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At Alma Primary, we are becoming marvellous mathematicians! We believe that maths is a vital component to education within the primary environment. Maths introduces children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life and support learning across the curriculum. It helps children make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in the world and we strive to make maths creative and challenging for each individual child. We teach it practically using a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach and where relevant, use cross curricular thematic links to make it more meaningful for the children.


Representing the number '3' concretely, pictorially and abstractly

We want our children to be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, develop conceptual understand alongside their ability to recall and apply their knowledge and understanding across all areas of mathematical learning. We want our children to be exposed to a variety of increasingly complex problems so that they can develop their ability to reason and problem-solve with the resilience to approach challenges with increased confidence. This will provide our children with the transferable life skills to not only support their academic progression but also their social and emotional development and holistic wellbeing.

Our children leave Alma Primary with the confidence and independence to apply their knowledge, understanding and skills to new problems and unfamiliar situations. They reason with increased motivation and accuracy and demonstrate quick recall of facts and procedures including number bonds and times tables. They have the flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics and are able to understand the importance of realistic and relevant maths, using and applying their learning across a wide variety of real-life situations. Our Alma children progress onto the next stage of their learning journey having mastered their ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics, use mathematical language effectively to explain their ideas and have the confidence to believe that they can and will achieve.

Using Numicon to show the number 10

What is the CPA Method?

Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract is a highly effective, research based approach to teaching that develops a deep understanding of maths as part of mastery learning. It can be used across all stages and involves introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and tangible way. It involves moving from concrete materials, to pictorial representation, to abstract symbols and problems. Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage where children use concrete objects, such as Numicon, Dienes, place value counters etc to model problems. Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage where the visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems. Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage where children use abstract symbols to model problems.


Using paint palettes to show the six times table