Maths at Ark Blacklands has problem solving at its core Our Mastery approach ensures that every child, in every maths lesson, is both challenged and supported in order to develop their mathematical thinking and resilience. Our Maths curriculum ensures that children are active participants in the learning process; they are challenged to think, question, reflect and discuss.
In Maths teaching, we aim to equip pupils with tools such as logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, we teach pupils to build a deep understanding of concepts, which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations. Mathematics is taught through practical and written activities that have real meaning for the children, enabling them to develop their numerical skills and the ability to solve problems. In order to support teachers and pupils in achieving our aims, we balance the statutory requirements of the National Curriculum with the mastery approach prompted by the Mathematics Mastery Programme.
By following the curriculum design of Mathematics Mastery, we approach problem solving using the Dimensions of Depth:
Conceptual Understanding – Creating connections between concepts and allowing pupils to represent mathematical concepts in many ways using the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach, where concrete is the doing (using manipulatives such as dienes, tens frames and place value counters), pictorial is the seeing (drawing a diagram or picture of a problem, or drawing objects to help solve it) and abstract is using the symbols (representing a problem using mathematical notation).
Language and Communication – Pupils actively participate in every lesson and strong emphasis is placed on vocabulary and the use of full sentences. Language is a form of communication but supports making stronger links between representations and concepts. In all Maths lessons at Blacklands, a strong emphasis is placed on collaborative learning, where pupils work together to explain, describe and explore different mathematical concepts using precise vocabulary.
Mathematical Thinking – Promoting an ethos within the classroom that all pupils think mathematically. Through different forms of questioning, pupils extend their understanding beyond that of procedural Maths and reason with the concepts.
Throughout the academy, we teach the following areas of study:
- using and applying maths in different contexts;
- number and algebra;
- shape, space and measure;
- data handling.
In addition to a daily maths lesson, children take part in regular Maths Meetings where pupils consolidate and develop fluency in all areas of maths. Here, we place a strong emphasis on arithmetic, developing mental recall of number facts before introducing written calculations for the four operations.
The Science, Design Technology and PE curriculums also offer opportunities for children to use and apply their mathematical problem-solving skills and knowledge in practical, real-life situations.
Our maths curriculum ensures that pupils leave Ark Blacklands Primary Academy with the mathematical skills they need for success at secondary school and beyond.
Please see here for further detail of the impact of our maths curriculum.