At Plaistow Primary School we ensure children are developing the knowledge, skills and understanding that will help them to address a problem and find multiple ways to solve it.
Our curriculum is based on the Primary National Curriculum for Mathematics and implemented by the use of the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach which promotes the embedding of problem-solving and whole-class teaching within a practical hands on experience.
We see maths as being a practical, hands-on subject. This underpins the way we approach the teaching and learning of the subject.
CPA was developed by American psychologist Jerome Bruner and is considered a highly effective approach to teaching in a way that develops a deep, sustainable and conceptual understanding of maths in pupils. As our pupils develop on their own learning journey, new concepts are differentiated and developed to meet the needs of the children. Then, gradually and systematically, knowledge is built upon to further the pupil’s existing understanding.
In class, maths is very a practical subject and this is an extremely important part of our teaching approach. We provide a hands on experience for our pupils that encourages them to physically do maths using manipulatives, before moving on to visualising their maths and referencing this with the us of pictures/jottings, and then applying this in more abstract methods. We offer a range of equipment to support and further the learning of our pupils and where possible, link it across the curriculum to demonstrate both its versatility and meaningfulness in everyday life.
What do we teach?
The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
The maths taught in our school closely follows the requirements of the National Curriculum. Learning is divided into the following strands:
- Number and Place Value
- Addition and Subtraction
- Multiplication and Division
- Geometry – Properties of Shapeâ€‹
How do we achieve mastery in maths?
As a staff, we researched and compiled our own pedagogical approach to maths teaching and learning. We consider mathematical reasoning and problem solving as separate entities within our maths curriculum. Fluency of facts, concepts procedures and mathematical vocabulary are key in ensuring success in both reasoning and problem solving equally. It is then all these combined that give us the outcome we desire for our pupils - deeper understanding and mastery of maths.