Mathematics

Longwell Green Maths Vision and Practice

The aims of our maths teaching at Longwell Green are aligned with the aims of the National Curriculum: fluency, reasoning and problem solving, which are delivered both in mathematics lesson and across the curriculum.

The specific objectives to be covered in each year group are linked on the right hand side of this page.

To deliver these, we have adopted a maths mastery approach and have high expectations of all our pupils. Mastery is more than learning some number facts; it is deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of those facts in a way that allows pupils to manipulate those facts creatively to solve increasingly complex problems.

We recognise that pupils need to learn basic number facts and acquire fluency in procedures, alongside developing conceptual understanding if they are to be able to solve increasingly complex problems in life. As a school, we are currently working with the Boolean Hub (a regional expert hub) in a Maths Mastery working group to continue to develop our practice.

Additionally, we work collaboratively with other schools in our ENVISION hub to share good maths practice and to regularly externally moderate our outcomes.

The key principles of the mastery approach to maths are:

  • The use of physical resources to encourage a secure understanding of concepts.
  • Giving children the opportunity to apply their skills in a variety of ways to develop fluency (so they come naturally and without needing to for example count through the times tables on fingers to get to the required one).
  • All children working on the same concept within a lesson: children are challenged to deepen their understanding of the concept rather than moving on to something new.

At Longwell Green, we want to challenge our children to become independent, well-rounded individuals who take ownership of their learning and become deep thinkers.  We want our children to be able to apply their knowledge and skill set in a range of contexts within school and real life. 

The photo shows what some of our children say about maths and how it is useful:

CELEBRATING CROSS CURRICULAR MATHS

To live out this vision at Longwell Green, we make explicit links between maths and other subject areas in each of our termly Topic maths. Each Zone in school has a display which celebrates cross curriculum links with maths and explores the use of maths in a day to day context.

Here are some examples of our ‘Exploring 2 metres’ displays:

 

Cross curricular links are often made in our Topic Wow Days. For examples, see children below exploring Ancient Greek Maths:

Corridor displays through school also celebrate cross curricular learning:

Maths through story and Maths through Art have also been cultivated through school and shows the deeper application of mathematical ideas.

IN THE CLASSROOM:

There are aspects of mathematics teaching which will be seen in every classroom:

  • A positive attitude towards and sense of excitement about mathematics. (Our work on positive Growth Mind-set permeates through all curriculum areas).
  • Children learning through active enquiry and experimenting using concrete material.
  • Children representing their mathematical ideas through images and following a clear progression towards recording abstractly.
  • Children learning to use multiple representations.
  • Mathematical skills are practised and applied across the curriculum.
  • A mathematically rich environment which supports learning: every class has a working wall which is used daily.

These include: key progressive vocabulary, reference to the models and images that the children have been working with during the lesson, how the learning fits in, misconceptions links to other areas of mathematics and examples how the maths can be used in context.

  • Communication, using talk partners, using precise mathematical language and sentence stems to support reasoning.
  • A whole school ‘ try it, use it, prove it, hinge question’ model which covers all three of the national curriculum aims, allows targeted progression in lessons, provides regular assessment for learning opportunities and facilities progression towards greater depth skills in each lesson.
  • Adults using skilful questioning to reveal, probe and address misconceptions.
  • Children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through rich and sophisticated problems.
  • scaffolding is provided for children when required
  • Skilful assessment identifies children who may find a certain concept a bit tricky to grasp leading to guided support, building on each child’s strength and their own next steps.

BIG MATHS

Big Maths and Little Big Maths in also used in every classroom each day.

To find out more information on its website, Click here

Big Maths puts the child at the heart of the learning experience and is a teaching approach that makes progress in maths easy and fun. BIG Maths has been extremely successful both nationally and internationally with thousands of children learning through daily BIG Maths ‘CLIC’ sessions and the weekly ‘Beat That!’ challenges.

Big Maths firstly answers the question, “How do we get children properly numerate as they journey through school?” It is a highly structured, progressive and focused approach.  It provides us with an accurate and simple, but highly effective framework, which all children make excellent numeracy progress within. This framework is known as CLIC (Counting, Learn Its, It’s Nothing New and Calculation) and is characterised by accurate steps of progression (known as Progress Drives) that make new learning easy and obvious to children by cashing in on the timeless natural laws of Maths.

BIG Maths is a rigorous, systematic and structured approach that provides children with a fun and lively experience as they learn through jingles, songs, games and the BIG Maths characters.

Counting:

Children will count forwards and backwards in all kinds of steps depending on their level e.g. in 1s, 2s, 3s, 6s or even 25s! When practising counting at home with your child, make sure you go forwards and backwards. Don’t always start at 0 – make sure they can count on from 75 to 106 for example.

