At Portfields Primary School, we challenge pupils through depth of mathematical understanding, mathematical thinking and mathematical language, not through more questions and higher numbers. This approach is depth of learning over quantity of subjects covered to ensure complete understanding by the children.
We teach Maths using the CPA approach: concrete, pictorial, abstract. This allows the children to experience the physical aspects of Maths, using resources, before finding a way to present their findings and understandings in a visual form and then moving onto a more formal written calculation. Reasoning is an integral part of our daily lessons, building on the mastery skills of Maths in order for the students to fully understand the concepts. We encourage our children to explain their understanding using mathematical vocabulary.
Portfields Primary School empowers learners through each classroom being resourced with materials to support the delivery of Maths; such items might include number lines, numicon, counters, multiplication tables, 100 squares, 2D and 3D shapes, multilink cubes, dice and other smaller items. Children are encouraged to independently use resources available to them in the classroom and which they feel would be beneficial to help them when completing Maths work.
To ensure children are fluent in their mental maths strategies and recall of key facts, each lesson begins with a mental starter, such as ‘Fluent in Five’, or a reasoning challenge where the focus is on verbally explaining their subject knowledge and understanding. This is consolidated at home through the use of the TT Rockstars website as well as written Maths homework to consolidate bi-weekly learning.
Class teachers use informal and formal assessment (Headstart end of unit assessments), to decide whether the children are ready to move on, identify any gaps in the children’s learning and plan accordingly.