Maths Approach

 

At Middlethorpe we recognise that mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. Therefore we recognise the importance of a high quality mathematics curriculum. Through developing a child’s ability to calculate, to reason and problem solve, a high quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

 

The aims of Mathematics are:

  • to promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion
  • for children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • for children to be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, hypothesising about relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • for children to be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication
  • for children to be able to demonstrate and develop effective learning behaviours such as: perseverance, collaboration, questioning and organisation
  • to develop  children’s understanding of the importance of Mathematics in everyday life

Mathematics will be taught as a core lesson every day. This will usually be an hour a day. Where possible, children will all engage in the objectives specified in the National Curriculum for their year group. Where this is not possible, teachers are expected to differentiate appropriately. 

 

Reading Approach

At Middlethorpe, our reading curriculum is designed to stimulate the children’s natural curiosity, foster a love of reading in every child in every classroom, and ensure that every child leaves their primary journey as a confident reader. In early reading, this involves the children developing listening skills, concentration, being able to use rhyme and rhythm and be confident in grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Reading is also used to develop the children’s empathy for others; discussion of our personal experiences help to begin our early inference skills. All children will also be able to confidently retell and sequence stories. These skills will progress into KS2 as children develop their fluency and comprehension.  

Children read, and are read to, from a range of books by favourite authors as well as being exposed to high quality literature from authors they may not yet be familiar with; this is alongside the reading of traditional tales and fairy tales that are part of our cultural heritage.  

  • An extensive knowledge of different stories and high quality texts. 
  • An ability to retell and sequence stories with confidence and to use this as a model for our own stories. 
  • Knowledge of how stories are structured and different types of stories. 
  • A comprehensive understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences and both the basic and complex code. 
  • Fluency and an ability to read ahead and self-correct. 
  • The ability to emphasise with a character.  
  • The ability to discuss books and be confident to use book talk to identify authorial technique. Comparisons, similarities and differences between books and authors.  
  • Excellent knowledge of different authors and genres of stories.  
  • The ability to express well-balanced opinions linked to both personal experiences and real life experience.  
  • Key skills such as skimming, scanning, clarifying, the ability to read aloud and summarise.  
  • The ability to make predictions based on evidence.  
  • A genuine love of reading in every classroom and for every child.  
  • Expressive readers who can read aloud with confidence.  

Leaders have carefully selected the knowledge and skills that children at Middlethorpe require to fulfil the aims of the subject. The phonic content is mapped across the year for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. It is broken down into half termly blocks and shows the sounds and words that the children will be learning week by week, as well as the activities that go alongside to support this.  

During the EYFS and KS1, children will follow the Read Write Inc scheme for phonics. In Year 2, the children will move onto No-Nonsense (Babcock) Spelling which introduces the children to common exception words and concepts such as contracted words. During EYFS and KS1, the children take part in daily phonics, which starts with Phase 1 in Nursery, introducing skills such as gross listening, alliteration, rhyme and rhythm and oral blending. A real emphasis is placed on sitting, listening and tuning into very fine sounds. As children move towards Reception, we expect them to know 13 single letter sounds. Daily phonics continues in Reception where children become more confident in grapheme-phoneme correspondences. They leave the Early Years secure in this basic principle. During Year 1, they are then introduced to alternative ways to make sounds.  

 The half-termly phonic blocks are also used to map out the books that children will take home; these books have been carefully selected to match the phonics sounds that have been taught. In addition, the children also take home a reading book they can ‘grapple’ with which exposes them to new sounds and words. 

 All EYFS children also take part in daily singing and nursery rhyme sessions. They also participate in a nursery rhyme challenge during the year to enable them to learn a new nursery rhyme each week. This is planned carefully by the EYFS team to ensure exposure to a range of familiar and unfamiliar rhymes; it is also progressive, with more complex nursery rhymes being used during Reception.  

Alongside this, an emphasis is placed on creating a culture of reading for enjoyment.  As part of this, every class has a daily story time. During this time, the children are read aloud to from a carefully selected range of books. Each year group has 50 books, chosen to include a broad range of authors and provide models of quality language structures and vocabulary, to develop curiosity, and to foster the reading skills necessary for children to become better readers. The books are from both well-known and loved authors as well as less familiar ones, exposing the children to books they might not have otherwise accessed. The books are a selection of memorable texts which feature repetition and encourage predictions, as well as books with a strong story shape. They have also been chosen to positively reflect the interests and the backgrounds of our catchment. In addition, the children have a weekly mystery reader session in which a member of staff chooses a story to read to a class other than their own. To further support a love of reading, children also have the opportunity to ‘share a story’ at home with their parents. This is a special book given out with a hot chocolate to encourage parents to model the act of reading for pleasure at home. Weekly library sessions, in which children take a book home of their choice to share, are held for each class.  During these sessions, we model how to choose and select a book and regularly talk to the children about the selections they have made. We further expose the children to a range of high quality literature through our Power of Reading texts, which are at the heart of our reading curriculum.  

 In Key Stage 1, children do guided reading daily. This involves all children reading at the same time. The children start by reading words together on flash cards (Fred in your head). They then read any red words they might see in the story. The teacher introduces the story and discusses any background knowledge. The children then start reading the story in pairs using lolly pop sticks to point to the words. The children not reading are trained to listen to their partner and remind them to use Fred in their head if they are not sure. If the children finish reading they re-read it to ensure the maximum amount of time is spent participating and reading. The teacher then reads to the whole group with expression. During this the jump in technique is used when the teacher hesitates and the children jump in. Whilst this is happening the children are tracking with lollypop sticks. The children then complete a second read but swap partner roles. The children they answer comprehension questions and complete hold a sentence activities. VIPERS style questions are also introduced with a focus one day a week on these skills.   

 In Key Stage 2, the teaching of reading follows a weekly structure. Guided Reading lessons are taught daily in each class for 30 minutes. One of the key skills of word meaning, retrieval, inference, prediction, explanation or summarising, is the focus of specific teaching for the week, with all other aspects of comprehension skills being practised alongside this. Skills are then applied independently to assess children’s learning. Each class in KS2 follows the same structure: Day 1 and 2 focus on reading for fluency; strategies to promote this include listening to the teacher read the text, echo reading, choral reading and paired reading. Language and vocabulary are discussed on these days to address misconceptions. On Day 3, a specific reading skill is taught and practised as a whole class. Following this, a range of comprehension questions about the week’s text are given on Day 4, then a cold text, with all question types, is completed by the children independently on Day 5. 

Within both Key Stages, children’s fluency of reading is assessed every half term. Children whose reading falls below the expected number of words per minute receive 1-1 daily intervention with an adult.