At St Augustine’s our aim is to develop motivated and confident students whom are resilient in mathematics. We follow the National Curriculum in delivering our instruction through Maths No Problem in Key Stages 1 and 2. This inclusive approach of teaching maths for mastery with an emphasis on thinking deeply about maths allows for more children to have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts thus allowing them to gain proficiency.
We believe that all children should be given the opportunity to explore a task and find patterns, make connections and engage in discourse and develop knowledge of facts, formulae, methods and strategies. This begins in EYFS as we ensure that maths is part of children’s daily diet. We give the children a wide range of experiences and opportunities to apply their mathematics including have children draw their maths and work with different representations. In Key Stage 1 and 2, during Maths No Problem lessons and additional fluency lessons, teachers plan for and deliver teaching that is systematic and clear. The environments of our classrooms are conducive to learning- they allow for mistakes, encourage a positive mindset and recognise the importance of group work, direct teaching and independent work.
Mathematics Early Learning Goals
Children at the expected level of development will:
- Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
- Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
- Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.
Children at the expected level of development will:
- Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;
- Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;
- Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.
What does a typical lesson of Maths No Problem look like at St Augustine’s?
1) In Focus Task: Children are presented to the initial In-Focus task. They are guided to ensure that they read the problem thoroughly and understand what the problem is asking.
2) Explore: Children work with their partners in their white board books or white boards to complete the In-Focus task. They use concrete materials, make pictorial models and then represent the learning in an abstract way (through calculations and equations.) Because of this structure, the In-Focus tasks allow for multiple entry points, and therefore nearly all children are able to access the tasks so that they can further their own understanding. The teachers ask questions to prompt children’s thinking and to move it along. In addition to the In-Focus task, there is a related challenge presented to push children to think more deeply about the content, a component of teaching for Mastery. During this part of the lesson the teacher will facilitate the sharing of groups’ ideas with the whole class, encouraging a variety of methods. As a class, children may discuss the most efficient methods presented and the teacher will ensure that the methods are clear and appropriate.
3) Journal: During this part of the lesson, children have the opportunity to show what they understand from the In-Focus task and challenge. The main component of the children’s journals is that they show their thinking and explain it. Children have the following sentence starters in the front of their books to guide their explanations so they are telling “why” and not just “what”:
Children must also ensure that they answer the question of the In-Focus task clearly, using the appropriate units and making sure that the answer makes sense.
4) Let’s Learn: This is the modelling part of the lesson, where the teacher shares worked examples from the Maths No Problem books or uses the Silent, Thinking and Guided Model approach (adapted from Craig Barton.) The purpose of this part of the lesson is to ensure that children are clearly presented with the method(s) needed to achieve the objectives of the day. The following prompts are in the children’s maths books to remind them of their role during modelling:
5) Guided Practice:
Children are presented with problems to work so that they can show their understanding and get further help before delving into their independent work. Because the independent practice problems are varied, this part of the lessons allows children to better understand how to answer the different types of problems.
Helping those that have special needs in maths:
During the Let’s Learn and Guided Practice parts of the lesson, those children that may need further differentiated instruction are taken out by the EA or teacher in a small group. This allows them to move on at a slower pace, and receive reteaching as needed. If the activity presented for the whole class is not appropriate for all children, the teacher may provide a slightly adapted activity. During the Guided Practice part of the lesson, those children receiving the alternate activity will have practice problems around it.
6) Independent practice:
At this point of the lesson, children are expected to complete their work independently with everyone in the classroom. Those children having an alternate activity or that work getting extra help in a small group return to the class to ensure that they develop skills needed to work independently. Children are expected to set out their work according to the instructions set by the teacher and should always use their best handwriting.
By the start of the next lesson, all children’s books are marked and verbal feedback is given when needed to address misconceptions. Children may have some spellings (around mathematical terminology) or calculation errors to address. A tick in the child’s book next to the learning intention also makes it clear to the child if they have met the learning intention of the day.
Maths No Problem interventions are delivered by the teaching assistant in the afternoons to address misconceptions or to provide additional modelling to those children that were on the cusp of reaching the learning objective. These children are identified by the class teacher and on most days, the children for the intervention groups are those that did the whole group lesson (and not the alternate activity.)