Maths Teaching at St Monica's
We at St Monica's hold the values of our school's Mission at the core of our teaching curriculum. Within Maths we aim to be the best we can be by working together as a whole class towards the same learning goal. We never stop trying when adapting various approaches to solve an equation or problem or reason out our findings. We have adopted the Singapore Mastery Approach to the teaching of mathematics, which aims to develop a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of Maths through an inclusive approach where all children achieve.
At St Monica's we believe that our teaching of mathematics:
- promotes enjoyment of learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion;
- develops confidence and competence with numbers and the number system;
- develops the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts;
- helps children understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.
For an overview of the pedagogy behind the mastery approach taught through Maths No Problem, please click on the link below:
Maths No Problem
We teach using the Maths No Problem scheme which was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, and remains the only teaching materials judged to be meeting the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery . We use the text books, activities and interactive whiteboard tasks, which the whole class works with, to progress through the programme of study at the same pace. Ample time is spent on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.
Tasks and activities are designed to be easy for pupils to access while still containing challenging components. For advanced learners, the textbooks also contain non-routine questions for pupils to develop higher-order thinking skills. Whole-class and independent journaling allows pupils to show a variety of methods and explore pictorial and abstract methods of solving problems.
Lessons and activities are designed to be taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding, based on Richard Skemp’s work.
Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) Approach
Based on Jerome Bruner’s work, pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.
Maths at St Monica's - Teaching Approach
Our Maths lessons, from Reception through to Year 6, begin with a problem. Pupils are given time, manipulatives and guidance through teacher questioning to attempt to find multiple ways and approaches of solving the problem. They may apply a known written method, draw a pictorial representation or use concrete resources such as Dienes, cubes, counters, pasta shapes or whatever represents the value or object that is being counted.
Share & Teach
Once pupils have worked on possible solutions to the problem, they share their understanding with their peers and present workings or manipulatives. Ipads are useful in this part of the lesson as the class teacher can use them to cast an image or live stream to the interactive whiteboard to model best practice.
It is in this part of the lesson that the class teacher will hone in on the most efficient methods and approaches to solving the problem. Misconceptions and misunderstandings will be addressed and further 'maths talk' takes place.
We apply a method of consolidation known as journaling.
This activity can serve a number of purposes. Sometimes pupils are asked to document, explain, draw or show written workings for the understanding that has been gleaned from the In Focus and Sharing parts of the lesson. On other occassions, the journaling can be moved to the end of a maths lesson to summarise an entire session of learning. The images and clips below show that this process can be an independent task or a whole-class journal can be compiled.
Guided practice allows pupils to work on some initial application of method(s) learnt in the first part of the lesson. This is usual completed independently and is a further opportunity for class teachers or other supporting adults to offer support, further modelling or extension through discussion or questioning whilst pupils work. Again, this work can be shared to cement understanding or sift through additional misconceptions.
The last and regularly the shortest part of the learning is the independent work which takes the form of pictorial and abstract tasks to complete in a personal textbook. This provides a piece of evidence which supports the journal of each pupil's learning.