Maths at Pucklechurch
We aim for our children to be confident mathematicians and to be able to notice connections, patterns and real-life links in all areas of their mathematical learning. We want children to aspire to a good level of understanding and confidence, believe that there is no mathematical skill they cannot master without dedication and a growth mindset and achieve the very best they can. We want our children to have fluent arithmetic skills and a strong times tables knowledge.
We follow the National Curriculum for Mathematics. We ensure the 3 aims of the National Curriculum (Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving) are planned for routinely in our lessons. All children have regular opportunity to explore and represent mathematics using carefully selected equipment and a concrete and pictorial approach will be used alongside abstract representations. Children are expected and supported to explain their reasoning and understanding and use an APE approach to do this (Answer, Prove, Explain).
The White Rose Scheme of Work is the basis of our approach. It sets out clear small progressive steps per term, per year group. Each small step requires our children to demonstrate explicit skills in calculations, through reasoning and in problem solving. Across the curriculum, we seek to provide children with learning opportunities that will utilise and embed maths skills learned during core maths lessons - for instance, using their knowledge of nets of shapes to create packaging for a product in a Design & Technology lesson or visiting Concorde in Bristol!
Concrete: this is the “doing” stage, using concrete objects to model problems. This approach brings concepts to life by allowing children to experience and handle physical objects themselves. Every new abstract concept is learned first with a “concrete” or physical experience.
For example, if a problem is about adding up four baskets of fruit , the children might first handle actual fruit before progressing to handling counters or cubes which are used to represent the fruit.
Pictorial: This is the “seeing” stage, using representations of the objects to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding by drawing or looking at pictures, circles, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.
Abstract: this is the “symbolic” stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model problems. Only once a child has demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the “concrete” and “pictorial” representations of the problem, can the teacher introduce the more “abstract” concept, such as 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.
Children have daily arithmetic lessons, to focus on their fluency in calculating and helping them to develop accurate and efficient methods. This is also the focus of our homework each week. By increasing their skills in this area, children become more confident mathematicians and are able to tackle more complicated reasoning and problem-solving questions.
Fluency in times tables is an important feature of mathematical learning. Here at Pucklechurch, we are always looking for interesting ways to engage and challenge children in their times tables learning. Each week, children from Year One to Six are set weekly times table home-learning. We have subscribed all learners to Times Tables Rockstars. (www.ttrockstars.com). This website is intuitive and recognises which tables children know and need to learn; and it automatically adjusts questions to allow for revision and introduce new facts. Children have the option to play a range of sessions: Garage (tables automatically set by the software); Studio (all tables up to 12X 12); Soundcheck (five second timing for each question up to 12 X 12); and tournaments, which the children can gig against other band members, children from local schools or children from across the world!
In addition, the children are tested on their times tables each week in school. When children successfully complete each test, they are welcomed to the next club in our weekly whole school Celebration Assembly.
There is a guide below which can be downloaded by parents for advice on other ways to support times tables learning at home.