Maths curriculum

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The purpose of Dartford Primary Academy’s Mathematics curriculum is to guarantee long term learning for all children; aiming to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of  mathematics and in number so that they develop a solid conceptual understanding as well as the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. We have a mindset that all  pupils, regardless of background, can make progress in school and aspire for children to enjoy and grow in mathematical confidence; At DPA, everyone can be a ‘maths person’ and we aim  to reduce maths anxiety from within our classes. Persistence and determination is fostered through a growth mindset approach: we want children to understand that mistakes are a good  thing and can be a helpful part of the learning process. We believe that focusing on fluency of key number facts for long term memory allows children to use working memory for the new  concepts and skills being introduced. We want pupils, not only to be able to recall number facts and be great arithmetic operators, but to be able to problem solve and reason with a variety  of mathematical problems. We intend to help pupils understand the world around them by providing life enriching skills that are vital for sustainable lifestyle choices and future careers such  as engineering, architecture, medicine and business.

We ensure children have positive experiences in all classes and celebrate their successes no matter how small their achievement may seem to them.  At Dartford Primary Academy we use the following teaching for mastery strategies: 

  • Core maths facts are embedded at an early age and revisited on a daily basis using retrieval questions to consolidate learning.  
  • Counting, adding and multiplication rehearsal takes place outside maths lessons during periods of transition. We use Times Table Rockstars and Numbots to provide a fun and  engaging platform to sustain learning from home. 
  • The same lessons are taught to the whole class to ensure equity of learning. This allows problem solving and reasoning to be taught explicitly to all pupils and not just those who  become fluent at a faster rate.  
  • CPA approach is used to introduce new concepts and make links to prior learning. 
  • Reasoning is taught by focusing on key mathematical vocabulary that is then incorporated into well-written stem sentences which are rehearsed by the whole class within a variety  of different contexts.  
  • A talk-rich math culture is created in classes: children use ABC talk to build reasoning and discussions. 
  • Lessons are broken down into carefully selected and cohesive steps that reduce the range of misconceptions, providing skills necessary towards lesson success. Every step has a  point and leads on from the one previous.  
  • Assessment takes place within each lesson through frequent low stakes testing or hinge questions: identifying those who need further challenge and those who require response to  maths interventions with the intention to keep all pupils learning together.
  • All year groups use White Rose for a clear learning sequence which builds on prior learning and the development of new skills, which are repeated within the year and beyond – often revisiting previous year learning, to start with, ensuring core facts are secure before moving on. Teachers use White Rose schemes of learning flexibly, adapting the length of  time they need for steps in learning according to the needs of their children.

Our daily fluency questions, which have led to greater retention of core concepts – evident through increased arithmetic scores, have helped reduce working memory overload in class,  allowing pupils to make smoother progress in lessons. Subsequently, this leads to better comprehension within reasoning and problem solving. Pupils are becoming more able to articulate their maths thinking using mathematical vocabulary. They are more adept at sharing a range of ways in which questions can be answered. They’re becoming more efficient mathematicians  as they discuss what they think is the most effective method to solve a problem. All of this gives them a solid grounding in mathematical skills and understanding in order to progress both to the next stage of their education and their future careers