National Curriculum Aims
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all children:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
- Reason mathematically using mathematical language
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics
When children are taught to understand maths concepts and how they work, they develop fluency and the ability to solve non-routine maths problems without relying on rote learning or having to memorise procedures. This is maths mastery.
We follow a maths mastery scheme called "Maths - No Problem!" which:
- Helps children develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of maths
- Is based on world wide evidence and research into the most successful approaches to teaching maths
- Results in greater progress by moving at a pace where children have time to really understand 'why' as well as 'how'
- Uses questioning, discussion, feedback, finding patterns, and mental strategies.
- Matches the current National Curriculum for mathematics
- Is endorsed by the Department for Education, National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Maths and OFSTED
Click to view Parent Videos on:
Basics of place value and addition
How are lessons taught?
Maths - No Problem!
Lessons are typically broken into three parts which can last one or more days. Children master topics before moving on.
- Initial Task – the class spends time on a problem guided by the teacher and designed to provide children with a challenge that can be solved in a number of different ways (Conceptual Variation). Whilst it is the same mathematical idea for all children, the ideas and approach to solving the problem can vary widely.
- Guided Practice – practice new ideas in groups, pairs or individually guided by the teacher. This provides a quick assessment of children's understanding and any misconceptions to be addressed.
- Independent Practice – practice on your own. Once children have mastered the concept, they use their reasoning and problem solving skills to develop their depth of learning. Challenges can be tackled to develop application of understanding in different contexts and misconceptions can be addressed with individuals or groups.
Children reflect on their learning at the end of a sequence of learning and are encouraged to share this orally. Older children also record this in a 'maths journal'. By articulating what they have learnt, children are developing explanation skills and consolidating their understanding.
Text books and work books provide examples to stimulate discussion, provide problems and to check understanding but are used flexibly to meet the needs of the class in any particular lesson.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach
Children (and adults!) can find maths difficult because it is abstract. The CPA approach builds on children’s existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. Children learn new concepts initially by using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
Differentiated activities through depth rather than acceleration
The class works through the programme with time spent consolidating understanding of each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years. Tasks and activities are designed so all children are successful whilst still containing challenging components and plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Children who grasp concepts quickly, are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic to develop their higher-order thinking skills. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.
Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage children's higher-level thinking, building on what children know to develop their understanding of how maths ideas links together.
The questions and examples are carefully varied to encourage children to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen children's understanding and reveal misconceptions.