At Leverton Primary School, we believe that all children have the potential to succeed in mathematics. We use a ‘mastery approach’ to the teaching of mathematics and believe that all pupils should have access to the same curriculum content and, rather than being extended with new learning, should deepen their conceptual understanding by tackling challenging and varied problems. Similarly with calculation strategies, children must not simply rote learn procedures but demonstrate their understanding of these procedures through the use of concrete and pictorial representations, This in-turn meets the three aims of the National Curriculum (Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving)
Concrete- Pictorial- Abstract
The principle of the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach is that for children to a have a true understanding of a mathematical concept, they need to master all three phases.
Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage. Pupils will use a variety of different objects to explore mathematical concepts and model concepts.
Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage where visual representations of concrete objects are used to help students visualise problems.
Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage. After achieving a solid understanding of the previous two stages, abstract concepts (such as mathematical symbols) will be introduced.
Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations. For example, if a child is working abstractly, they may be asked to prove their answer using concrete or pictorial representations. For the purposes of the children we ask them to ‘show their answer’ or ‘prove their answer’
Daily Maths Lesson
Maths Lessons are taught 5 times a week in every class. These lessons are usually an hour long but sometimes maybe extended or revisited later in the day as a booster activity. For the purposes of the children these are known as ‘Maths Meetings’
With the objectives of achieving fluency, reasoning and problem solving in mind, children are asked to show all these skills for each objective in each lesson. Once children have demonstrated that they have a secure understanding of number fluency we ask them to ‘move on’ to showing mathematical reasoning or to solve a problem.
At Leverton maths homework is set online using ‘Mathletics’, every pupil will have their own personal login. Mathletics is tailored to the curriculum for each and every year group and so is the children’s homework. It is assigned by their teacher and is set weekly. For those that have difficulties accessing this at home, there are opportunities for completing their homework throughout the school week including a homework club on Tuesday evening after school.
Children can use this freely to revise what they choose to throughout the year however if they have an uncompleted assigned homework. Mathletics will not let them use the site freely until that homework has been competed.
TTRockstars is another online resource that each child has a personal account for. It is aimed at improving the mental recall of times tables facts.
Children as young as Year 1 have an account for this (although it is not a compulsory part of their curriculum) they will be learning to count in 2s and 10s but also need to begin to ‘link’ the symbol of ‘x’ as ‘abstract’ learners.
Children in Year 2 will need to learn their 2, 5 and 10 times tables by the end of this year. Knowing this at a secure enough level includes division facts (e.g. 35 divided by 5 = 7) as this demonstrates a secure understanding of times tables. Being able to count up in 2s 5s and 10s does not demonstrate that the children know the link between 7 x 5 = 35, 7 groups of 5 and 7 tables each sitting 5 people, how many are in the room?
Children in Year 3 will need to learn their 3s 4s and 8s by the end of this year. And obviously if they have not got a secure understanding of their 2s 5s and 10s from Year 2, be continuing to be learning these in addition. This also includes division facts. (24 divided by 3 = 8)
By the end of Year 4, our children should have a secure understanding of all of their times tables up to 12 x 12 including all the division facts (e.g. 48 divided by 6 = 8). From 2020 onwards children will sit a online multiplication check in Year 4 comprising of 25 random times tables questions and children will have 6 seconds to work out the answer and input it into the keyboard. If the children are still at the ‘counting on fingers’ stage they will not be quick enough to work it out.
Regular practice on TTRockstars will help children to achieve these outcomes.
’99 club’ was introduced in January 2019 and has been running for a couple of months now.
It is run as a weekly mental maths test where the children have 5 minutes to complete their worksheet which is fine tuned to their current level. To ‘move on’ they must get 100% correct. So it is an accuracy test as well as a speed test.
Children all start on the ’11 club’ at the beginning of each year group. This means they have to answer 11 questions correctly to move on to ’22 club’. ’22 club’ is 22 questions in five minutes, ’33 club’ is 33 questions in five minutes and so on. Children need to aim to complete 99 club by the end of their year.
Completing ’99 club’ each week allows us to continuously use and revise all the different aspects of maths on a weekly basis. It doesn’t just test times tables. We can test addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, percentages, BODMAS, Highest common factor and lowest common factor, Rounding to the nearest 10, 100 and 1000, < and >
By using these maths skills every week and also flitting between them all the time will help the children to gain a secure understanding of how to do them.