What We Teach : Maths
Mathematics at Bradstow School
What is Maths?
Maths education can be defined as ‘Mathematics, a universal language that enables understanding of the world, is an integral part of the curriculum. Beyond the study of numbers, shapes and patterns, it also provides important tools for work in fields such as engineering, physics, architecture, medicine and business. It nurtures the development of a logical and methodical mindset, as well helping to inculcate focus and the ability to solve all manner of problems. Research review series: Mathematics, Ofsted 2021 (Accessed: 1/12/21)
At Bradstow School, our young people face many challenges across all aspects of their lives. Therefore having a programme of study which is functional and adapted to the specific learning needs of our young people is essential. As stated by the education endowment foundation ‘Mathematics plays a key role in a child’s development’ and ‘Mathematical understanding helps children make sense of the world around them, interpret situations, and solve problems in everyday life, whether that’s understanding time, sharing amounts with their peers, or counting in play.’ As such, creating a programme of study, which is purposeful and adaptive to the individual needs of all young people, is crucial. Improving Mathematics in the early years and Key stage 1 –Guidance report Education Endowment Foundation, 2020 (Accessed 1/12/2021).
As a school, it was important to understand the underlying skills within all aspects of mathematics and foster the love of investigation and problem solving. This would ultimately lead to mastery where our young people will develop in-depth, long lasting knowledge of concepts which can be adapted to worldly problems.
Intent- What do we teach?
At Bradstow School, we believe that having a quality Maths curriculum should provide each student the essential skills needed within adulthood and is integral in our young people’s development of their understanding of the world around them.
One of the main priorities is helping the young people develop a secure foundation of basic number skills, which can be applied within all aspects of their daily lives. Through this, all other aspects of mathematics can be built leading to a wholesome understanding of the world.
We recognise the importance of creating a culture of exploration and investigation leading to lifelong problem solving skills. Our Maths curriculum is based on the vital skills identified in the statutory National curriculum and is aimed at preparing our learners for Adult life.
For many of our young people, traditional Math learning is not applicable and due to the complex and at times abstract nature of mathematics, the key mathematic skills are taught through a multimodal approach focusing on developing skill in functional and practical situations. Therefore, our maths curriculum is designed to accommodate a vast range of learning styles across the school through implementing various pedagogical strategies. Improving Mathematics in the early years and Key stage 1 –Guidance report Education Endowment Foundation, 2020 (Accessed 1/12/2021).
Implementation- How do we teach?
Across all departments of the school, Mathematics is divided into two pathways, ‘formal’ and functional.
Each young person is engaged in targeted class based sessions split into four tiers; engagement, pre-formal, semi-formal and formal+ depending on their existing mathematical skills.
Each pathway is delivered with the focus of developing mathematical mastery through exploration, investigation and problem solving. . Every learner will participate in three ‘formal’ mathematic sessions a week split into a number session and two topic sessions which cover the other areas of maths.
As number is the foundation of mathematics, this is covered termly with a selected mathematic area. The functional pathway is often community based and is focused around the implementation of learnt maths skills in practical and real-life situations, often linked to the preparing for adulthood and our independent living outcomes.
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Through evidence collected from observation and pedagogical knowledge, a maths programme laid on the foundation of number is crucial to support the development of mastery; therefore, number is a running theme throughout rolling programme being covered termly.
All our learners cover all 6 key topic area across the academic year over the 3 year programme, therefore engaging in a curriculum that covers the areas of upmost importance to support our young people preparing for adulthood. The topics are broken down to ensure they are skill appropriate and relevant for the young people in all departments of the school.
Our learners make sustained progress and develop transferrable skills to allow them to participate meaningfully within their lives with good mathematical knowledge of functional daily routines. The implementation of the maths programme ensures our learners become more confident throughout their lives to apply their math skill and participate in the community beyond Bradstow.