Mathematics learning at the University of Cambridge Primary School seeks to foster in pupils a genuine depth of understanding with the aim for all children to gain mastery of foundational mathematical concepts alongside the development of positive dispositions towards the learning of the subject.
We teach with an explicit focus on number and calculation whilst teaching other strands such as measurement and geometry explicitly as well as within number, allowing for learners to make connections between mathematical ideas and strands. Alongside the aims of the national curriculum for mathematics of developing fluency, reasoning and problem-solving, we emphasis our curriculum design pedagogies of fostering productive habits of mind, interrelated skills of oracy and dialogue and playful enquiry.
Mathematics lessons are often split between two sessions in a day: a first exploratory session which incorporates coherent small steps within whole-class teaching and cooperative learning opportunities such as maths games or problems that foster mathematical thinking, fluency and reasoning skills. In the second session, children are given plentiful opportunities for ‘intelligent practice’ in order for them to consolidate their understanding, develop fluency and take on further challenge. Teachers make use of assessment information to provide rapid support where needed within lessons. Layers of challenge are built into both sessions through small-stepped, coherently planned learning sequences where lesson points build on one another. All children are invited to ‘think hard’ and persevere when confronted with new challenges. Alongside these mastery-type lessons, we timetable one lesson a week to facilitate extended problem-solving or strategic reasoning opportunities in order for children to become habituated to learning as mathematicians. Throughout all such experiences of our maths curriculum, we seek to develop a love and curiosity for the discipline of mathematics.