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The aim of the ark Academy primary mathematics curriculum is to develop pupils’ abilities to make rich connections between mathematical ideas to develop fluency, develop the essential skills of reasoning and gain the ability to solve increasingly sophisticated problems. We aim for our pupils to apply their mathematics skills and knowledge confidently to a range of different real-life situations, to ensure pupils understand maths in the context of the wider world. This is further developed during STEM week.

At Ark Academy, we follow the ‘Mathematics Mastery’ programme – A mastery approach developed by Ark Schools. We have adopted the Maths Mastery programme as we believe the approach to mathematics is rigorous, it covers a broad number sense and follows the pedagogical approach of concrete-pictorial-abstract to enable all pupils to access the learning. Teaching for mastery also follows our curriculum principle of ‘depth before breadth’. We use the ‘Dimensions of Depth’ to deepen pupils’ understanding, instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote. This ensures high expectations of what pupils learn and understand, ensuring maths is made accessible for all through scaffolding, whilst still providing the necessary stretch and challenge.

The Dimensions of Depth:

Conceptual understanding

Mathematical thinking

Mathematical problem solving

Language and communication

To achieve mastery, our pupils represent ideas in many different ways. The focus is always on a progression from concrete resources to pictorial representation and onto the numerical abstract, which supports the development of deep conceptual understanding. The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach is based on research about developing understanding of concepts from Jerome Bruner (1966).

We want our pupils to think like mathematicians, this is achieved by building a culture of error with pupils, so they feel comfortable with asking questions, exploring concepts, and addressing misconceptions.

We want our pupils to feel empowered to problem solve, by providing the opportunity for pupils to investigate and seek solutions. Tasks are planned to apply and deepen their learning from previous units.

Our pupils are encouraged to use rich mathematical vocabulary, and full sentences to deepen their understanding of concepts, and to reason about their findings.

Our lesson structure allows pupils to develop their mathematical rigor through deliberate practice of the small steps of learning so that pupils may advance to more complex learning by the end of the lesson. Learning is ‘chunked’ into a ‘Do Now’, ‘New learning’, ‘Talk Task’, ‘Developed learning’, ‘Independent practice’ and a plenary. Pupils revisit and revise concepts once a week in our weekly maths meetings as well as develop fluency and arithmetic each week. Timetables are taught in years 2- 5 with expectation that by the end of year 4 all pupils will know all of their timetables. All year 4 pupils will complete a multiplication tables check (MTC) to assess fluent recall of multiplication facts.

The curriculum is designed to be cumulative both within each school year and across the year groups. The key concepts and skills are applied and revisited throughout the school year to consolidate learning.

The mathematical journey of a pupil at Ark Academy

By the end of the EYFS curriculum, most pupils will be able to have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number; to subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5; to automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts; verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system; compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts; explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10.

By the end of the KS1 curriculum, most pupils will be able to count reliably with numbers from 1 to 100; to read scales in divisions of ones, twos, fives and tens; to partition any two-digit number into different combinations of tens and ones; to add and subtract any 2 two-digit numbers using an efficient strategy; to recall all number bonds to and within 10 and use these to reason with and calculate bonds to and within 20, recognising other associated additive relationships; to recall multiplication and division facts for 2, 5 and 10; to use different coins to make the same amount; to read the time on a clock to the nearest 15 minutes; to name and describe properties of 2-D and 3-D shapes, including number of sides, vertices, edges, faces and lines of symmetry.

By the end of the KS2 curriculum, most pupils will be able to demonstrate an understanding of place value, including large numbers and decimals; to calculate mentally using efficient strategies; to use formal methods to solve multi-step problems; to calculate and recognise the relationship between fractions, decimals and percentages and can express them as equivalent fractions; to solve problems involving the calculation of percentages and the use of percentages for comparison; to use simple formulae and express missing number problems algebraically; to generate and describe linear number sequences; to solve problems involving the calculation and conversion of units of measure, using decimal notation up to three decimal places where appropriate; to illustrate and name parts of circles, including radius, diameter and circumference and know that the diameter is twice the radius; to recognise angles where they meet at a point, are on a straight line, or are vertically opposite, and find missing angles; to interpret and construct pie charts and line graphs and use these to solve problems, including interpreting the mean.

We build for Key stage 3 by ensuring a strong subject knowledge of the mathematical fundamentals of demonstrating fluency, reasoning mathematically and solving mathematical problems in different contexts. In Year 7, pupils build on their primary school knowledge of number, geometry, and statistics. Pupils use their knowledge of adding and subtracting negatives from Key Stage 2 and further develop their understanding of algebra.