‘Learn Its’:

‘Learn Its’ are addition facts and times tables facts. There are 72 Learns Its in total; 36 addition Learn Its and 36 multiplication Learn Its. These are facts that children need to learn off by heart, so when they are asked ‘What is 6+4 ?’ they are able to give the answer as quickly as they would be able to tell you their name. As soon as they know 3×5=15 they also know 5×3=15 (This is known as a ‘Switcher’).

It’s Nothing New:

This is the most important aspect of CLIC. It is the way children become successful and properly numerate. The idea that 5-things and 3-things are always 8-things is a fundamental concept. Once children understand this concept, we can change the ‘thing’ to other units, e.g. ‘tens’, so that 5 tens + 3 tens = 8 tens. Children begin to learn the concept by counting random unit e.g. bananas, aliens, cats etc. It then becomes much easier to use standard measures such as ml, m, cm, kg, whilst understanding the underlying number concepts.

Calculation:

This aspect of CLIC is when the teacher will focus on developing the children’s understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Big Maths maps out which steps children should do in a clear order and helps teachers to identify where to go back to if a child needs extra support.

Children are taught a range of calculation strategies throughout the school. These are linked to the mental methods we use and are designed to promote a smooth progression for pupils to develop a good understanding of efficient methods of calculating using all four rules. All teachers follow the calculation policy, which also links to the BIG MATHS mental strategies.

TIMES TABLES ROCK STARS

When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations. Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help pupils master the times tables. To be a Times Table Rock Star, you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds! Longwell Green have also signed every pupil to the fantastic Times Table Rock Stars or TTRS.

Times Tables Rock Stars was launched in school in January 2019. Miss Cranmer explained how World famous rock musicians are the best at what they do because they’ve spent hours practising guitar chords, writing music or playing on the drums. It’s just the same with times tables – all Times Table Rock Stars need to practise and practise and practise!

How the times tables rock stars programme works:

To begin with, if you need more than 10 seconds to answer questions correctly, you are a rock ‘wannabe’. You will climb up the ladder of rock stardom as you get quicker at answering questions accurately. Your aim is to become a Rock Hero!

There are a number of games on TTRS: some of these are managed by class teachers to monitor times table knowledge and others are not. Children can even compete against other children (or teachers) in school.

Frequent intra-class and interclass competitions are held in school. Winners and participants are regularly rewarded: certificates are often given out in assembly and there is a TTRS board in school with information on competitions and scores. We ask for parents to support children using this app at home as the impact it can have on learning/ recalling times tables is fantastic.

HOW YOU CAN HELP AT HOME:  

Any time you can spend helping your child with their maths or discussing their learning is hugely beneficial. The more opportunities that children have to practise maths, the easier it becomes. These opportunities could come about through homework, when demonstrating to you what they have learned in class or even during ordinary everyday situations.

  • Use the termly topic web to be aware of the objectives that your child in covering in maths for that term.
  • Support your child with their home learning activities in maths for each term. These are sent home at the start of each term and there are accompanying websites to support.
  • For Years 2 – 6, encourage daily use of TTRS and also support your child in their times table learning in other ways as directed by your child’s class teacher.
  • Make links at home between maths and real life. For example:

Younger children should practise counting as often as possible.

Here are some ideas for counting games:

  • Chant the number names, encouraging your child to join in when they feel confident.
  • Sing number rhymes together.
  • Give them the opportunity to count a range of interesting objects (coins, pasta shapes etc.), encouraging them to touch and move each item as they count it.
  • Then ask them to count things they cannot touch or see (more difficult!) such as claps or jumps.
  • Look for numbers in the environment, for example in your house or when out shopping.
  • Cut out numbers from cards, magazines etc. and ask your child to order them.
  • Make deliberate mistakes when counting or ordering numbers. Can your child spot what you have done wrong?

All children should have the opportunity to solve real life problems involving numbers.

Below are a few ideas to use as a starting point. The more ‘real’ a problem is, the more motivated they will be when trying to solve it:

  • When shopping, ask your child to find the total cost of 2 or 3 items and how much change you will get.
  • If you are planning an outing, ask your child to work out what time you will need to set off and how much money you will need to take.
  • Ask your child to use a TV guide to work out the length of their favourite programmes.
  • Use a bus or train timetable to plan journeys. How long will it take?
  • Involve your child in weighing and measuring the ingredients when cooking. Ask them to scale the recipe up or down in order to feed the right amount of people.
  • Plan a party or a meal on a budget.

There are a large number of helpful websites which can help your child with their maths. Some suggestions are below: