Mathematics at Westgate

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In 2014, we were proud to become part of the DfE’s England-China Maths Education Innovation Research Project, having been selected to participate by the Yorkshire Ridings Maths Hub. This meant that in September/ October 2014, our head teacher Ms Carpenter travelled to Shanghai with 80 teachers and senior leaders from across England, to spend a fortnight learning alongside Shanghai maths teachers in primary schools across the city. You can see some photographs of her time at Minhang Experimental Primary School further down this page. In February 2015, we welcomed two Shanghai teachers, Helen and Jason, back to Westgate. They taught in Y3 and Y5 and our teachers had the opportunity to participate in their lessons and discuss their teaching with them. In Shanghai, this collaborative approach to professional development is called Teacher Research Group (TRG).

We learned an enormous amount from the initial exchange and we have continued to learn lots and lots as we develop our mathematics teaching to be consistent with a mastery approach.

We use textbooks in maths from Y1 to Y6- a high-quality textbook called Maths No Problem!, based on the mastery curriculum in Singapore, and the only DfE approved textbook for mathematics. Teachers have received extensive training and continue to work with our subject leader, Mrs Hattersley, using TRGs to support our staff to refine their teaching further. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, we have worked hard to develop a curriculum that builds core number sense for children, in order to provide a solid base on which to build in Key Stage One.

We have also welcomed many visitors from other schools across the region, to share our learning so far; we work closely with Yorkshire Ridings maths Hub; and we are engaged in leading collaboration with local schools to develop their mathematics teaching further too. We’re really proud of the progress we’ve made so far- and we are looking forward to continuing to learn and develop further.

Our maths lessons incorporate the key principles of teaching for mastery: We take the whole class through the mathematics in small steps, to build deep understanding. We ask children to reason, discuss and connect their mathematics, using mathematical vocabulary and a range of representations for all children to show mathematical concepts and relationships. We expect children to develop fluency with their recall and use of key number facts, including addition pairs and multiplication facts. We challenge children by asking them to reason about and apply their mathematics, and to identify common errors and misconceptions. Our lessons keep all children together on core mathematical content: anybody who struggles is give same-day support to enable them to address their difficulty and be in a position to access the following day’s lesson. This is helping us to narrow gaps in children’s achievement over time. Most importantly, all children’s confidence in maths has increased as they all have the opportunity to tackle problems and challenges.