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Muswell Hill Primary School


Muswell Hill Primary School’s vision for Mathematics is that each child will possess a confidence and positive attitude to the subject regardless of their gender or background.

Each child will move onto the next stage in their learning with a secure base of fluency and knowledge of key number facts. This knowledge will allow them to explore and solve mathematical challenges in everyday situations as maths is seen as an integral part of life.

At Muswell Hill Primary School the teaching of Maths is based on a mastery approach. The approach ensures that children learn the strategies and concepts on a deeper level rather than rushing through the objectives. Attention is paid to reinforcing their knowledge. Teachers use a teaching for mastery approach. At our school this means that the whole class will work together in some lessons, particularly those that introduce and explore a new concept. Teachers will focus on small steps, key representations, questions and misconceptions to introduce a concept, aiming for all children to become secure in the concept. In other lessons, it might be effective for the class to spend more time working in smaller groups or on independent practice; this will be based on the teacher’s assessment, from the previous lesson. Teachers will, informed by their assessments, adjust lessons and activities so that they are pitched at appropriate levels of challenge and provide the right ‘next step’. Best practice at our school is keeping the whole class working on the same concept, taking small steps to master this but also assessing progress and using ‘flexible grouping’: grouping that is informed by day to day marking and assessment of misconceptions. When appropriate, throughout the lesson, the children will be drawn together to learn from each other and share misconceptions so they can progress as a class. Children with special educational needs may well be working to an individual plan and teachers will differentiate their work, ensuring they are included in the theme of the lesson. Whatever their level of attainment, children should not experience repeated failure or effortless success; success should be encoded.

Lessons are planned from a balanced mathematics curriculum based on the National Curriculum with a strong emphasis both on fluency in number facts, calculations and place value and applying all areas through reasoning and problem solving. Teachers are expected to use precise explanations in order for children to clearly understand key concepts and strategies and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all pupils are supported in keeping up – diminishing differences and disadvantages. Specific, differentiated and deep questioning in lessons are key in order to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, as well as supporting and stretching pupils according to their needs.

Teachers at MHPS base their pedagogy on evidence from bodies such as the NCETM, NRICH and Whiterose, they gather, develop and share great lesson ideas which make maths relevant as well as those which promote problem solving with pure number. Games, reasoning and problem solving are cornerstones of our teaching and learning of mathematics. The school has worked in partnership with NCETM in recent years and is committed to approach.

The curriculum is planned so that children have regular opportunities to embed their understanding of key maths skills; such as number bonds, knowledge of +, -, x and division/multiplication tables. The progression of written methods for calculations follow the CPA approach – from concrete (actually ‘doing’ with real objects) to pictorial representations – moving to abstract concepts only when children are ready and have a secure conceptual understanding. The calculation policy with the progression of methods used across the school is attached here.

Maths @ Home

To consolidate and reinforce the maths learning carried out in school, teachers are now able to allocate online activities via the Topmarks online homework resource IXL. The children have been given their individual log in details and once logged in can access and complete their maths homework each week.

Staying Safe Online

DLC and the Internet have become integral to teaching and learning within schools, providing pupils and staff with opportunities to improve understanding. However, whilst this technology has many benefits for Muswell Hill Primary School, we recognise that clear procedures for appropriate use and the education of staff and pupils about online behaviour and potential risks are essential. Please click here to see our Online Safety Policy.

Useful Websites:

Here are a list of a few useful websites to help the children with their maths learning at home:

1) Top Marks Hit the Button: this is great for quick fire times table and number fact practice to develop the children’s fluency:

Hit the Button

2) TT Rockstars: In KS2 each pupil has been set up with their own individual log in, which means they can access this exciting online resource at home as well as at school.