At The Haven, we teach Maths with the expectation and belief that all children can achieve. We encourage children to enjoy their mathematics by teaching it in a fun and engaging way. Our aim is to develop resilient mathematicians that feel confident enough to have a go at problem solving and, above all, are able to apply these skills to real life situations.
A Mastery Curriculum
We teach the Primary National Curriculum through a mastery approach: this helps to ensure that the children gain a deep and sustainable understanding from their learning in mathematics. Mastery Maths gives the opportunity for children to master mathematical concepts. A mathematical concept has been mastered when a pupil can represent it in different ways, possesses the mathematical language to communicate related ideas and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.
Our Maths approach is designed to give children a deeper level of understanding, allowing sufficient time to explore a concept to ensure a secure foundation of knowledge as they progress through the school.
Below are the key elements in supporting us gain a mastery curriculum: the importance of a rich Mathematical dialogue; CPA teaching (concrete, pictorial and abstract) and Times Table Rockstars.
Mathematics is frequently encountered as a visual language of numbers and symbols. However, it is expressed and explained through written and spoken words. It is through words that the children begin to articulate their ideas, construct meaning and develop their own understanding. Through engaging in effective dialogue, children develop skills of reasoning and begin to make connections between concrete, pictorial and abstract concepts.
Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA)
Working through Key Stage 1 up to Upper Key Stage 2, children explore mathematical concepts using a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach.
Concrete: This is the “doing” stage, using concrete objects to model problems. Every new abstract concept should be learned first with a “concrete” or physical experience.
For example, if a problem is about adding up four baskets of fruit, children could first handle actual fruit, or counters or cubes could be used to represent the fruit.
Pictorial: This is the “seeing” stage, using representations of the objects to model problems.
Building or drawing a model makes it easier for children to grasp concepts they can find more difficult, such as fractions, as it helps them visualize the problem and makes it more accessible.
Abstract: This is the “symbolic” stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model problems.
Only once a child has demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the “concrete” and “pictorial” representations of the problem, can the teacher introduce the more “abstract” concept, such as mathematical symbols.
Times Table Rockstars (TTRockstars)
The Haven Primary School subscribes to Times Table Rock Stars. This software is an extremely engaging, challenging and fun programme designed to help children master their times tables.
When it comes to times tables, speed and accuracy is important. Children practice their times table facts each week and depending on how well they did, they receive a Rock Star Status. Children can aspire to become more fluent as they progress.
To be a Times Table Rock Star they need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!
World famous rock musicians are the best at what they do because they have spent hours practicing guitar chords, writing music or playing on the drums. It is just the same with times tables – all Times Table Rock Stars need to practice and practice and practice.
Research shows that daily practice is the best strategy for children to learn these important facts. Short bursts of daily practice are much more effective than spending hours once a week.
Parental support is critical in this area. For children to be fully motivated and for them to get the best out of the practice, they need help. Without a Parent's praise and reminders, without sitting down together or checking their work, practicing times tables will not feel important.
Each class or group within a class will be set a schedule of times tables to work on by their teacher.
The quicker a child can answer a times tables question, the higher their Rock Status.
≤ 1 sec/qu = Rock Hero
≤ 2 secs/qu = Rock Legend
≤ 3 secs/qu = Rock Star
≤ 4 secs/qu = Headliner
≤ 5 secs/qu = Support Act
≤ 6 secs/qu = Breakthrough Artist
≤ 7 secs/qu = Unsigned Act
≤ 8 secs/qu = Gigger
≤ 9 secs/qu = Busker
≤ 10 secs/qu = Garage Rocker
> 10 secs/qu = Wannabe
Here is how you can help your child with their times tables:
*Read the times tables that are being focused on that week (your child's teacher can let you know the schedule for your child). Do it a second time round, but this time your child should be trying to say them without reading them from the page. It is more important that they say them correctly than say them quickly to begin with.
*Download the Scatter Tables below. To use them, you call out a question from the times table you are focusing on and your child should point to the answer on the page. For example, if you are concentrating on the 5 times table, then find the Scatter Table for the 5s and call out questions like, “9 times 5” (your child points to 45), “6 times 5” (your child points to 30) or “5 times 12” (your child points to 60). Your child should be trying to get them correct each time and not worrying about the speed.
*Write the focused times table out, initially in order and then in a random order
*Chant, rap or sing times table songs (try Percy Parker - if you have Spotify Premium, his awesome album is on there).
*With your child, complete a TT Rockstars practice sheet that focusses on the table they are working on (again, these can be downloaded below)
*Play TTRockstars online using the login card in your child's Reading Record book – all teachers have logins for all children - please ask if you need help. They should play, in the garage section of TTRockstars, for a short while until they are successfully answering the questions quickly. TTRockstars online can be accessed via https://beta.ttrockstars.com/ or using the app which is free to download.