Maths and Problem Solving
Please see links below for further information about the subject disciplines in this domain:
Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.
— Albert Einstein, mathematician & theoretical physicist
We want all our West Lea community to flourish and we want to embed this in the maths curriculum offer. 5 key factors to flourishing are
- Positive Emotion: To feel that we enjoy maths; that maths is creative, innovative and empowering.
- Engagement: For all children and young people to have full access to the curriculum. To participate in a variety of teaching approaches. To be motivated to explore the world with a mathematical lens.
- Strong Relationships To see teachers linking maths to other subjects. Seeing all our children and young people experiencing and communicating in real-life mathematical situations.
- Meaning: Maths has a purpose, is part of our world, has a benefit to all teaching and learning through making mathematical connections and gaining transferrable problem solving skills.
- Sense of accomplishment. I am resilient. I won’t give up. I can do this, I can describe this, I can explain this… Eureka!
We have developed an all-through maths progression map which sequences maths development from birth to 14 years. We have used the ‘Birth to 5 matters’, EYFS frameworks, NCETM progression maps and the national curriculum programmes of study to create a set of strands which are built on across the school years, with regard to cognitive ability rather than chronological age. This ensures every child and young adult can reach their potential through exploring foundational concepts and building on these sequentially to create a maths progression journey which is personalised for each learner.
We adopt the spiral curriculum approach by revisiting, building and developing skills and knowledge. We frame this by weaving the development of mathematical thinking through a topic, using a blend of Bruner’s Enactive-Iconic-Symbolic approach, (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract; CPA). We also develop problem-solving skills and knowledge through maths investigations, to seek out real-world maths and applications to careers and lifelong learning. We build resilience through applying reasoning and knowledge to tasks across all strands of the maths curriculum (for example, algebra, place value & geometry). We have a specialist focus on developing algebraic thinking and explicitly teach this developmentally from birth through to KS3 and beyond. We use John Mason’s pedagogical theories to inform a multi-campus approach to teaching mathematical thinking as a process which encounters multiple representations of the same idea and thereby gain fluency. We use a range of specific prompt questions to scaffold the process towards generalising statements within topics.
Children and young people are able to apply their mathematical thinking powers in their everyday lives. They can use their knowledge, reasoning, communication and problem-solving skills confidently to make sense of the world whilst pursuing their ambitions and interests. They can make informed financial decisions to minimise the risks of being exploited and see the relationships between maths and real-life contexts as they progress to independent living. They can realise their potential in maths and gain maths qualifications which support them to access college courses in their chosen vocation or interests. They develop resilience to be both challenged and supported on individualised pathways towards our internship programmes. This maximises their future success in gaining employment, where they can utilise their maths skills and continue building a happy and flourishing future.
Our science curriculum aims to give all children a strong understanding of the world around them whilst acquiring specific skills and knowledge to help them to think scientifically.
We believe that students deserve a broad and ambitious science curriculum, rich in skills and knowledge, which ignites curiosity and prepares them well for future learning or employment. We encourage students to be curious of phenomena and events of the world around them.
Lessons are designed to develop practical skills by working scientifically to understand scientific concepts. We encourage students to confidently ask questions and develop an inquisitive mind. To analyse and explore the big questions and discuss science-based issues that may affect their own lives, the direction of society and the future of the world.
We want pupils to be hands on with science, carrying out experiments and seeking for answers. We want children to learn how science is part of our life and be able to investigate, gather and use evidence to form conclusions.
Our learners, through science will problem solve, develop scientific attitudes and become independent thinkers. The journey students set upon in science learning at West Lea, provides them with the necessary skills needed to progress, having the knowledge and skills that is relevant to their lives and work opportunities.
Our curriculum follows the National Curriculum topics and as students move through the curriculum, they will continue to develop their curiosity, provide insight into working scientifically and appreciate the value of Science in their everyday lives.
We will use the local area and outside spaces as much as possible within our teaching.
Students will develop skills in working scientifically observing over time, classifying & sorting, pattern seeking, research, comparative and fair testing. We endeavour to ensure students understand the natural world and support students to become scientifically literate participants in society
Our children begin their science experience in Early Years Foundation Stage, with informal investigation within the setting. Teachers facilitate children’s curiosity with open ended questions and clearly thought-out learning experiences which are both child led and adult led.
Through Science learning children will build on their science knowledge as they progress through West Lea. We will explore the following topics with hands on experiments and investigations at:
- Everyday uses and their Materials
- Changing Materials
- Animals including Humans,
- The Seasons: Seasonal Changes
- Sounds and vibrations
- Plants and Trees
- Everyday uses and their Materials,
- Changing Materials,
- Animals including Humans,
- Plants and Trees a
- Forces and Magnets,
- Everyday Materials,
- Forensic Science understanding.
- Earth and Space,
- Forces and gravity,
- States of Matter,
- Changing Materials,
- looking after our world and Animals including humans.
