The Maths No Problem mission statement:
“We believe that every child can master an understanding and love of maths with the right kind of teaching and support. We want you to join our mission to build the confidence of the nation’s maths teachers and learners.” Maths No Problem (2016).”
We aim to create a love of mathematics through a rigorous, consistent and enthusiastic approach to the teaching of the subject. Teachers and other adults have sufficient expertise and training in the teaching of maths, as well as a clear understanding of how children learn maths. We aspire that every child leaves our school with the skills of a competent mathematician through a mastery approach.
Maths — No Problem is a series of textbooks and workbooks written to meet the requirements of the 2014 English National Curriculum. The Maths — No Problem Primary Series was assessed by the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery.
- At the Beeches Primary, we use a systematic approach to teaching of mathematics implementing a spiral curriculum that incorporates the Maths -No Problem lesson structure.
A lesson consists of:
- Exploration - instead of ‘Let me teach you…’ as a starting point, children are encouraged to explore a problem themselves to see what they already know. At the beginning of each lesson in our school this exploration is referred to as the ‘anchor task’.
- Structured discussion - the teacher will lead a discussion with the children in order to organise the findings of the exploration, compare/contrast strategies and guide toward the most efficient strategy (or the one being learnt that day).
Questions to challenge thinking – teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding. Children are also encouraged to question each other frequently throughout the lesson; this aids the development of independent learners and deepens their understanding. A variety of questions are used, such as: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Is that right? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Questions are also used to challenge children who have grasped the concept. Children are expected to listen to each other’s responses and may be asked to explain someone else’s ideas in their own words, or if they agree/disagree etc.
Discussion and feedback – children have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking throughout the lesson, but are expected to complete written work independently (unless working in a guided group with the teacher).
As part of this, children have daily maths lessons in whole classes where they can participate in practical and exploratory lessons that builds children’s mathematical fluency without the need for rote learning. The scheme introduces new concepts using concrete materials, pictorial and an abstract approach (CPA). Children learn to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand. In addition to this, children are taught mental strategies to solve problems such as drawing a bar model.
Pupils are taught a range of heuristic skills that are built on and progress throughout their time at school.
Teachers draw on observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched, challenged and to identify those who may need additional support or quick intervention to ensure no child is left behind. We introduce mathematics as soon as the children start in EYFS and begin with number recognition incorporating the quantitative aspects of number moving to other topics of mathematics, including addition and subtraction. From Year One, children progress through the different spiral methodology, topics build on one another to help learners develop mathematical fluency. The content is covered in an age-appropriate order and revisited to close conceptual gaps and enrich every learner’s experience.
Opportunities are provided for the use of Maths skills across the curriculum. For example, the data handling aspect of maths is built into Science lessons and demonstrates progression according to the year group’s Maths objectives.
At the end of KS1, children will be able to ask and answer mathematical questions about the maths presented to them. They will have begun to explore how manipulatives can support the learning of mathematical concepts using: cubes, tens and ones blocks and range of other resources.
They will have learnt about: numbers to 100, addition and subtraction practically and using formal written methods, multiplication and division sums using the number 2, 5 and 10, simple fractions, data handling, geometry and measurements. Further to this, they will have started journaling their ideas and explanations in maths. However, in KS1 their recordings are often pictorial and more descriptive writing using a range of mathematical vocabulary with support.
At the end of KS2, children will have a higher level of mathematical thinking and a deep-seated mastery approach by the way in which they approach a mathematical problem. They will be able to ask and answer deeper and broader mathematical questions when presented with a problem that will require employing a range of mathematical skills and knowledge. They will be less reliant of manipulatives (although these can still be used if required) and will approach mathematical concepts in a more methodical, abstract approach.
They will have learnt about: numbers to 10 million including decimals, informal and formal methods whilst solving sums using the four operations, complex fractions, algebra, ratio, percentages, complex data handling skills, geometry and measurements. Furthermore, they will have become competent at journaling their ideas and explanations in maths. In KS2, journal work will display some pictorial representations however, the numerical writing is more reflective using a range of mathematical vocabulary independently.
Having studied the full primary Mathematics curriculum, the children have a clear understanding how the subject is utilised in everyday life and but also a deep-set curiosity to ask further mathematical questions to add to their wealth of understanding of the subject.
The teaching of Mathematics is one of the schools highest priorities. Find out more information about the teaching of mathematics by browsing the information in our website or by requesting an appointment with Mrs Emma McFarland - Assistant Headteacher.
The school’s focus on developing reasoning skills is deepening pupils’ understanding of mathematical concepts. Pupils can discuss which mathematical strategies they are using and why. Evidence from the school’s assessment information and work in pupils’ books indicates that pupils are making good progress from their September starting points. A greater proportion are working at age-related expectations and the higher standard across the school, especially in Years 2 and 6.
Helping your child at home
In order to achieve “mastery” we teach maths using the Concrete-Pictorial- Abstract approach. This means you will see lots of practical activities in every classroom.
There are many activities you can do at home to support your child’s learning with mastery. Online games and activities that focus on the practical or mental side of maths are very useful. Maths games don't have to be computer-based, though.
There are lots of ways in which you can bring maths to life for your child through simple games and activities. Whether out shopping, using the context of money to help develop your child's skills, or helping them to better understand measurement when baking or putting together the new rabbit's hutch, there's always an opportunity for a 'maths moment'!
Board games can be great for developing a child's maths skills too! Playing these can be a really powerful way for young children to become comfortable with our number system, spotting patterns and literally playing with numbers. Dice are an amazing way to bring numbers to life, and can be used in so many creative ways to have fun... and learn at the same time!
Take a look at a few of our year 2 videos;