At Whitley Park we aspire to all children believing that they can achieve in mathematics! By building confidence, resilience and a passion for maths, we can show that whatever their prior experience or preconceptions, maths is an exciting adventure that everyone can enjoy, value and master!
At Whitley Park, we believe that maths mastery means:
- Children are efficient mathematicians: learners choose efficient strategies and don’t get bogged down in too many steps.
- Children are accurate mathematicians: learners are accurate in their workings and are able to recall key facts.
- Children are flexible mathematicians : learners understand that there are many ways to solve a problem.
- Children have the ability to build on something that has already been sufficiently mastered
- Children are able to make rich connections across mathematical ideas and to develop a mathematical understanding of the world around them, making connections in real life contexts
- Lessons have problem solving at the heart: learners begin most lessons with problem solving. Pupils are challenged to find and show multiple ways of solving problems, rather than just a focus on getting the correct answer.
Implementation of Maths at WPPNS
At Whitley Park we are following the Maths No Problem mastery scheme of learning, which we tailor and adapt, where necessary, to our maths pupils. Teaching maths for mastery offers pupils access to the full maths curriculum. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and maths resilience in pupils.
The Maths No Problem scheme is:
- Evidence-based approach to teaching maths
- A resource that helps pupils develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of maths
- Reflected in the 2014 English national curriculum for mathematics
- Endorsed by the Department for Education, NCETM and OFSTED
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept in maths, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking on a CPA approach:
Concrete is the “doing” stage. During this stage, students use concrete objects to model problems. Unlike traditional maths teaching methods where teachers demonstrate how to solve a problem, the CPA approach brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical (concrete) objects. With the CPA framework, every abstract concept is first introduced using physical, interactive concrete materials.
Pictorial is the “seeing” stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object they just handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem.
Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children use abstract symbols to model problems. Students will not progress to this stage until they have demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem. The abstract stage involves the teacher introducing abstract concepts (for example, mathematical symbols). Children are introduced to the concept at a symbolic level, using only numbers, notation, and mathematical symbols (for example, +, –, x, /) to indicate addition, multiplication or division. (From MNP)
Children can find it hard to learn facts by rote, especially when they can’t picture what the facts actually mean. The Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach is designed to help learners build strong mental images of the maths they are learning.
Progression of skills
The below link shows our progression of skills in maths from Nursery through to Y6.
Focus on understanding and communication
Throughout the lessons, children are expected to work collaboratively with others and to communicate their thinking. Their written and oral explanation skills, alongside their ability to reason logically, are developed on a daily basis.
All lessons have problem solving at their heart. Pupils are challenged to find and show multiple ways of solving problems, rather than just a focus on getting the correct answer.
At Whitley Park we use prior learning assessments to ensure that all pupils have learning tailored to their needs. At the end of each unit and at the end of a year teachers assess pupil learning to decide whether they are working towards age expected learning, working at age expected learning or working at greater depth in maths for their age.
In the new Primary National Curriculum, times tables up to 12 x 12 are something which children are required to know and understand by Year 4. To help with this, we use Times Tables Rock Stars in years 3, 4, 5 and 6. Times Tables Rock Stars is an online programme of regular and progressive times tables practice. All children have a Times Tables Rock Star login so that they can also practise their times tables regularly at home.
Years 2-6 also learn their times tables through active recall methods. The children learn actions to accompany each of the times tables.
Look out for examples of our magnificent maths on our school twitter page. #WPPNS Magnificent Maths