- Chemistry: Heating and Cooling,
- Evolution and inheritance,
- Light Investigation (Knowledge),
- Electricity and Energy (Knowledge)
- Looking after our world: Wild animals
- Renewable Energy
- Chemistry: Chemical Reactions, Animals including humans,
- Biology Forces: balance and construction,
- Electricity and Energy (construction project),
- Our World – Oceans. Investigative Science Investigative skills using investigations based on chemistry/physic
ELC: Science Today
- Science in the universe.
- Renewable Energy
- Introduction to plant care
Science lessons will teach a range of practical scientific methods, processes, and skills:
- asking simple questions and recognising that they can be answered in different ways;
- observing closely,
- using simple equipment;
- Hands on experiments and exploratory learning
- performing simple tests;
- identifying and classifying
- using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions
- gathering and recording data to help in answering questions.
Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons, involving high-quality resources to aid understanding of conceptual knowledge. However, our curriculum is fluid in nature to ensure it always meets the needs of our learners.
Working Scientifically skills are embedded into lessons to ensure that skills are systematically developed throughout.
We teach science vocabulary within each lesson. Students will be able to build on prior knowledge and link ideas together, enabling them to question and become enquiry-based learners.
Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all pupils are able of achieving in science.
Science progress is measured through the child’s ability to obtain sustainable knowledge, remember more and explain more. Science books are used to see progress.
Our consistent approach results in fun, engaging, science
education, that provides children with the foundations and knowledge for understanding the world. This is evident
in pupils’ work, photos, and displays. Children have the understanding that science has changed our lives and that it is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Children are aware of the possibilities for careers in Science.
● To be confident about what they are teaching and understand the scientific knowledge and skills required
for the topic being taught.
● To use a wide range of resources that are easily accessible and well maintained.
● To plan and prepare meaningful science experiments
● To use open ended questions to challenge and lead children’s thinking.
● To challenge pupils offering appropriate scaffolding and ensure progression throughout the school.
In EY, children are assessed through observations using EFL(evidence for learning). In KS1 KS2, KS3 & KS4 children are assessed against the LI within the planning or qualification specifications. Teacher assessments are informed through carefully differentiated planning and teaching, targeted questioning, observations, observations of pupils’ work inc. books, student voice, quizzes, challenges and next steps.
Our computing curriculum will engage learners in building knowledge and transferable skills in using computers confidently and efficiently to enable them to move forwards in the world of life and work. They will be emersed into topics from the National Curriculum, developing digital skills, multimedia content creation and coding & programming.
Through teaching computing, we equip students to participate in a rapidly changing world where work and leisure activities are increasingly transformed by technology. It is our intention to enable children to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information using technology. Building confidence and skills in problem solving and finding a solution.
Students will be given opportunities to develop a range of computing skills which include not only being passive users of ICT but also creators. Our curriculum enables learners to confidently practice skills to design, build, use and evaluate when using technology.
We believe that students should be encouraged to use technical vocabulary throughout their learning to deepen their understanding of computers and the programmes and algorithms they use.
It is important to us that the children understand how to use the ever-changing technology to express themselves, as tools for learning and to drive their generation forward into the future.
Our children begin their journey with technology in Early Years, with access to iPads and BeeBots. They will learn and explore with cause-and-effect toys. Teachers facilitate children’s curiosity with challenge and modelling how to use the equipment carefully and safely.
KS1 & 2 Computing will be mapped and taught on a cross curricular basis within other subject areas using iPads and Laptops. Computing is taught within our Maths curriculum. Children will be learning coding and programming computer skills and knowledge using Expresso Coding.
At KS 3 & 4 students will have a discrete computing lesson on their timetable. Students have access to an individual device. We also have a iMac computing room for students to use a range of platforms, both Mac & PCs.
The focus at KS3 will cover the computing national curriculum delivering Computing: Coding and programming, and Information technology.
Students will complete different computing topics half-termly that focus on office ICT skills, data handling, finding and sharing information, multimedia and digital images, digital sound and computer science.
Online safety is mapped within our PSHE learning under keeping safe.
We use online resources to support the learning such as Espresso, LGFL, Microsoft Office & Teams. Pupil will experience different platforms to work on to prepare them for the life and work. These including learning apps on apple iPads and PC laptops. West Lea also has a iMac Media Suite where music technology, animation, video and digital art teaching and learning happens
West Lea learners will be confident with the use of several types of technology.
To be able to transfer the skills they have learnt to other scenarios.
Students will be discussing and reflect on the impact computing has on their learning and lives.
We measure the impact of our curriculum on student learning using the following methods:
- formative assessment through the use of quizzes, activities and completed files
- Images of the children’s practical learning in EFL in early years.
- Children’s work saved onto their individual accounts
- Talking to pupils about their learning (pupil voice).
- Teacher Voice.