Glasshoughton Infant Academy
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy experiences are at the heart of all learning where children have ‘hands on’ learning opportunities through real life objects, visitors or visits. Children are immersed in thematic learning based on an interleaving curriculum where new knowledge is taught, learned, remembered, revisited and applied by children ‘being’, for example being a Scientist or a Geographer.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we believe that language development is vital for all children. We have high aspirations and support them to ‘be’ in their learning. The experiential and interleaving approach ensures that language is used by all stakeholders, including parents. Children develop good comprehension of the words they are using and are able to use them in context and accurately as part of their real learning.
We are a ‘talk rich’ school: talk is central to our curriculum and to the way our pupils learn. Children learn through talk. We believe oracy (the ability to communicate effectively) is a central means of extending pupils’ linguistic, social, emotional and cognitive development; it is key to the progress and attainment of all pupils across all areas of the curriculum.
Retrieval practice is planned for daily through ‘speak like an expert’ where children are expected to retrieve knowledge that has been previously taught as a strategy to support them to move learning from the short term to the long-term memory.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we place great importance on fluency, reasoning and problem solving in Mathematics and recognise that Maths is vital in understanding the world around us as we encounter number every day; when shopping, driving or even walking down the street. We believe children should be taught through a cross curricular approach, where their knowledge, skills and understanding grow through questioning and higher order learning activities and lead them to a mastery understanding.
It is essential that the Maths curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the opportunity to learn expected behaviours and be successful in their learning so that we can deliver our mission and aims.
The breadth and depth of the curriculum is designed to:
Aspirational high achievement culture
We have developed two curriculum drivers that shape our curriculum, bring about the aims and values of our school, and respond to the particular needs of our community:
Coherently planned academic curriculum
Underpinned by our two curriculum drivers our academic curriculum sets out:
Cultural capital is the background knowledge of the world pupils need to infer meaning from what they read. It includes vocabulary which, in turn, helps pupils to express themselves in a sophisticated, mature way.
The curriculum is designed for all children to maximise their potential through carefully planned and targeted teaching, where assessment for learning provides vital intelligence on what the next steps need to be for individuals to succeed in their learning. Pre-teaching and Same Day Intervention are two strategies that are consistently applied across school to support children to experience success. The developmental progressive curriculum is designed in such a way that individual needs, strengths and next steps are built upon to ensure no child, including those who are Pupil Premium or Disadvantaged, fall behind.
Nothing is learned unless it rests in pupils’ long term memory. This does not happen, and cannot be assessed, in the short term. Assessment therefore answers two main questions: How well are pupils coping with the curriculum content? And how well are they retaining previously taught content? This is assessed throughout the lesson on a daily basis through assessment for learning where children’s understanding of key concepts is revisited, feedback is given and acted upon and whether children have remembered is checked in future learning.
The impact of the curriculum is assessed at 3 assessment points:
This will support teachers to highlight clear next steps for individuals and support leaders in school in their professional dialogue around progress, CPD, subject knowledge, outcomes and lines of enquiry to follow. Impact of the curriculum is triangulated through skills, knowledge and the ability to communicate the learning.
We have a very broad Primary Curriculum covering 12 subjects meeting all the national curriculum requirements.
The teaching of Maths is embedded across the curriculum at GIA, providing children with the necessary skills needed to be fluent and successful Mathematicians. As such, they can use their mathematical knowledge to reason and problem solve across the curriculum as Historians, Geographers, Scientists, Artists, Designers and Musicians. At GIA we recognise that effective Maths skills are vital to ensure success in further education and employment. Children are taught that verbal and written communication skills are imperative in order to access learning opportunities from across the curriculum.
Early Maths is essential in developing aspiring mathematicians. Maths teaching begins in Nursery where pupils are introduced to early Maths. Pupils are taught what constitutes a number by exploring relationships between them by comparing, ordering and sorting. They are taught to take risks and make mistakes then investigate and solve problems to enable them to reason about their answer. Pupils are exposed to number in the environment, both within the Nursey grounds and the wider community. This teaching is then progressive through Reception and KS1, building on prior knowledge, whilst addressing misconceptions to ensure no pupil is left behind.
We use a Mastery approach to Maths whereby we incorporate fluency, problem solving and reasoning into every lesson. The key aim at school is to deepen children’s knowledge of a concept, not to move children on to a new year group curriculum or ‘harder’ work. Fluency, problem solving and reasoning are intertwined into every lesson to allow children to be able to achieve a greater depth of knowledge.
We use a concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA) approach throughout a unit of Maths which supports in differentiation. The concrete approach is where children are encouraged to use manipulatives in the classroom such as counters, cubes and Base 10. The concrete stage allows children to physically manipulate resources, helping them to visualise their learning later on. The Pictorial stage is where children are supported in drawing representations that will help them with their Maths. This may include a Part Part Whole model, a tens frame or a number line. The Pictorial stage allows children to draw the Maths rather than create it. The abstract stage is where children use their knowledge from the concrete and pictorial opportunities to work out number sentences without having to use manipulatives or drawings. Children can move through the CPA approach at any point to aid their understanding.
