Maths at Hetton Lyons
Mathematics teaches children how to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems.
Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
What does the national Curriculum Say about Maths?
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and no routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
How do we teach Maths in School?
The 3 aims of the National Curriculum for Maths are to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
We use a mastery approach to maths, which means that topics are taught in depth giving opportunities for pupils to master taught concepts as well as recap on previous learning. Children have the opportunity to both explore new learning, practise concepts and strategies and develop accuracy and efficiency with methods. They are also provided with rich opportunities to apply their understanding through a wide range of reasoning and problem solving situations.
How is progression achieved?
We have a long term plan that details the progression expected across each year group. This enables pupils to develop their mathematical knowledge and skills in a structured way. As the children progress through school, they will be continually challenged to tackle problem solving and reasoning style questions. Children will revisit maths from the previous day, week, month, term or even year during daily maths in order to reinforce that sticky knowledge and skills. This long term plan allows us to ensure children make progress, are supported well and are challenged.
Children 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. It involves moving from concrete materials, to pictorial representations, to abstract symbols and problems.
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.
Children 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.
Maths at Hetton Lyons Primary School
At Hetton Lyons Primary School we have high expectations for every child. Teaching for mastery in Maths is essentially the expectation that all pupils will gain a deep understanding of the maths they are learning. From Reception onwards, children are taught to use a range of resources and pictorial representations to support their understanding of concepts and methods.
As part of the mastery approach, we follow White Rose Maths from EYFS to Y6.
One easy way you can support your child’s maths learning is to get them to help with the maths you do in everyday tasks.
- involve them in weighing out ingredients in the kitchen
- ask them to help add up the shopping bill
- see if they can work out how long it is until the next bus arrives
- read a TV magazine and work out how long a programme is on for, or how long between their favourite programmes
These simple tasks help the children see the everyday application of maths. Using fun games, songs and activities with children will also really help with learning together.
Another way to help your child would be to support them with their times tables. Times tables are an integral part of maths and therefore it is vitally important that children have a grasp of their tables up to 12 x 12 by the end of Y4. With this in mind, we are promoting the use of an online programme called Times Table Rockstar, which the children in KS2 have a personalised login for. As part of the programme, children battle other children, classes and even the teachers to see who is the ultimate times table rockstar champion.
Useful Maths Websites for parents and children
Children learn best when they practice a new skill in lots of different exciting ways, both in school and at home. For this reason, the staff and children at Hetton Lyons have put together a list of ‘useful’ websites that help with learning in maths. The websites include lots of resources and games which help children practice their maths skills.
Times Tables Rockstars
Early Years Experience (Aimed at Early Years and has lots of ideas for games you can play at home to help develop maths with your child)
EYFS BBC (Aimed at Early Years)
Top marks (Suitable for Early Years, Key Stage 1 and 2 and has lots of links to other websites)
Crickweb Early-Years.html (Suitable for EYFs, Key Stage 1 and 2 children)
Woodlands Maths Zone (Created by a school in Kent and contains hundreds of interactive maths games aimed at key Stage 1 and 2)
ICT games (Aimed at both Key Stage 1 and 2)
KS1 Bitesize (Aimed at children in Key Stage 1)
Digger and the Gang (Aimed at Key Stage 1 and 2 children)
KS2 Bitesize (Aimed at Key Stage 2 children)
Primary Resources (Aimed at Key Stage 2 children)
The School Run