The Taddington Maths Curriculum
At Taddington, we strive for our children to be successful and proficient mathematicians. Maths is a life skill – we use it all the time for example when we are baking, when shopping, whilst driving and when solving problems. We use maths when we are drawing, when building, whilst waiting for the bus and when going on holiday. We even use maths when we don’t even realise it. Therefore it is essential that we enable our children to be successful in this subject.
To be successful in Maths, we recognise that pupils need to develop their conceptual understanding. In other words, pupils don’t only need to be able to recall facts quickly, they also need to be able to apply their knowledge in a range of different contexts, including those that are new and unfamiliar. This is the idea at the heart of ‘Maths Mastery’, an approach to Maths based upon best practice found in Singapore.
In order to develop conceptual understanding in our pupils, this year we are implementing the CPA approach to learning (concrete, pictorial and abstract). This approach recognises that in order for pupils to understand abstract concepts, they must first learn mathematical concepts through the use of concrete resources and pictorial representation.
Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage, using concrete objects to solve problems. It brings concepts to life by allowing children to handle physical objects themselves.
Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage, using representations of the objects involved in maths problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding, by drawing or looking at pictures, circles, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.
Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model and solve maths problems
At Taddington, we have recently altered our whole school approach to mathematics using a scheme of work called Power Maths in order to help us embed this approach. This scheme is based upon extensive research into maths teaching around the world, particularly Singapore and promotes an approach incorporating the use of well thought through and highly varied resources, integral problem solving and group work. The Primary Series is child-centred and fun to teach and was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery.
This new approach aims to develop the use of oracy as a key means to promote mathematical understanding rather than learning through drills and the early introduction of abstract concepts.
Every lesson is divided into sections that involve plenty of discovery, sharing, collaboration, practice and reflection. Children are encouraged to solve problems each day through the use of concrete resources, pictorial representations and abstract thinking.
At the heart of this programme is the idea that all children can achieve and be successful mathematicians with the right growth mindset. It promotes five child friendly characters, each with their own positive skillset, to inspire and motivate children. These characters are:
We have adopted these characters within school as our characteristics of a mathematician. Keep an eye out for our characters all around our school environment.
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