At Alma 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. Maths helps children make sense of the numbers, patters 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. At Alma we try to ensure that maths is taught through cross curricular links to make it more meaningful for the children.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract is a highly effective 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 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.
At Alma we use Numicon to support the children’s learning of Maths throughout the whole school. Numicon is a multi-sensory approach, built on a proven teaching method that raises achievement across all ability levels. Numicon is designed to give children the understanding of number ideas and number relationships that are essential for success in maths.
TTRockstars and Doodle Maths
All children at Alma have a Times Table Rockstars login. We recognise that times table recall speed is fundamental to later success in maths lessons; yet it's not always easy finding engaging ways to do daily practice. TTRockstars is an excellent app/website that children can play independently in school and at home. Teachers can track their progress and gather data to understand exactly which tables and division facts individual children are struggling with and this informs their planning going forward.
As well as TTRockstars, each child in Alma has a personalised log in for the Doodle Maths app. This is aligned to the national curriculum KS1 and KS2 maths skills and more than 800,000 people have downloaded and used the apps with great success. The app is personalised, allowing the children to progress through a range of activities and games suitable for their ability level with appropriate challenge. It tracks the user’s progress in order to do this so that they can access the tasks independently. The app can also be used at school if and where relevant but is mainly a home learning tool for children to work at their own pace.