Pendennis Road, Downend, South Gloucestershire, BS16 5JJ

01454 866516

Christ Church CofE VC Junior School

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Maths Leader: Fred Debley

At CCJ, we believe that all children can succeed in maths. We follow the mastery approach, where each unit is studied in depth. Children are given time to think deeply about maths and really understand concepts rather than simply follow a set of rules or procedures.

How we teach maths

Each class has a 1 hour maths lesson every morning. In addition to the daily maths lesson, there is an additional 20-minute 'catch up/keep up' (CUKU) session each day to ensure that all children are given the support they require to demonstrate a secure understanding of the mathematical concept being taught before the class moves on on to the next lesson.

Assessment - before the unit

At the beginning of each unit, children are given a ‘cold task’ to assess their current/prior knowledge of the topic. Cold tasks are used by teachers to inform their planning, as it allows teachers to determine which children already have an understanding of the concept being taught, and will therefore need to be challenged and extended further, and which children will need additional support.

Maths lessons

Each lesson has a clear objective (WALT) and success criteria, which are shared with children. Objectives are based on the National Curriculum statements, which may be broken down into several smaller objectives, for example based on the ‘small steps’ from the White Rose Hub scheme of learning.

In every maths lesson, clear modelling by the teacher is key. Written calculations methods are modelled on a squared background, with particular attention paid to clear and accurate layout. Modelling is also used in problem solving and reasoning contexts. At CCJ, children are given frequent opportunities to articulate their mathematical reasoning. Children have opportunities to discuss their thoughts and ideas in pairs, in groups and as a class, in order to promote and develop their oracy skills.

Teachers continually assess children's understanding during every maths lesson. At CCJ, we often use hinge questions to generate discussion and to assess children’s understanding of a concept. Each of the answers has been carefully designed with a specific misconception in mind so that the teacher knows how best to support children who cannot yet correctly identify the answer.

All children should have the opportunity to develop their fluency, problem solving and reasoning, whatever their level of confidence. In each lesson, the expectation is that most children will move through a try it, a use it and a prove it task.

Fluency – ‘try it’ These fluency tasks will support children to develop number sense, to be able to select the most appropriate method for the task at hand and to apply a skill to multiple contexts.

Problem solving – ‘use it’ These tasks will give children an opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills they have learnt to a variety of different problem solving contexts.

Reasoning – ‘prove it’ These tasks will allow children to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, suggesting relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. We use the APE format (Answer It, Prove It, Explain It) is used to help develop the children’s reasoning skills.

Each of these try it, use it and prove it tasks is differentiated.

Catch Up Keep Up (CUKU) lessons

We know that feedback is most effective when it is timely, specific and personalised. Therefore, we have a daily 20-minute slot each day called CUKU (Catch Up, Keep Up), in which the teacher has the opportunity to work with small groups or individuals to address any misconceptions from the previous maths lesson, or pre-teach a new concept that will support learning in the next lesson.

During the session, the majority of children will independently complete a ‘deliberate practice’ task that allows them to revisit and consolidate prior learning (for example, a written calculation method or times tables). Meanwhile, the teacher will work with individuals or small groups to address specific misconceptions that they have identified from the previous lesson or to pre-teach a new concept that will support learning in the next lesson (for example, by using information from the pre-unit cold task assessments to identify which children are likely to require additional support with the next concept being taught).

Impactful feedback

Each piece of work that a child produces is reviewed by their class teacher so that impactful feedback can be given, children can be identified for additional support in a CUKU session and teaching sequences can be adapted if required. At CCJ, we use a blend of oral, written and peer feedback.

Self-assessment and peer marking are powerful tools and encourage the children to take ownership of their learning and receive timely feedback. When self-marking, children are encouraged to understand why answers are incorrect and to have another go rather than simply writing in the correct answer. Teachers devote time in CUKU sessions to addressing misconceptions that have been identified in children’s work. Twice weekly, children are given written feedback from the teacher that either addresses a misconception or provides a next step or challenge that the child needs to respond to. Dedicated time is set aside for children to respond to this feedback.

Assessment – after the unit

At least two weeks after the end of the unit, a hot task is given to the children.  Teachers can compare the child’s answers to the questions on the cold and hot tasks to determine the progress that each child has made.

Throughout the year, there are also three formal assessment weeks, where children complete arithmetic and reasoning tests. Teachers use a combination of their knowledge of a child's work in class, their hot task results, formal assessments and work in exercise books to make an overall judgement about the child's attainment in maths.


Home learning in maths

We know that children need regular practice of mathematical to ensure that they have frequent opportunities to revisit and consolidate their learning. We ask that children logon on to Times Table Rockstars and DoodleMaths at leats 5 times a week for 10 minutes to complete activities that their teacher has set.

All children have access to Times Tables Rockstars - a fun and interactive website where they can practise their times tables and related division facts. Please speak to your child's class teacher if you need log-in details. 

All children have access to DoodleMaths, a fun and interactive platform which provides tailored learning to their needs in maths. It quickly learns about their strengths and weakness and provides activities and questions which address them.

Please see your child's teacher if you don't have their log-in details.