When teaching maths, we use a scheme called Maths No problem, which is based on the mathematical teaching developed in Singapore. The scheme creates a journey for your children that builds on their previous knowledge and allows them to flourish. Problem solving, fluency and relational understanding are at the heart of the scheme and is found throughout every lesson. It uses the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach and allows pupils to spend enough time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it was practice, before moving onto the next one.
These are a few key points that underpin the Maths No Problem approach.
1. Concrete, pictorial, abstract
Concrete: physical resources with which children can represent the problem e.g. multi-link, counters, dienes and grids/cubes
Pictorial: diagrams, which children can draw or are presented with on which they can display the problem
Abstract: looking at a problem or question with just numbers and understanding what they represent, without needing a pictorial diagram or concrete resources
Children need to have the option to move through these stages and have all three of them available at all times
2. Bar model – these are a very large part of ‘Singapore maths’. They help the children to display a problem and work out the operations they need to use in order to solve it.
3. Discussion – children are continuously encouraged to discuss and share their ideas and thoughts as maths should be something that is collaborative.
4. Recognising patterns – it is very important that children are able to recognise patterns in order to make their calculation processes more efficient.
5. Thinking mathematically - Pupils learn to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand and relying on rote learning. At least once a week, children will have the opportunity to reflect on their thinking in the form of a maths journal.
A rough structure of a maths lessons at Ravenscote:
1. Anchor Task – the children start the lesson exploring a new method or concept together whilst being guided by the teacher. They are encouraged to think of as many methods as possible and use discussions with their peers to inspire and to strengthen ideas.
2. New Learning – children share their ideas from the anchor task and the teacher introduces them to new methods that can be used during the lesson.
3. Guided Practice – children practise new learning in groups, pairs or individually guided by the teacher.
4. Independent Practice – practise on your own. Once children have mastered the concept they use their reasoning and problem-solving skills to develop their depth of learning.
For further information on Maths No Problem, please see the links below.
The fundamental idea in maths is explained: the principle that we can only add two or more items (or “nouns”) when they are both the same.
An illustration of the progression of learning number bonds from first exploring with concrete materials to representing the amounts using symbols (digits) and an exploration of the systematic approach to discovering the many possibilities of number bonds to 10.
A demonstration of breaking a number into its component parts to assist in building understanding of abstract subtraction methods.
Strategies for learning calculation by starting with concrete materials (base 10 blocks).
Using visual methods and reasoning to figure out more demanding calculations from what we already know in our tables’ knowledge.
Exploring strategies to partition numbers and investigating their number bonds to simplify long division. A strategy can involve finding easier number bonds within a larger number in order to divide the larger number more conveniently.
An illustration of how to use diagrams with rectangles to find unknown quantities.
A further illustration using a word problem to find unknown quantities.
We also use Times Table Rockstars to develop times tables fluency.
For children who require extra support we use the following intervention schemes:
Year 3 – Number Sense Maths
Year 4, 5 and 6 – Success@Arithmetic