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Lesson Approach and Teaching Methods

The intent of our mathematics curriculum is to give every child a deep understanding and love of mathematics. We do this by providing the children with a variety of rich mathematical opportunities, underpinned by a deep conceptual understanding of maths concepts, structures and procedures. Children are given the confidence to ask questions, share ideas, work hard and see mistakes as learning tools.

The Federation uses the mastery approach through the “Power Maths” scheme of work in Reception, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Within this, our approach to lessons is centred on the five core competencies, which are: representation and structure, fluency, variation, mathematical thinking and coherence.  We want our children to make connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly challenging problems whilst also reflecting on their own mathematical journey.  In this way, we aim for our children to not only see themselves as mathematicians but also gain an understanding that mathematics is essential for everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for most forms of employment.

Our intent in EYFS is to ensure that every child develops a strong mathematical foundation in a way that is engaging and appropriate for their age. We use materials from Power Maths and Mastering Number. This approach places strong emphasis on developing a strong grounding in number, as it acknowledges that this is a necessary foundation for children to excel in the subject. The typical progression highlights the range of experiences (some of which may be befitting for younger children) but the activities and opportunities are developed across the Reception provision.

By the end of EYFS, the aim is for every child to recognise number and be able to subitise. 

By the end of KS1, the aim is for every child to have a fluent understanding of numbers and be able to manipulate and calculate within 100.

By the end of KS2, the aim is for every child to be numerate with an understanding of how to manipulate number to solve a range of complex problems.












Our maths teaching across the Federation places emphasis upon a mastery approach focusing on representation and structure, fluency, variation, mathematical thinking and coherence. We aim for our children to be flexible learners and thinkers with the depth of understanding that enables them to approach and engage with a variety of problems presented in different ways.

We utilise a CPA (concrete, pictorial and abstract) approach. This means that when new concepts are introduced, children are given the opportunity to use concrete materials to model and represent the problems. This then helps children to represent these materials pictorially which helps them make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding. Children then have a strong foundation to understand and represent mathematical concepts in a more abstract way where symbols are then used to model problems. However, this is not necessarily a linear process as teachers will go back and forth between each representation or model them alongside each other to reinforce concepts.

Lesson Structure across the Federation-Years 1-6

The lesson begins with a Power-Up/fluency task that either sustains prior learning or consolidates number facts/skills that they need for the present lesson.

Next children share, explore and learn from a Discover problem that involves reasoning. In this way problem solving lies at the heart of each math’s lesson from which reasoning and fluency then develop. Children use concrete resources here as well as partners or teams to consider how to explore the maths involved in the lesson, as well as make predictions and links to previously taught skills and understanding. Children are encouraged to show their thinking in different ways using the CPA approach.

After the Discover stage, children discuss their learning in the Share activity. This is a whole-class interactive learning phase where children share their thinking and look for the best ways to solve the+ problem. This helps the teacher to structure and explicitly model the mathematical concept to the children, whilst also identifying and using connections to encourage deeper thinking and reasoning with the children.

After this, children can journal and reflect on what they’ve learnt in their journal. This provides children with opportunities for self-assessment and review of topics whilst providing valuable resources for children to access at later dates.

The Think Together stage can be seen as you slowly passing the baton over to the children using an I do, we do, you do approach. It begins with a teacher-guided question followed by a problem for children to solve in collaboration with a partner and finally an independent question. This enables children to practice a skill or a concept before starting their independent work.

 In the Practice Section, children use their practice books to apply and rehearse what they’ve learnt. The variance in the questions helps children to understand the essential features of each concept and build their fluency. This part is done independently and in silence however if there is a child or a group of children who need further support an adult can work with them with manipulatives and visuals.  Further challenges and extension tasks are provided for those learners who complete workbook tasks.

The method of teaching via small steps allows all children to keep up and reduces the need for catch up support.

The Reflect section concludes the lesson. It involves children looking back on what they feel they have learned, further helping each child to understand and consolidate their learning.

Support for children

Children are supported through a pre-teach using the strengthen activities,  same day intervention, mixed ability groupings, the use of manipulatives and more time spent at the concrete stage, strengthen activities from the scheme of work, homework and reading support. Children follow the same curriculum regardless of SEND need providing a progressive and inclusive approach to maths.

Challenge for children

The focus is on enrichment before acceleration. Pupils are expected to have mastered the knowledge being taught before moving on. During the Discover task children are asked to demonstrate their solution in another way, explain their method to a friend or in a note explaining their thinking or evaluate the most efficient method. During the Practice section, children are encouraged to work through all the questions. Once finished they can pick one of the following activities: pick their favourite calculation and write a story for it- like in the Discover task, use the provided Deepen activities, pick a question and writing a note explaining what they have done or answering a question from the NCETM Mastery Materials.


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