Bentley West are now proud to be part of the North Mids Maths Hub and will start our journey to become a school that teaches for mastery by following the Mastery Readiness programme. We are currently working towards a whole school approach, whereby we look to deepen the knowledge our children develop and embed concepts by providing opportunities to practise, reason and problem solve. 'End goals' are used to engage our pupils and allow them to make links to maths in real-life contexts. The learning journey is brought to life and eventually finalised with a purposeful end goal; this is an opportunity for children to use their previous learning and apply their skills and concepts with confidence.
Some of our 'End Goals' can be seen below (will be uploaded soon):
To develop our children’s ability to master a mathematical concept, we are taking positive steps towards embedding carefully-designed and sequential learning steps that build upon previous learning. In doing so, our step by step, progressive planning will allow all pupils to access concepts and ideas and explore the connections between them. It is important to us that our children are encouraged to make explicit links to other areas of mathematics to help support them and this is becoming a focus within our long term planning of maths. Over time and through varied and frequent practice, our children are given the opportunity to consolidate a skill and solve problems related to that same area of maths. Images, jottings, models, diagrams and other pictorial representations are a real focus of our teaching at Bentley West as they will support our children to 'see' a concept. Our focus is to now to encourage our children to use these to help them represent their maths. Across the school, we 'present' maths to our children through pictorial and abstract based sheets to support this.
Our Nursery team use the acclaimed maths programme 'Numberblocks', developed and promoted by the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics).
By focusing on one of the numbers from 0-10 per week, our children are able to develop a strong sense of number. Throughout the week, they will build a picture of 'how we have found ____ this week'. Opportunities are planned in during the start of the day, within family group time and in child-initiated sessions that will encourage discussion and exploration of that number of the week. The staff celebrate the individual and unique ways in which our children find the number of the week and draw their attention to the structure and variety of ways it can be represented. We place great emphasis on variety as we believe this is key when trying to make sense of and establish e.g. the oneness of one. In light of this, we promote the approach that our children need to see these numbers in different ways, compare them to others and make observations about their differences.
'In variation theory, it is assumed that there are critical aspects of a given phenomenon that learners must simultaneously be aware of and focus on in order to experience that phenomenon in a particular way.'
Our children's outdoor experiences are captured, their discussions are built upon and the staff promote the use of different images to establish a strong foundation that can be built upon.
Reception and Y1:
As our children move to Reception and into Y1, we will soon be introducing concepts such as '5 and a bit' and '10 and a bit' to deepen understanding of numbers 0-20 and look more closely at their structures. 'Numberblocks' continues as a theme for our children and five and tens frames are more formally introduced. One of our key focuses across KS1 is to ensure our children can quickly recall basic number facts and begin to learn skills that will ensure they are 'calculators' rather than counters, building on the foundations set in place from Nursery. The White Rose programme, which is in line with the content needed to be covered from the National Curriculum, is introduced in year 1.
In line with our approach to develop fluency and mental strategies, we introduce MCRAPACODANumbo, a series of mental strategies that our children are taught in order to develop fluency when trying to calculate with all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). Partitioning, Counting On and Number Bonds/Number facts are the main focus within Reception and Y1 and this is then built upon as our children progress through our school.
As our children move into year 2, we continue to focus on instant recall of basic number facts. With our recent introduction to ten frames, we continue to teach children how to cross boundaries efficiently. With firm foundations in number established in previous year groups, our children are taught to apply this knowledge when crossing the tens boundaries and in particular when partitioning numbers. Part whole models are made use of to support pupils understanding of the structure of numbers. The White Rose programme of study continues to be followed in line with the National Curriculum with a key emphasis on varied fluency and the application of MCRAPACODANumbo strategies. Reasoning strategies are further developed and our journey to becoming a 'teaching for mastery' school will support the development of our pupils' ability to reason and solve problems.
By the time our children leave year 2, our aim is to ensure they are confident at instantly recalling all of the following number facts:
Key Stage 2:
As our children progress through Key Stage 2, we aim to make strong links between different areas of maths to ensure that our children are always applying known knowledge whilst learning new concepts.
We strive for our pupils to make good progress over time at Bentley West by;
Planning a coherent journey through the curriculum in line with White Rose Maths
Selecting manipulatives and pictorial representations which expose the structure of the mathematics
Raising misconceptions as opportunities to learn from
Supporting teaching staff to use questions that reveal, probe and address misconceptions.
