At St Gildas’ we aim for excellence in mathematical achievement throughout the school. We will foster and develop this through intelligent practice. This incorporates the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract) approach to Maths, which is widely recognised as a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths in pupils. It was developed by American psychologist Jerome Bruner and it is an essential technique within the Singapore method of teaching maths for mastery.
Pupils at St Gildas’ School we will teach maths in a way that:
· delivers maths in line with new National Curriculum guidelines
· ensures the delivery of maths is centred around a CPA approach
· creates a lively, exciting and stimulating environment in which the children can learn and enjoy maths
· encourages children to use mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain and to give answers in full sentences (eg: “How many faces does a cube have?” “A cube has 6 faces.)
· allows time for partner talk in order to stimulate and develop a curiosity for Maths
· challenges children to stretch themselves and take risks in their learning
· builds fluency and variation
· creates a sense of awe and wonder surrounding Maths
· provides children with the opportunity for low threshold-high ceiling challenges and exposure to routine and non-routine problem solving
Generally, the children are taught maths every day. Where this is not possible, two lessons might be taught in one day. Planning is based around the White Rose scheme for the medium and long term planning. This allows teachers to see the expected learning after the lesson and the progression of teaching throughout the year. We encourage teachers to not to move on to new topics until each is fully mastered. Following the White Rose scheme of planning ensures that all National Curriculum objectives are covered by the end of each year. Teachers are free to structure individual lessons as they deem fit with the requirement that the learning objective is clear and is met, all children are on task and all children are being stretched. There will be times when children need to rehearse and practise strategies learnt in previous lessons. Although some worksheets may be applicable – these should be carefully selected as fewer more meaningful questions which reveal a structure and a pattern is best practice.
All children are expected to use manipulatives during lessons whenever relevant as a means to fully mastering abstract concepts. Children use physical objects and manipulatives in the concrete “doing” stages and use and develop visual representations during the pictorial “seeing” stage. Visual representation includes use of the Singapore Bar Model. Some children may move onto abstract learning quicker than others.
Fluency with times-tables:
Children are required to secure and master their times tables by Year 4. To ensure conceptual understanding, times-tables should be taught using manipulatives so that patterns and relationships are understood. There should not be an over-reliance on rote learning, although we do not discourage parents from rote practising of times-tables at home.
Each year group should have access to the following manipulatives:
Wherever possible, teachers will make links with other subjects across the curriculum. Science is particularly suited to this with measuring, recording and graphs. History too can provide links, for example while exploring Roman, Egyptian and Mayan number systems. Geography provides excellent opportunities for studying statistics and data and Art allows the concepts of symmetry, ratio and shape to be explored.