At Westgate Primary School all children, including SEN and disadvantaged learn the following concepts and themes through studying different mathematical concepts and themes throughout the school:
- Number and Place Value
- Problem solving
- Children are able to manipulate numbers through the development of their mental maths skills
- Children learn through concrete, visual and abstract teaching
- Children are able to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving, articulating their mathematical understanding in age appropriate ways
- Children develop a mathematical understanding of the world around them, making connections in real life contexts
In Maths, fluency, problem solving, reasoning and relational understanding are at the heart of our learning progression. We use the Concrete Visual Abstract (CVA) approach and allow pupils to spend enough time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it with practice, before moving onto the next. All new ideas are built on previous knowledge and understanding, and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between topics. We provide a basis for pupils to develop their understanding of the world as they learn to reason mathematically and to develop an appreciation of the beauty and power of maths together with a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. As part of this, we want pupils to be able to accurately articulate their thoughts and opinions through the acquisition and use of technical and non-technical vocabulary.
By connecting our British Values through the teaching of Maths, we explore issues that affect us all in our lives and this helps inform decisions that will shape our future for example, individual liberty where for example they work out percentages to decide whether they are saving money when buying discounted items.
In EYFS, basic counting and number recognition skills are developed using numbers from zero to 20.
In KS1 children develop their mental and concrete understanding of the relationship between numbers through daily small group learning as part of the Number Masters programme. This covers numbers up to 100 and enables pupils to develop their confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value.
This connects with Maths Masters in KS2, where children develop their understanding of number using a wider range of mental visual and abstract methods. They become increasingly confident to use more efficient methods of calculating using larger numbers. The learning of times tables forms part of this mental skills development, moving from the 2, 5 and 10 times tables in KS1 to the knowledge of all the tables up to 12 times and the associated division facts by the end of Year 4.
Development of concrete, visual and abstract understanding
From EYFS through to Year 6, new concepts are introduced using concrete, manipulative resources to establish a clear understanding. Learning then moves to a visual stage where understanding is developed through visualisation using number lines, bar modelling and annotated drawings for example. Finally, the concept is shown in an abstract form that is age appropriate. For example, grid method recording of multiplication in Year 3, moves on to vertical multiplication in Year 4.
Fluency, reasoning and problem solving
In EYFS, this includes solving simple maths problems using concrete resources to add and subtract small amounts and developing an understanding of the concepts of more and less and the ordering of numbers.
In KS1, children develop their fluency in the use of the four operations (=, -, x, ÷ ), and other mathematical concepts including simple fractions, shape and space, measure including time and money and the statistical representation of data. They then develop their reasoning skills about these concepts through solving simple problems and being able to articulate their reasoning through the correct use of mathematical vocabulary, reading and spelling these words accurately.
These skills are further developed through KS2 as children learn how to apply their fluency to increasingly complex, multi-step and multi-operation problems. The concepts covered include further work on fractions, percentages, decimal numbers and ratio.
Real life contexts
Mathematical reasoning and problem solving are closely linked to real life contexts with connections being made to other areas of the curriculum as far as possible. Through our ACE weeks, children are given the opportunity to apply their mathematical learning as part of explaining the answer to a foundation subject, topic-based question through independent and group work.