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Our Maths Intent at Olga

"No employment can be managed without arithmetic, no mechanical invention without geometry." Benjamin Franklin


At Olga we aim to provide a maths curriculum which will encourage children to become creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. Mathematics is crucial in everyday life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards maths that will stay with them forever. Being secure in maths when leaving primary school is about resilience and being fascinated with learning and not being afraid to make mistakes.

Our maths curriculum is linked to our curriculum drivers in a variety of ways. Our approach to problem solving ensures we are developing a growth mindset in our learners, through a focus on understanding that mistakes are helpful and we can learn even more by making them. The children are encouraged to pick an appropriate level of challenge that makes them think and stretch themselves during lessons. We aim, through our rich science and maths curriculum, to inspire our children into the possibilities provided by a career in STEM.


Maths Curriculum

Our teaching is underpinned by the three main aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning mathematically and problem solving.

We develop fluency through mental maths and arithmetic skills. We use the Big Maths scheme, Times Table Rockstars and our mental starters to become confident in key mathematical skills that can be transferred to other learning in the curriculum. Our maths homework is deliberately focussed on number bonds and multiplication facts in order to further embed this. We work with the children through targeted interventions to ensure that all children master the learning for their age group and are ready to progress.

The teaching of reasoning and problem solving is taught through the main maths sessions, we follow the White Rose Maths scheme at Olga. We begin teaching any new concept using concrete manipulatives such as numicon or place value counters. We then move to pictorial representations of the maths before finally moving to abstract problems to ensure that the children fully understand the concept before moving on. We use low threshold, high ceiling Nrich and NCETM activities to allow the children to ‘play’ with maths and work on longer mathematical problems where there may not always be a set answer. Our rich mathematical tasks build children' perseverance, mathematical reasoning, ability to apply knowledge creatively in unfamiliar contexts, and confidence in tackling new challenges.

Understanding the vocabulary in maths is a challenge for many children at Olga. We consistently use a shared vocabulary throughout the school when problem solving, and in all lessons use physical resources and visuals to help with understanding. Language structures and sentence stems support children to articulate their thinking and we encourage our children to use their oracy skills to explain and justify their thinking.