At Holy Trinity we follow the CPA approach that is so widely recommended in the new curriculum and follows the success of the Singapore approach.
Pupils use concrete objects to help them make sense of the concept or problem; this could be anything from real or plastic fruit, to straws, counters, cubes or something else meaningful. Whatever the objects are, they can be moved, grouped and rearranged to illustrate the problem.
As the child’s experience and confidence grows, they may no longer need physical objects to actually move around. Instead, they draw them. These simple pictures to represent the problem could be pictures of real objects they have used in the past, objects mentioned in the problem or something else meaningful to them: dots, lines, marks.
As understanding develops, children move on to use some form of abstract representation. This could be giving values to rectangular bars (bar model) to identify what is known and what is unknown, using a symbol to stand for a number or something else.
It is important to realise that these are not stages gone through once, but a continuum.
There will be occasions when a particular pupil will use concrete, pictorial and abstract representations all in one session.
A pupil who uses abstract representations in one area may need concrete representations in another. On a different occasion, a pupil may need to revisit a concrete representation before moving on to a pictorial or abstract one.
Therefore, it is important that a variety of representations are available for pupils to use at all times. When pupils are able to understand a concept in each stage and various contexts in depth, we are looking at mastery.
Teaching of Times Tables.
This happens in Phases 2 and 3. An initial assessment will be done on the pupils by their class teacher. The class teacher will tell from this which times table they need to start on.
Then the pupils will be grouped according to their ability across the Phase. This way the pupils in their group are all learning the same tables that are suited to their needs. The amount of groups will depend on the needs of the phase and the available adults/space.
The groups will meet four times a week, for fifteen minutes. How, is up to the group leader:
Each group leader will need to test their group as a part of their fourth weekly session; the assessment process will go as follows:
Week 1: Timed test in order.
Week 2: If they got full marks, they will complete the test in a mixed order.
Week 3: Corresponding division facts.
If the pupils are showing signs that they are completely secure in this times table they can move to a different group. Group leaders will negotiate this between them.
The groups will follow an order of difficulty, rather than times tables consecutively:
2, 5 and 10 times tables
4 and 8 times tables
3 and 6 times tables
9 and 11 times tables
7 times tables
12 times tables
G+T – further times tables and a mixed bag of 1-12.
Maths Chase is a completely free site where you can quickly test your times tables. The site is a great game that kids enjoy because it provides a fun way to learn their times tables!
Have a go and find out for yourself: www.mathschase.com
Homework is set weekly for pupils using Mathletics. Each teacher and pupil has their own log in. A minimum of two activities is set for each pupil based on what they have been learning that week in their class based Maths lessons.
Teachers normally choose to hide some of the content on Mathletics so that the pupils do not work through the courses all in one go or before they have been set as homework. However, once the unit has been taught in class, it will be 'unhidden.'
Pupils can earn points through completing their homework and through competing on Live Mathletics, increasing their fluency. The more points pupil earn, the more they can change their avatar and earn certificates!
Assessment of Maths at Holy Trinity:
To teacher assess, we use our Maths Teacher Assessment Grid, which is in line with the programme of study for that year group. (Please see below.) In each box the class teacher would place a small sticker indicating their assessment of the pupil's understanding in this area from these lessons:
Blue - exceeded
Orange - emerging
Red – below