At Lanchester we have implemented a Singapore teaching approach to Maths from reception upwards. The scheme we have adopted is the Hertfordshire ESSENTIALmaths which has a high focus on children mastering and having a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts with a range of topics.
These enable our children to develop critical thinking skills, make mathematical connections and become confident mathematicians through a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach.
Our teaching provides an approach that scaffolds learning of each topic, through each learning objective and provides practise guided activities which enable our children to develop their skills. Lessons are carefully structured to reinforce concepts and secure understanding.
At the end of each topic children complete their assessments based on strategies we have learnt through the week. These support teachers to gain an overview of their children’s understanding and develop a record of each child’s individual progress. These assessments allow us to identify gaps for immediate intervention and opportunities for further practise or extra challenge.
This scheme enables us to provide children with more opportunities to develop their mathematical vocabulary at the start of each topic and build on their existing knowledge of concepts and vocabulary.
- Develops children’s practical learning skills providing an opportunity to show a more pictorial based learning.
- Enables children to build their mathematical vocabulary.
- Creates an opportunity for higher order questioning and mastery of topics.
- Enables us to targets specific groups and identify gaps in their learning through particular assessments.
- Develops children’s mathematical language through communicative activities and developing their reasoning skills as opposed to ‘getting the answer’.
- Builds on previous knowledge of children.
- Enables us to develop strategy based learning, makes children aware of strategies they use to achieve results/answers.
- Exposes and enables opportunity for discussion of misconceptions.
- Uses rich collaborative tasks, partner talk and discussions.
- Creates connections between topics and uses technology in the appropriate way.
How we are ensuring this is implemented effectively...
- Each topic is planned and discussed within our teams. Challenge, differentiation for each day of the week is planned for to enable flexibility according to our children and their needs.
- Our less able children carry out work practically to develop concepts, discuss learning objectives and read/discuss key questions together to show a stronger understanding of tasks to be achieved. (Which in turn enables our less able children to be learning the same topics and be learning at a similar level to the other children in the class, effectively narrowing the gaps between our higher and lower attaining children.)
- We have introduced parallel teaching for particular groups of children to further support their learning ability or to extend and challenge their mathematical knowledge within MOS’s (Mental and Oral Starters).
- We have developed the use of interventions to support groups, extending their learning, or provide extra practise to develop concepts.
- We build on children’s existing knowledge, our assessments based on each topic show us particular gaps in learning for us to address within our planning for the next lesson
The Benefits of ESSENTIALmaths
- We have a more consistent approach across EYFS KS1 and KS2 within our teaching, displays, assessment and lesson structure/set up.
- Each class has a focused Maths display, children are aware of where to go if they are ‘stuck’, need a particular resource to develop their learning and are beginning to use the maths vocabulary board to improve their mathematical discussion skills.
- Our children are developing their level of questioning, speaking, listening and making links with Literacy throughout each topic.
- They are more focused on using a range of resources within the lesson and discussing what strategy or ‘working out’ method they are using rather than getting the answer.
- Our children have improved their mathematical outcomes, developed their knowledge of strategies/methods and created more independent learners, through checking their own answers, using a variety of resources and building their knowledge of what/where to go if they are ‘stuck’.
- The children are showing a better mathematical understanding, a deeper understanding of concepts, practically first and then written
- Showing a stronger range of vocabulary within each topic and a better grasp of mathematical language, as each topic introduction starts with a vocabulary focus.
- Assessment of each individual topic is better evidenced.
- Our questioning is becoming stronger as we have a larger focus on vocabulary and strategies to achieving our answers rather than such a high focus on just the results themselves. This is developing children’s thinking and understanding of mathematical concepts.
Children can be practising their times tables, through the use of Times Tables Rock Stars. This is a great way to encourage your children to practise and is an engaging way for them to learn. All children by the end of Year 4 will be expected to know their times tables up to 12 x 12 and there will be a statutory test for Year 4 pupil starting in Summer 2020.