Maths at Colman Junior School

At Colman Junior we follow the idea of Teaching for Mastery. We base our curriculum around the White Rose resources and use the Power Maths scheme to support this. 

Everyone learns together

In a traditional primary school maths lesson, children are put in different groups and learn different things based on what the teacher thinks their ability is.

This means that from an early age children are classed as those who can and can’t “do maths”. Teaching maths for mastery is different because it offers all pupils access to the full maths curriculum. Children often work in mixed ability pairs, where they can be learning resources for one another.

Time to think deeply about maths

Rather than learning one procedure for ‘doing maths’ (for example column addition), we focus on children really understanding their learning.

We emphasise solving problems in many different ways, and challenge our children to see the connections between methods. The process is seen as having more value than the answer and children spend time describing how they solved one problem in different ways and are asked to explain their thinking. This builds self-confidence and resilience in pupils.

Concrete & Pictoral

Many people find that they understand maths better if they get to use objects, or they can see pictures which help them understand what the symbols in maths mean.

At Colman, children use cubes, counters, and a variety of objects to help them understand what the maths they are using really means. They make links to pictures of problems and ideas, and explain what the links are. They understand mathematical concepts using everyday language (e.g ‘add’ means ‘together with’), which helps them understand what the numbers and symbols mean.

Short step learning

There is a daily focus on learning a key point, these then link together to develop improved overall understanding over a series of lessons. While topics may be revisited, there is an expectation that key learning will be retained to enable further learning in that area, from term to term and year to year.

Development of basic fact knowledge and maths fluency  

Basic facts include addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts (e.g. 7 x 5 = 35). At Colman we prioritise children understanding their basic facts, rather than just remembering them.

So instead of just remembering that 7 + 6 is 13, children will know that they can double 6 and add one to find the solution. Children are given basic facts homework every week, and parents and carers can help them learn by using a range of resources- Hit the Button (no login required) and Times Table Rock Stars (children have a login).

Use of cross-curricular maths

Children are encouraged to use maths in other areas of the curriculum, handling data in Science for example, where it will naturally crop up.

Week of Inspirational Maths tasks

We continue to make use of these rich resources, dividing children into mixed-age and ability classes each term, where a challenge is set and children are expected to work together to solve problems, explaining their thinking as they go. We feel these tasks provide a great opportunity to develop a positive approach to Maths.   

Mathletics and Times Table Rock Stars

Amongst the many online resources, we provide children with logins to the above. We feel they provide useful resources and opportunities to practice areas  children may be working on in classrooms,

We feel regular practice on TTRS does significantly improve pupils’ ability to recall and apply basic facts to aspects of maths they will need.

Year 3 2018-19

Year 4 2018-19

Year 5 2018-19

Year 6 2018-19

Calculation and Mastery Briefings – 12, 19 and 26 Nov 2018

Please find below links to slides which have been used to explain our approach to teaching maths.

It has been good to see so many parents involved and a number of useful questions and suggestions raised.

Mr Furlong

CJS Mastery Briefing Nov 18

CJS Lower school calculation briefing Nov 18

CJS Upper school calculation briefing Nov 18