At Uplands we love maths - the children love maths and the teachers love teaching maths! We aim to ensure all our children secure the key skills required to enable them to go on to become confident mathematicians.
We teach maths using the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach. This means we introduce new mathematical concepts using concrete apparatus to support the children’s understanding. Once this has been secured, we use pictorial representations to continue to support their mathematical development, before moving onto the more abstract methods of calculating and solving problems. We believe this method really supports children to grasp new mathematical concepts whilst supporting them to make connections and links to previous learning.
Each class follows a similar structure to their lessons. We start with teacher instruction of the new concept using concrete and pictorial support. The children then move on to a 'Do it' task where they will practise their new skill. This will always involve standard examples of the particular maths and some non-standard examples. These non-standard examples really ensure the children have grasped the new learning. They then independently move on to a 'Secure it' task which involves tackling a common misconception which really stretches their thinking about the particular concept. Lastly, they move on to a 'Prove it' task which gives them the opportunity to deepen their understanding and apply their learning to different contexts. Wherever possible, we mark the children's work with them in the lesson so we can work through any mistakes. Later the same day, we have a short catch up session where we can work through any misconceptions or consolidate the children's understanding ready for the next lesson. Our aim is that everyone works on the same objective at the same time with the differentiation being the level of scaffolding and support given.
Everyday we practise our arithmetic skills during our 'Six in Six' sessions. These are short, low-stakes tests that have six calculation questions to solve in six minutes. As the year progresses, we reduce the time to ensure the children can solve the questions quickly and fluently. The children self-mark these alongside the teacher's demonstration of how to solve the questions. These sessions are vital in keeping the children's calculation skills fresh irrespective of the maths they are covering in their main lessons.
In KS1, we spend lots of time working on securing key number facts. These include all number bonds for numbers up to 20, odd and even numbers, doubles and halves, and being able to count in twos, fives and tens. Having a good understanding and quick recall of this key knowledge really benefits children as they move into KS2.
In Years 3 and 4, times table recall becomes more important - all children by the end of Year 4 are expected to be able to recall all the multiplication facts and division facts for all tables up to the 12 times table. Having a quick, fluent recall of these facts is really vital to their development as mathematicians as they enter Year 5 and 6. We learn the times tables using a variety of methods - songs, rote chanting, visual representations, making connections to other times tables and a range of games. We also use the brilliant app Times Table Rockstars. This is a free app which can be downloaded onto a tablet, phone or used on a computer/laptop. All children have their own personal log in for the game and we set it as our weekly homework.