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Maths teaching at Glebe

Maths Leadership Team

  • Clem Lewis 
  • Clare Jackson 
  • Annabelle Fox
  • Matt Miller  

 How we teach maths at Glebe 

At Glebe, we ensure that the teaching and learning of maths is exciting and enjoyable, where children can develop confidence and a positive attitude towards this area of the curriculum. We teach through a “mastery” approach which caters for learners of all abilities. Our aim is for all children to securely master concepts before moving on to the next.  Those children who grasp concepts more quickly are immediately given opportunities to explore further challenges which are specifically designed to develop a greater depth of understanding. 

Our approach allows all learners to develop a deep understanding through the use of apparatus and pictures alongside the traditional “abstract” methods (such as formal written calculations). We strive for children to make connections with maths in real life contexts as well as retaining key facts, like number bonds and times tables, that underpin many areas of the subject.

 

Our calculation policies

We get so many parents and carers telling us that the methods the children use in school now are so different to the way they were taught at school. Well, you're quite right!

Things have changed but the methods you hear your child talk about are actually quite simple. In this section you can find links to our calculation policy explaining the different methods used in: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division for all our our year groups. 

Any questions regarding any of the information within our policies, please do make contact with your child's class teacher.

Maths in the foundation stage (reception) 

In EYFS, maths learning and development is implemented through planned, purposeful activities which they complete on a weekly basis. They have a diverse learning experience through a mix of adult-led and child-initiated activity. Play is used as an essential part of children’s development, building their confidence as they learn to explore and think about maths in different contexts.  As the year progresses, the children become more confident in the focused activities in preparation for the more formal maths learning in Year 1.

Children learn to count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Those children that can count beyond 20 are encouraged to explore numbers up to 30 and sometimes 40. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing using a mastery approach to their learning. Using everyday language, children learn to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They are encouraged to use a multitude of resources to assist in their understanding and add to the fun of learning. The practical approach helps the children to give maths a context.

Maths in Key Stage One (Year 1 & 2) 

In Key Stage 1, the principle focus of mathematics teaching is to ensure that all pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value.  This involves working with numerals, words and the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).  Children develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use related vocabulary.  Teaching involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. 

All mathematical concepts and procedures are explored through objects and drawings, as well as the abstract numerical representations.  This concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) approach to representing maths underpins our ‘mastery’ approach to learning.  Objects and images are used to support children’s ability to talk, reason and pose questions about the patterns and connections they can literally ‘see’ in the maths that we are exploring.  Explicitly teaching the connections between different areas of the maths curriculum, as well as making ‘real life’ links to other areas of the wider curriculum makes learning fun, meaningful and memorable.

By the end of Year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value.  Emphasis is placed on this at KS1 as it is proven to aid fluency.  Within every lesson, children who grasp the concepts taught at a more rapid rate than others are immediately given access to mathematical challenges which are specifically designed to develop a greater depth of understanding.  These challenges are frequently open-ended and encourage creativity and critical thinking.

Maths in Key Stage Two (Year 3, 4, 5 & 6)

In Key Stage 2, children continue to use the CPA approach to develop their understanding of the number system and calculations using numbers beyond 100. They build on the number sense that has been established throughout Key Stage 1 and apply their mathematical knowledge to increasingly challenging problems. Our aim is to develop the children’s confidence, independence and initiative when approaching mathematical problems but also to develop their ability to work in co-operation with others. All children are taught to reason, think logically and communicate using accurate vocabulary to explain their mathematical reasoning and justify their ideas. Throughout the Key Stage, the children explore features of shape and space and develop their measuring skills in a range of contexts, including money and time.

Children learn to calculate fluently and confidently with increasingly complex and demanding calculations, using a combination of learnt facts, mental calculation skills and formal written methods. Throughout Key Stage 2, children refine their written calculation methods using concrete apparatus to support, secure and communicate their understanding even when working with increasingly large numbers. This cements their understanding of place value and enables them to explain their mathematical thinking clearly. By the end of Key Stage 2, children should be confident in using reliable and efficient written methods for all four operations; they learn to add and subtract numbers with more than 4-digits, and use formal methods to multiply and divide numbers up to 4-digits by 2-digit numbers.

The importance of times tables 

To support the end of Key Stage 2 outcomes, children are expected to learn their times tables (to 12 x 12) by the end of Year 4. Knowledge of these key multiplication and division facts can ‘unlock’ many other areas of the mathematics curriculum, including fractions and percentages, ratio and proportion as well as calculations involving large numbers. Children are supported with learning their times tables through our Glebe Keys initiative (see below) and also through our subscription to the Times Tables Rock Stars website (https://ttrockstars.com/). Our aim is for all children to apply a secure knowledge of multiplication facts and number bonds when approaching demanding calculations, sophisticated mathematical puzzles and real-life problem solving.

Glebe Maths Keys

The Glebe Maths Keys is an initiative that is designed to make sure children understand and know key mathematical facts appropriate to their year group’s expectations. These facts underpin key mathematical concepts throughout the curriculum. Every half term, each year group focuses on one particular set of key facts.  Parents are given ideas as to how to practise them at home while in school they are practised daily. Children are also assessed in these facts weekly to ensure that their knowledge of these facts is improving.

Supporting your child at home with maths

At Glebe, we recognise the important role that parents can play in helping children achieve their full potential in maths through supporting regular practice of number bonds and multiplication tables facts. This forms part of children’s weekly home learning; we use our Glebe Maths Keys initiative to address key focus areas for each year group and have invested in the TT Rockstars website to allow children from Yrs 2-6 to practise times tables facts regularly in a fun and competitive manner. Regular practice at home of key maths facts to fluency complements the work undertaken in school to develop children’s conceptual understanding, reasoning and problem solving.

In addition, maths workshops are held to enable parents to support their children with maths at home. Calculation Workshops exemplify progress and teaching methods for the four calculations. 

For further information on how to support your child with their homework please see our Home Learning section here 

Enrichment within maths  

Glebe offers pupils an array of enrichment activities to provide exciting, stimulating experiences that enhance our curriculum and children's individual learning. 

More able workshops: In October last year, able mathematicians from Year 2 took part in a maths academically More Able workshop. They began by trying to solve some Chinese Tangram puzzles, moving shapes to make different animals which needed their logic and problem solving skills. The main part of the session saw the mathematicians unpick the number 100 - they represented it in different ways and found it in many locations around the school including bricks, blades of grass and leaves where they counted the items in many different ways. 

If there are 100 bricks on this small bit of the wall, there must be thousands around the whole school.

 Archie W, Pupil