Mathematics, like reading and writing, is a key life skill which all children can and should be able to master.
At St Mark’s, our belief is that every single child can attain highly in maths. There is no special maths ‘gene’ or talent that makes some children attain highly and others struggle. With the right teaching and support, all children can master and enjoy primary school mathematics!
The National Curriculum 2014 promotes a ‘mastery’ approach to teaching and learning mathematics which we in turn follow. Mastery means seeking to develop a deep understanding of mathematical concepts such that the children can use and apply a concept to solve all kinds of problems related to it. Mastery means deep understanding of maths ideas, not just following rote formulae.
To develop depth of understanding, we try to use what is called the Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract (CPA) approach. This is highly successful in areas such as Singapore and Shanghai. It means showing children with physical (concrete) models what a maths idea such as place value, subtraction or ratio really means. When children have a chance to see and touch maths in physical models, they start to develop a depth of understanding. Teachers then show how to develop this understanding using a diagram (picture) before progressing to a purely abstract approach (just symbols such as words and numbers). Skilfully used, the provide the right support to CPA All children.
We use a Mastery curriculum designed to teach all concepts in longer blocks of time so that the children have time to understand and learn an idea in all its forms and subtleties. This curriculum (see link below) is called the White Rose curriculum, and was developed by a government funded maths hub. This curriculum is supported by further materials from Oxford University and the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM) (see link below). You will see that our curriculum puts an equal emphasis on developing fluency (quick recall of facts and concepts) and then applying this to reasoning problems and problem solving.
Knowledge is power! We aim to inform you so that you can help your child to reach their full potential in maths and attain highly.
We hold Maths parents evenings in the Autumn term every year which show you what your child should be learning in some key areas of maths such as place value, the 4 operations (+ - x and ÷), fractions and decimals. Please find these documents below.
We have also developed our own guide to teaching place value and addition and subtraction, using the CPA approach.
Finally, please also find an interesting guide to teaching and learning multiplication and division from Surrey Maths Hub.