Mathematics at Billingshurst Primary School
Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract
At Billingshurst Primary, we provide children with opportunities to make connections between concrete, pictorial and abstract representation of numbers. This is reflected in our calculation policy where children look at concrete representations first. Then they record those items pictorially before using more formal, 'abstract' methods. When using formal methods, the children can continue to use pictures or concrete resources alongside their work, to reinforce their conceptual understanding and as a tool for proving their answers and explaining their thinking.
Maths at Billingshurst
Haylock and Cockburn, 2008: 10
The Mastery Approach
When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures. We enable children to do this through the following:
- Weekly problem solving activities. These include unfamiliar problems which require children to apply existing skills in a range of contexts.
- Daily 'fluent in five' activities from Year 3 to Year 6. Through these, we explicitly teach children to recognise which problems can be solved mentally and which requires a written method.
In order to be confident problem solvers, children need to be able to recall number facts quickly. To enable children to do this, we spend a 15 minute session every day learning and practising number bonds and multiplication tables.