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Maths at Alston Primary School

At Alston Primary School, we aim to equip pupils with the tools to understand Maths and use it with confidence. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving and the ability to think in abstract ways.  Mathematics is integral to all aspects of life; with this in mind, we endeavour to ensure that children develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will always stay with them.
How do we teach Maths?
At Alston, Maths is taught in classes (except in Year 6 where children are grouped in sets and in Year 2 where children are grouped after February half term). A typical Maths lesson usually comprises of 3 parts (but occasionally may have a different structure depending on the topic or needs of the children):
The first part is an interactive warm up activity, lasting 5-10 minutes. This may be a game or similar activity, multiplication tables practice or a recap on a previous lesson. Sometimes this part of the lesson might be split into a basic skills and a more focused mental oral, or it could be either one on its own.
The main teaching activity would then follow. This involves the children working on differentiated tasks that relate to the learning objective.
At some point during the lesson, there is a short plenary; at this point, the learning is reviewed or applied to a different situation or problem. This does not need to be at the end of the lesson, as it is used to re-focus the children on the learning objective, stretch the children onto something more challenging or address any misconceptions.
We aim to use a variety of teaching strategies to keep the children engaged and motivated (including pair work, group work, interactive games, practical activities or the use of ICT).
How do we assess the children?
The children are continually assessed by their teachers on the evidence of the classroom work they produce. In addition to this, we carry out half termly assessments and in Key Stage 2 have a weekly multiplication and Maths test. In Key Stage 1 teachers are encouraged to note down evidence from what a child says or does to assess whether they understand a concept, particularly during more practical, investigation led lessons. From the analysis of these assessments, gaps in the children’s understanding can be identified and are planned for during the following half term. In each class and year group, ability groups are reviewed on an on-going basis; children are moved to a different group if it is in their best interests.
Throughout the Foundation Stage, as part of the learning and teaching process, teachers need to assess each child’s development in relation to the Early Learning Goals.  By the end of Reception, the Foundation Stage Profile will provide a way of summing up that knowledge.