Mathematical skills are practised, applied and assessed across the curriculum. Gaps in knowledge are then revisited if necessary.
Consolidation weeks allow for further embedding of skills
We use recap slides within our planning to revisit previous learning to ensure this knowledge isn't lost.
Manipulatives are used to help our children 'see' the maths and make sense of the abstract.
Each of our classrooms have a selection of manipulatives that both our teaching staff and pupils use to build or strengthen a concrete image and support them towards their progression to understanding the abstract. No matter the ability of our children, we encourage them to use these manipulatives to embed and reinforce the intended image or structure.
Promoting opportunities for fluency in every sequence of learning.
Challenging those children that grasp a concept by deepening their understanding through additional problem solving activities e.g. our own RAPA challenges.
Using assessments to identify children who are struggling to grasp concepts, we can then support them further.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches intend to support our children so that they can develop their collaborative and independent skills. We raise the importance of showing empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others in our lessons. Children can under perform in mathematics because they believe they can't do it or are not naturally good at it. We address these preconceptions by working to ensure that all children experience different forms of challenge and success in mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Regular and ongoing assessment helps us to inform our teaching so that we can support and enable the success of each child.
As part of our blended learning offer for those children who may find themselves having to work at home, we are posting all of our slide planning and teaching materials for each week on your child's Google Classroom. In the near future, you will be able to post work back to your teacher who will then mark and respond with improvement comments. Alongside our blended learning offer, please use the free White Rose parent packs for each year group by accessing the following link:
When you are directed to the website, you can then select from the blue headings shown below to find your year group's workbooks.
In addition to these parent workbooks, White Rose is also offering educational videos that can guide you through a mathematical concept with some very easy-to-follow explanations and models. Try to find the video that matches to the area of maths you are learning about. Use the link below to access these videos:
When directed to the website, you will have the option to choose a particular year group's tutorial videos.
You may have seen some of 'I See Maths' used in your lessons in school. The creator of the company, and primary school teacher himself, Gareth Metcalfe, hosted some live, daily lessons during lockdown. You can revisit these lessons and try and solve some of his tricky problems by clicking on the link to the left.
I was watching the 'consecutive numbers' lesson the other day and found out a new trick! If you solve any of his problems, or need some help with them...get in touch with us.
The access to these videos will only be live for the rest of 2020.
The following link will take you to the Y3/4 resources - http://www.iseemaths.com/lessons34/
The following link will take you to the ⅚ resources - http://www.iseemaths.com/lessons56/
Problem of the Day
White Rose’s ‘Problems of the Day’ are still really useful in terms of getting in your maths for the day. Each day, problems were posted during the month of March and we have collected them for you to attempt at home. The orange problems are suitable for KS1 and the blue problems are suitable for KS2/3. The format has changed slightly so that the KS1 problems are a simplified version of the KS2/3 problems, which means you may be able, if you are in KS1, to attempt some of the KS2 problems. We may tweet @whiterosemaths with your solutions - you could be famous! Good luck and don't give up, problems are designed to be solved...and sometimes they are a little tricky!
Times Table Rockstars
To develop our children's fluency and confidence with multiplication and division facts, we use the TT Rockstars platform. Our aim is to get all of our children to develop a secure knowledge of the multiplication facts up to 12x12 alongside their related division facts. Not only do we want this to be secure, we also aim for our children to be able to recall these facts in less than three seconds per question.
To date, we have hosted whole school assemblies and even reached out to our federated school King Charles Primary School to encourage the use of the platform. Plans are in place, when this is possible, to host a 'Top of the Rocks' battle with other schools in the area, bringing together some of the fastest 'human calculators' in the area.
Battles take place every week between year groups and classes and our children can get quite competitive!
Children from year 2 through to year 6 use the programme. They are also encouraged to challenge teachers through the 'Rockslam' section or improve their own rockspeed on 'Studio'.
The documents below will better explain how Times Tables Rockstars works and will guide you through accessing the resource at home, your children should know their login details but please do contact us if you require any further assistance.
All children are expected to know their times tables to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4. This is a National Curriculum statutory requirement. Help your child learn these at home by chanting times tables and playing games. Ideas for activities can be found here: