At Roskear Primary and Nursery school, we believe that all children have the potential to succeed in mathematics. We use a ‘mastery approach’ to the teaching of mathematics and believe that all pupils should have access to the same curriculum content and, rather than being extended with new learning, they should deepen their conceptual understanding by tackling challenging and varied problems. Similarly with calculation strategies, children must not simply rote learn procedures but demonstrate their understanding of these procedures through the use of concrete and pictorial representations. This in- turn meets the three aims of the National Curriculum (Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning).
Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract
The principle of the concrete – pictorial - abstract (CPA) approach is that for children to have a true understanding of a mathematical concept, they need to master all three phases. Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage. Pupils will use a variety of concrete objects to explore mathematical concepts and model problems. Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage, where visual representations of concrete objects are used to help students visualise problems. Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage. After achieving a solid understanding in the previous two stages, abstract concepts (such as mathematical symbols) will be introduced. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations. For example, if a child is working abstractly, they may be asked to prove their answer using concrete or pictorial methods. For the purposes of the pupils we refer to CPA as ‘show it,’ ‘draw it’ and ‘explain it’ (with ‘prove it’ continuing to deepen their understanding).
Daily Maths Lessons
Children at Roskear have maths lessons which have five elements: In focus, Let’s Learn, Guided Practice and Independent Practice.
In Focus (I.F)
This initial section of the lesson is a ‘hook’ which relates to prior learning and the main learning intention. It can be an image, a conjecture or question which pupils’ discuss together before sharing with the class.
Let’s Learn (L.L)
This is where the teacher unpicks the pupils’ thinking and teaches the main skills required for the lesson. CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approaches will be used during this time to scaffold their understanding of mathematical ideas. This may be recorded in books, whiteboards, or through partner talk.
Guided Practice (G.P)
This is where the children attempt a series of questions (which challenge the children through carefully planned variation) to apply their learning and consolidate the teaching part of the lesson. There is also the opportunity to reason and/or problem solve during this section (either through whole class discussion, partner talk or written questions). Children are encouraged to use the aforementioned stem sentences so that they can articulate their answers appropriately.
Independent Practice (I.P)
The children can choose from two different tasks – Ready to Rock and Flying High.
‘Ready to Rock’- provides further consolidation of the ‘Let’s learn’ example and ‘Guided practice’ questions with reasoning opportunities.
‘Flying High’ – provides pupils with questions to further apply their skills from the Guided Practice section with reasoning opportunities.
Should a child finish their activity before the end of the lesson, they will be further extended with a Challenge (either a separate activity if they have completed Flying High, or a section of the Flying High activity if they have completed Ready to Rock).
Throughout the lesson, teachers will model the new learning with appropriate resources (concrete or pictorial) to help the children understand the learning. These will then be available for the children to use throughout their independent learning time.
Both Ready to Rock and Flying High will challenge the children through carefully planned variation so that the children are constantly thinking about how to apply their learning.
Rapid Recall (R.R)
This is a recap of the children’s previous learning to help ensure that it 'sticks'. It will generally include a question from the previous day, the previous week, the previous term and the previous year (using White Rose’s Flashback4 resource). This generally takes place straight after the children come in from lunch, however this may change depending on the timetable that day.
Number Fluency Sessions
In addition to the daily maths lesson, pupils receive 15 mins of ‘essential skills’ practice every day. This aims to specifically develop number fluency by a variety of methods and fun activities. Number fluency is essential to problem solving and reasoning and in particular the need to be efficient, accurate and flexible with numbers and related number facts. Years 1,2 and 3 use the ‘Number Sense’ program during this time, following their carefully constructed program to ensure that children “develop confidence and flexibility with number and fluency in addition and subtraction facts”. Years 4-6 teach a range of essential skills during this time using ‘Fluent in Five’ (a Third Space Learning resource), as well as dedicated Times Tables sessions.
Roskear’s own 99 club has been specifically designed by us to target each year groups’ key areas of fluency to ensure automaticity of key facts and skills. Children receive weekly tests and have their own badges to record which club they are currently undertaking. Children are given five minutes to complete the appropriate number of questions and are encouraged to practice at home. Homework versions of each club for each year can be found on the school website.
Once marked, these quizzes will be kept in their 99 club folders over the year. Results are recorded weekly and progress in achievement is celebrated. Once a child has achieved 100% in the allotted time scale they receive a sticker to put on their 99 club badge. There are nine stickers to collect each year. Every year, every child will start again on the 11 club with the ‘essential skills’ specific to that year group.
Opportunities will be provided for children to practise and consolidate their skills and knowledge; to develop and extend their techniques and strategies, and to prepare for their future learning through out-of-class activities or homework. Information is also available on our school website, including the school’s homework policy.
Maths Whizz - Ruby Red Retention Gems (whole school)
For children in Years 1-6, ‘Maths Whizz’ is their set homework each week, where they gain their ‘Ruby Red Retention Gems’. This area of Maths Whizz allows the children to consolidate their learning and practice previously learnt skills. Children will have received their log in details to Maths Whizz and take an initial assessment in class. These log-ins will have been stuck into their reading records (if you need another copy, please contact your class teacher). As always, we encourage children not to share their log-in information with other children. We ask that children gain a minimum of 3 ‘Red Gems’ a week. Learning at home will be celebrated in class.
99 club (whole school)
If any children cannot access Maths Whizz at home, they can take home a 99 club test instead to practice and return to school.
Multiplication Tables Check (Year 4 only)
In the lead up to the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check, the children in year 4 will receive extra home learning to complete to help practice their times tables knowledge. Whilst we encourage all children to participate in this, it is not a required piece of home learning.
Mathematics teaching for the pre-school, nursery and reception children is taught through the ‘Mathematical Development’ (including number and shape, space and measures) area of learning, using Development Matters’ curriculum guidance to ensure continuity of practice to KS1. There are resources available for the children to access during continuous provision. The activities and resources available to the children to access during child led learning, promote the concepts of early maths,. In YR and nursery, pupils will also participate in daily ‘carpet maths’ sessions, including a daily ‘maths meeting’ to provide additional support to the development of mathematical skills and knowledge. The aim is that by the end of the Reception all children are prepared to participate in the daily dedicated mathematics lesson, thus, appropriate readiness for the next stage of their education.