As a school, we aim to develop in all pupils mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding of concepts in order to prepare them for using their mathematical skills in everyday life.
All children, from Year 1 to Year 6, are taught all aspects of the statutory requirements of the programme of study in the New National Curriculum for Mathematics, which was made statutory in September 2014. The Pupils in Foundation follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, in which mathematics is taught as part of the early learning goals.
We strive to make mathematics enjoyable and relevant to the children, placing emphasis on applying skills and concepts to problem solving activities, thus encouraging them to become independent thinkers. As such, we have adopted a 'Mastery' approach to the teaching of maths across the school.
What is 'Mastery in Mathematics'?
Teaching for mastery in Maths is essentially the expectation that all pupils will gain a deep understanding of the maths they are learning. For understanding in Maths to be secure, learning needs to be built on solid foundations.
A mastery approach to the curriculum means pupils spend far longer on fewer key mathematical concepts whilst working at greater depth. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through speedy teacher intervention and those children who grasp the concepts more quickly are given opportunities to deepen their knowledge and improve their reasoning skills rather than accelerating on to new curriculum content.
In order to implement the mastery approach, we have introduced a new maths scheme, Maths No Problem, in years 1 to 6.
Maths No Problem
The writers of Maths No Problem believe that every child can master an understanding and love of maths with the right kind of teaching and support. The programme is a highly structured approach to teaching maths and deepens the understanding of all children. Each lesson is based around an ‘anchor task’ which the children explore using different methods. The children are encouraged to talk about their maths and explore their ideas fully, then work independently using the workbooks.
Maths No Problem uses the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach to teaching maths. The CPA approach builds on children's existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. It involves moving from concrete materials, to pictorial representations, to abstract symbols and problems.
Concrete is the “doing” stage. During this stage, students use concrete objects to model problems.For example, if a problem involves adding pieces of fruit, children can first handle actual fruit. From there, they can progress to handling abstract counters or cubes which represent the fruit.
Pictorial is the “seeing” stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object they just handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem.
Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children use abstract symbols to model problems.
Currently, year 6 enjoy completing their Ninja Maths challenge twice a week, giving them important oportunities to improve their mental recall of basic number facts. The instant recall of these number facts is essential for developing confident and resilient mathematicians and Ninja Maths makes it an enjoyable and motivating experience for the children.
Each half term, they work on one of the four rules of number: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The challenge involves completing as many of the 151 questions as possible, in the 3 minutes allowed. The children are encouraged to improve at their own rate and their motivation to succeed improves as they very quickly gain in confidence when they see their rapid progress.
The total score gained in the three minutes decides which level of ninja they achieve. They then receive a coloured headband and a ninja card which coresponds with their score. The desire to 'level-up' is a great motivation for the children.
Should the children complete all 151 questions in the 3 minutes, they are given extra questions to complete in order to attain the prestigious ranks of Shogun and Suprim Masuta.
The Ninja Maths programme will be rolled out to all KS2 year groups during the course of the year.
Ninja Maths Rankings