At Cotmanhay Junior School, we firmly believe that all of our pupils can be masters in mathematics and great problem solvers! We want our pupils to leave us with skills that will support them on a daily basis in real life. This requires the different areas of maths to be taught slowly, carefully and in detail, allowing all pupils to succeed. Some children will access further independent learning challenges to achieve a deeper level of understanding. This develops resilience and determination to do well.
We have adopted the successful White Rose Maths scheme of work which has a focus of learning through the ‘concrete – pictorial – abstract’ system. This approach helps pupils learn new ideas and build on their existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a more familiar and tangible way. All children should be efficient in using concrete materials before they draw their own images and diagrams to support their learning. Once these two areas are firmly understood, children can tackle work with more confidence and independence, and without practical support.
This example shows concrete, pictorial and abstract representations of fractions.
White Rose Maths uses a series of workbooks and develops good social and communication skills through in depth class discussion. Most lessons start with a Get Ready fluency task:
Let’s Learn follows, when new learning is introduced and discussed by pupils. There are opportunities to demonstrate understanding through independent work, where adults are making informal assessments before pupils access further teacher input or work independently. Recap lessons are built in to support the closing of gaps.
Pupils consolidate their understanding through Varied Fluency activities. Deeper understanding is achieved through challenges taken from recommended sources such as the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics and Classroom Secrets.
Many words used in mathematics are terms specific to the subject area which may rarely be encountered outside the lesson, for example, multiple, factor, trapezium, denominator. It is important to introduce these words explicitly first, explaining their meanings clearly. Some words used in mathematics have different meanings when used in an everyday English context, for example, face, take away, match, lots of. It is important that children explore all the meanings they know for these words, then focus on the mathematical definitions to understand how the terms are used in a mathematical context. Using specific mathematical vocabulary, such as 'multiplied by' instead of 'lots of' can help to avoid confusion.
We regularly give pupils opportunities to speak using mathematical language within conversations not just simply by practising words. We identify key language for specific topics and year groups to ensure that new vocabulary is introduced at the right time and that familiar words continue to be consolidated. The below checklists are suggestions of vocabulary appropriate for each area of mathematics at each year level, to ensure that children are equipped with the language they need to make progress.
We are continually striving to improve mental fluency and in particular multiplication tables. Learning through games is fun and successful whether the games are practical or online. All pupils have a Times Table Rock Star account and use this to practice times tables in school as well as at home.
Year 4 children are assessed using the government’s Multiplication Tables Check – an online assessment of 25 mixed times tables questions which are answered in six seconds. Pupils are expected to score 25 out of 25 to meet the expected standard.
The links below will help pupils improve their accuracy and speed and are similar to the format of the MTC.
Other useful links:
Please let school know if you find another interactive game that your child enjoys!