Every lesson follows the 5 big ideas of mastery: representation and structure, variation, mathematical thinking, fluency and coherence.
Representation and structure: Presenting learning pictorially, showing understanding of the question posed.
Variation: Conceptual – presenting a concept in different ways.
Procedural: Drawing attention to relationships between numbers leading to intelligent practice.
Mathematical thinking: Reasoning about relationships and efficient strategies. Making connections between numbers.
Fluency: Being able to recall facts rapidly and make connections between the facts to enable better focus when problem solving and reasoning.
Coherence: Taking small steps within a concept for deeper understanding.
Children will take part in one lesson a week that is solely dedicated to the teaching of arithmetic and will support them in becoming fluent mathematicians. These lessons are planned to progressively develop children’s knowledge of key number facts, matched to their year group expectations, and will include number bonds and times tables facts. Within these lessons, different teaching methods, such as the number stick, will support children in understanding and recognising patterns within number. Children in Key Stage 1 will also answer a number of mathematical questions that will then support teachers in identifying key facts that need more focus within the following lesson.
Through assessment for learning, adults in the class identify when children do not understand a concept, this is then followed by Same Day Intervention (SDI) which can be led by the class teacher or support staff. Same Day Intervention recaps knowledge from within the lesson. Adults may choose to revert back to the concrete or pictorial stage during SDI to support children’s learning so that they can move in line with their peers. Specific children may also be chosen for pre-teach to develop understanding before a lesson to allow them to feel more confident in the learning.
Maths is present across different areas of the curriculum and is particularly successful in Science, Technologies, Engineering and the Arts (STEAM), providing children with opportunities to apply their Maths learning in other areas if the curriculum.
There are ample opportunities within a school day to develop children’s Maths skills outside of the Maths lesson, including through the use of a Daily Diet whereby children will be expected to recall Maths skills such as telling the time, reading temperatures, reading the date or counting how many children are present at different points in the day.
Children are supported to develop fluency skills through regular fluency checks. Children have fluency cards that they take home which have identified facts that children need to know for their year group. We also have apps that supplement learning at home, including Numbots and TT Rockstars. We support Parents with Maths at home by sending home Maths packs which include representations such as the Part Part Whole, number lines, times tables facts and formation cards. We also include Parent Calculation Policies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to share what happens in the classroom at home.
At Glasshoughton Infant Academy we feel very strongly about developing confident Mathematicians. We work very hard to conquer Maths anxiety within children through a carefully planned curriculum, high quality interventions and themed days.
Sequential schemes of learning with clear planned learning objectives for all Maths lessons allow children to build on prior knowledge and skills. A progressive curriculum ensures that current learning opportunities are based upon children’s previous learning, knowledge they have retained from previous lessons or the previous year group and links to year group expectations.
‘Sticky knowledge’ is carefully planned for in each lesson across the curriculum, linked to the learning objective, and is progressive across a sequence of learning. This ensures that children are explicitly clear about what they are learning during each session and how previous learning will help them to develop new knowledge and skills. Children’s learning is communicated to them clearly to allow them to develop an understanding of why they are being taught what they are being taught at that particular time; how previous learning will help them and what the learning intentions are at the end of the sequence. ‘Sticky knowledge’ also provides children with the correct vocabulary and terminology needed in order to effectively communicate their learning.
When the normal lesson timetable is suspended, take place during the year. These days allow children to learn in different ways such as off site, with external providers or using different curriculum approaches. These days’ cover subjects such as Staying Safe, British Values, hook days/trips/visitors etc
The curriculum is further enriched and boosted through the wide variety of after curricular activities that are available for the infant children including music classes where they learn to play an instrument, sports coaching, craft and creative clubs, computing and coding club. All children are invited to attend the clubs through an open invitation and specific children, including our most identified vulnerable children are contacted individually to ensure they have had involvement in at least one of our clubs.
We carefully track pupils’ Maths knowledge to ensure that they are on track to reach the expectations of our Mathematics curriculum. Adults assess the fluency of every child through fluency booklets that children take home to practice. Fluency is also assessed every day by talking to the children and listening to them reason about how they have found an answer and what connections they have made. Fluency, reasoning and problem solving are at the heart of every lesson and no matter what ability, every child is able to reason and problem solve at a suitable level for them. The impact of the curriculum is that by the end of the year, the vast majority of children have sustained mastery of the content, that is, they remember it all and are fluent in it. Some children will have reached a greater depth of understanding where they can apply their learning.
Children are clear about their learning and able to confidently communicate this using accurate vocabulary and terminology from across the curriculum.
An impact of a curriculum whereby children are taught to communicate in a variety of different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences, allows children to confidently communicate their learning as a Scientist, Geographer, Artist, etc, both verbally and in the written form, using accurate vocabulary.
A developmentally progressive curriculum, whereby children build upon they prior learning and knowledge, ensures that no child, including pupil premium and disadvantaged, are left behind. All children have the tools to reach their full learning potential.
© Castleford Academy Trust 2020