At St. Michael’s Primary School, every child is a mathematician.
Throughout the school, children are taught Maths using the process concrete, pictorial, abstract. This means they first explore a new concept with manipulatives. They then explore this through pictures until finally they can explore the concept in its abstract form.
For example, for the addition of two 2-digit numbers:
Concrete: Using base 10 the children create the two numbers and put them together. They count up all the tens and ones. 36 + 25 =
Pictorial: The children draw their maths. This means they can solve the problem without the manipulatives.
During our lessons, we follow the structure of ‘Try it’, ‘Use it’, and ‘Prove it’. Through ‘Try it’ children practise the new skill they are learning. This involves retrieval and fluency questions. Depending on the concept, the children may need to spend varying amounts of time working in this area. When working on ‘Use it’ the children are solving problems. This may be missing number problems, word problems or other questions which get them to apply their knowledge. Finally, children explore a concept through ‘Prove it’. Here they tackle reasoning problems where they may be explaining why a given answer is incorrect or how they know something is true. The children have to use proof to justify their answers.
Each Maths lesson from Year 1 upwards begins with ‘Solve Six’. Here children practise their fluency skills. They revisit a range of concepts which they have already been taught to help ensure they remember this knowledge. As well as this, from Year 2 upwards, the children will be learning and rehearsing their times tables. The children have access to times tables Rock Stars both in and out of school which they use to practise their times tables. We also like to have Times Table Rock Star Days where we dress up as Rock Stars and have a fun day centred around our times tables.
In the infants, the children enjoy using ‘Numbots’ which allows them to practise their simple maths facts and number bond skills.
By the time the children leave St Michael’s in Year 6, they will have a wide range of mathematical skills equipping them for the next stage of their learning journey.