At our school we believe a deep and broad understanding of mathematics is essential for our pupils in their everyday lives. We aim to equip our pupils with an appreciation of the simplicity, power and beauty of mathematics whilst developing in them a sense of curiosity and enjoyment for the subject.

The three main aims of the National Curriculum for mathematics are fluency, reasoning and problem solving. These aims are incorporated into all our mathematics lessons and drive the planning, teaching and learning throughout Whitmore Park.

We have adopted “Maths – No Problem!” (  ) which systematically develops pupils’ fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our aim is for pupils not to learn by rote in mathematics but to have a deep conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts. This is achieved through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA) approaches in our lessons where children have the opportunity to solve challenging problems using a range of strategies. Each day, pupils are taught using problem solving approaches which enables them to develop their mathematical thinking. Lessons are tailored to meet the needs of the class to ensure that all pupils are challenged throughout their lessons.

Pupils across the school learn a range of strategies which build upon prior learning to ensure a consistent progression of skills is developed. Within all lessons, pupils have opportunity to practise and embed the skills they have been taught to ensure they have a deep understanding of mathematics.

Alongside our Maths – No Problem! lessons, we also deliver Arithmetic and Times Table sessions which are designed to develop our pupils’ fluency in the fundamentals of Mathematics. The CPA approach is also a basis for these lessons with teachers and pupils working with practical resources and drawings before moving on to the abstract calculations where our pupils’ fluency can really progress.

What does a lesson look like?

Exploration

An example of a Year 3 simple adding problem
Each lesson starts with pupils exploring a problem using concrete and pictorial resources. Pupils work with a partner to discuss the problem and strategies to help them solve it.

Let’s Learn

Pupils learn a range of methods to solve the problem through teacher-led modelling using concrete, pictorial and abstract methods.

Journaling

Pupils independently record a range of methods to solve the problem.

Guided Practice

Pupils spend part of the lesson working alongside the teacher learning key mathematical skills which can be applied when reasoning and problem solving. During ‘Guided Practice’ the skills become progressively more challenging.

Independent Work

Pupils apply the skills they have learnt during the lesson to complete progressively more challenging questions. The work pupils complete is suitable differentiated to meet their needs and ensures pupils feel challenged.

Examples of CPA in practice

Children in Year 5 explored different ways to solve this problem using concrete, pictorial and abstract approaches:

Maths – No Problem!

Video: how to get started with the primary mathematics series

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