All pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems. (National Curriculum, 2014)
At Thames, we are moving towards using a program called Maths No Problem which is an approach to teaching maths developed in Singapore. In this approach problem solving is at the heart of mathematics teaching. The focus is not on rote procedures, rote memorisation or tedious calculations but on relational understanding. Children are encouraged to solve problems which will help to build mathematical fluency. It uses the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach. Much of this approach is to ensure children gain mastery in maths at each year level. Pupils will spend time to fully explore a topic, reinforcing it with practice, before moving onto the next topic. All ideas are built on previous knowledge and pupils have ample opportunity to develop relationships between topics.
How are lessons taught?
Concepts are built upon from one chapter to the next. Chapters are then broken down into individual lessons. Lessons typically are broken into three parts and can last one or more days. Children will master topics before moving on.
The three parts to a lesson are:
1. Anchor Task – the entire class spends time on a question guided by the teacher. The children are encouraged during this time to think of as many ways as possible to solve the question as possible.
2. Guided Practice – practice new ideas in groups, pairs or individually guided by the teacher.
3. Independent Practice – practice on your own. Once children have mastered the concept they use their reasoning and problem solving skills to develop their depth of learning.
What impact will Maths No Problem have on your child?
Children will have a greater conceptual understanding of number and calculation. They will be able to visualise and generalise more readily due to a more in-depth understanding.
Struggling learners will be fully supported through accessing concrete equipment and use of visual models to support understanding.
Confident learners will be challenged through exposure to unfamiliar problems, development of reasoning skills and by exploring multiple ways to manipulate numbers and solve problems.
All learners will access teaching of content which matches the expectations of the new curriculum in England and be supported further if needed, in order to access this. The resources match the expectations for formal written methods set out by the Government, alongside greater understanding.
Find out more about Maths No Problem by looking at some of the links below: