Maths

WELCOME TO THE MATHS PAGE

Mr. Hurst - Subject Adviser

 

My name is Mr. Hurst and I attended St. Bede’s as a pupil, before being appointed as Subject Adviser for Mathematics in 1991.  During the intervening years, I worked as a Computer Programmer, Civil Servant and Museum Demonstrator, before studying for my Bachelor of Education degree at Christ’s and Notre Dame Catholic College.  Whilst at College, I also obtained the Catholic Teachers’ Certificate in Religious Education.

I gained my Master of Education degree (Distinction) from the University of Liverpool, in 2007; and completed a Postgraduate Certificate as a Primary Mathematics Specialist Teacher, at Edge Hill University, in 2012.

I am a qualified Rugby League Coach and Referee, having coached Lancashire Schoolboys, and refereed the curtain-raiser to the 1995 Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.  I ran the first London Marathon, in 1981, and am currently ‘collecting’ Olympic Stadia, having run on the tracks in Athens, Melbourne and London!

In my spare time, I enjoy watching Widnes Vikings and Manchester United.  For many years I have been ‘treading the boards’, in an amateur capacity, taking part in shows and pantomimes, including my now ‘legendary’ performance (at least it is in my house!) as Fagin in ‘Oliver’, at the Brindley Theatre.

We do lots to support, encourage and inspire pupils at St. Bede's in mathematics, a subject I am so passionate about. We adopt a mastery approach to maths using the Maths No Problem series which has been assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. We also use Doodle Maths, an online learning platform which extends learning both in school and at home. 

Intent, Implementation, Impact - Mathematics

Intent

At St. Bede’s we believe that the main reason for teaching mathematics is its importance in the analysis and communication of information and ideas.  It is used to describe, to illustrate, to interpret, to predict and to explain.  It develops the essential numerical skills that enable pupils to understand and communicate with the modern technological world, the ability to think in abstract ways and to solve problems.  However, it is not only taught because it is useful.  It is a source of delight, offering pupils intellectual excitement in the discovery of relationships, the pursuit of rigour and the achievement of elegant solutions.  Mathematics provides the chance to prove beyond doubt, using logical argument.  Pupils are encouraged to appreciate the essential creativity of mathematics.

In accordance with our Mission Statement our aim is to cater for individual needs, whilst providing challenging, stimulating learning opportunities, in mathematics, which will inspire independence and confidence.  We:

  • Present new mathematical concepts in a practical context.
  • Present mathematics as a creative and fascinating process in which children are encouraged to use their imagination, initiative and flexibility of mind.
  • Develop an appreciation by pupils of the relationships within mathematics itself.
  • Show that mathematics is an essential part of communication.  Pupils are given the opportunity to describe, illustrate, interpret, predict and explain using mathematical language and conventions.

The school fulfils the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014, for mathematics, in aiming to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Implementation

The school has implemented the ‘Maths – No Problem!’ scheme.  The focus is on teaching to mastery. It is based on the research of Jerome Bruner, Richard Skemp, Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky, and Zoltan Dienes.  The programme emphasises problem-solving and pupils use their core competencies (Visualisation, Finding Patterns, and Mental Strategies) to develop a relational understanding of mathematical concepts.

One of the key learning principles is the concrete – pictorial - abstract approach (CPA).  The CPA approach, suggests that there are three steps (or representations) necessary for pupils to develop understanding of a concept. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations.

The textbooks have been researched in huge detail and the varied examples have been specifically chosen to stretch pupils into harder concepts, create depth and generate dialogue.  The workbooks allow pupils to work independently, demonstrate their understanding and assess their own learning.  The teachers have access to a website which contains all of the pupil materials along with extra teacher resources. 

Pupils in all years are placed in ability groupings for the teaching of mathematics.  This narrows the range of ability within each class and allows the teacher to meet the pupil’s needs more effectively.

Resources that are used frequently, such as number lines, counters, dice, multi-link cubes, dienes, hundred squares, shapes, etc., are located in the classrooms.  They are accessible to all pupils, who should be encouraged to be responsible for their use.  Further resources (often larger items shared by the whole school) are located in the Upper Resource Area.  The use of manipulatives is integral to the CPA approach and thus planned into our learning and teaching.

The approach to teaching is to deliver a dedicated mathematics lesson every day (approximately 75 minutes) based on the CPA approach; the initial part of the session (10-15 minutes) consists of arithmetic (four operations) and/or times tables activities.

High-quality direct teaching is oral, interactive and lively.  It is a two-way process in which children are expected to play an active part by answering questions, contributing points to discussions, and explaining and demonstrating their methods to the class.

The structure of the lesson is:

  • Explore - ‘In Focus’ task – a problem to initiate thinking and discussion, but no further guidance from teacher. 
  • Structure – learning is guided by the teacher, taking feedback on methods 1, 2, 3 …etc.
  • Reflect – ‘Let’s Learn’ – children try to explain how someone else solved the problem. 
  • Journal – provides the children with the opportunity to document their learning.  Some days the teacher chooses; other days, the child.
  • Practise – Guided practise - children undertake some similar problems, under the close guidance of the teacher.  
  • Apply – Children have independent practise in their workbooks.

Impact

There are a number of different components to the assessment package that is carried out in St. Bede’s.

  1. Assessment for Learning is part of the daily lesson.  These judgements confirm that children have grasped the main points of the lesson, or identify misconceptions that need to be addressed.  They feed forward to the next lesson.
  2. Periodic assessments are carried out at the end of each topic, and more comprehensive revisions during the year, at a distance from the teaching, to review the progress that the children are making in relation to the key objectives.  They are used to inform the planning for the next term. 
  3. Transitional assessments (NFER tests) are carried out annually.  We administer them in May.

Early in the autumn term of Year 3, the Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Tests from the previous term are administered again to the children to establish a baseline.  These results are viewed and considered alongside those that accompanied the children from the Infant School. 

A summary report is sent to parents/carers at February half-term and a full report at the end of the summer term.

Please click on the links below to access site that will deepen knowledge and understanding of key concepts - and they are also fun too!

If you have any questions about maths at St. Bede's, please click HERE.

                                           

Doodle Maths      MiniMaths (homeworks)         BBC Bitesize      Topmarks Maths Games

Get In Touch

Address

Appleton Village, Widnes

Cheshire, WA8 6EL


Telephone

0151 424 3386