‘Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers’ (Shakuntala Devi)
At Linthorpe Community primary School we feel it is vital that a positive attitude towards mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our pupils in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in everyday life enabling them to succeed in the future.
Based on the principles of the mastery approach and designed to build upon prior learning, our curriculum is taught through a carefully planned sequence of units of mathematical learning. We believe all children can achieve in mathematics, and teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable small steps. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of learning and provide challenge through rich, open-ended problem solving.
We have adopted a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach which forms an integral part of the learning process.
Concrete is the practical stage using objects to model problems, bringing concepts to life by allowing pupils to experience and handle physical objects themselves during problem-solving and group work.
Pictorial uses representations of the objects to model problems by drawing or looking at pictures, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.
Abstract is the symbolic stage where pupils are able to use abstract symbols using only numbers, notation and mathematical symbols such as +. -, x, ÷.
Although CPA is shown as three distinct stages pupils will go back and forth between each representation to reinforce their understanding of concepts.
Our curriculum aims to ensure that all children:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that children have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their 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 non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Keep up, not catch up
Quality time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no child to be left behind.
If a child fails to grasp a concept or procedure, this is identified quickly and additional support through conferencing time ensures misconceptions are addressed and learning can move forward.
5 a day
Supporting our core mathematics curriculum, we have created a bespoke model for recapping and consolidating learning via a ‘5 a day’ memory cycle. The carefully structured framework provides opportunities for children to revisit concepts, address misconceptions and build on prior learning. A starter activity for every maths lesson, ‘5 a day’ consists of five questions, each from a concept previously taught.
Children self-mark their work. This helps them to reflect on their mistakes and develop a positive attitude to improving their understanding.
The structure and connections within mathematics are emphasised by teachers using accurate mathematical language, so that children develop deep learning that can be sustained. During lessons, children are given opportunities for discussion and are expected to use full sentences and mathematical language.
Knowledge organisers help both children and staff use accurate and consistent mathematical language across the whole school.