At Harpur Hill Primary School and Nursery, our intent is to develop our pupils’ ability to reason mathematically, problem solve and develop procedural fluency and conceptual understanding in all strands of the curriculum. We intend to deliver a curriculum that allows pupils to engage in lessons that encourage them to explore maths in depth, using mathematical reasoning and vocabulary to explain their workings.
In order to improve our mastery approach and further improve the quality and consistency of our maths teaching, we have implemented the White Rose Maths scheme across Key stage 1 and key stage 2. The White Rose Maths approach focuses on maths mastery — children are taught to fully grasp topics, not just scrape the surface, so by the time they move on to more advanced lessons they have a deep understanding of foundational concepts.
Our Reception Children follow the mastering number programme, which is to strengthen their understanding of number and fluency with number facts, preparing them for the transition to white Rose Maths in year 1.
At Harpur Hill, we use a 'concrete, pictorial, and abstract' approach to our maths teaching. This means that your child is first able to carry out calculations using apparatus to help them, then, when they are feeling confident with this, they are able to move onto pictorial representations of their maths learning before finally being able to calculate on paper using formal written methods. This enables children to see and understand the maths they are using every day in a deep and meaningful way, and understand why the numbers they calculate with form patterns in the way that they do.
Children leave our school feeling successful and confident with their mathematics skills. Our children have an enjoyment of maths and understand that maths is not always about ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers but about investigating patterns, understanding how we can use numbers in the real world and recognising that mistakes help us to learn and have a deeper understanding of a concept.
A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Children are able to demonstrate quick recall of facts and procedures, including times tables.
How you can support your child’s maths learning
In order to best help your child with their maths learning, here is a list of things you can do to encourage and support them:
The most important thing is to let your child hear you talking positively about maths, even if you didn’t have a good experience with it yourself at school – scientific research tells us that there is no such things as a ‘maths person’ and that everybody can be good at maths if they have a ‘Growth Mindset’ (See https://www.youcubed.org/resources/mindset-video/for more information on this, it’s very interesting and surprising!)
Practise! As highlighted in the video link above, a few minutes per day working on a tasks can have a big impact on your learning. Your child’s knowledge of times table facts and number bonds is really important and can help them with deeper thinking in other areas of maths as they go through school. Using ‘Times Tables Rock Stars’ for a few minutes each day is a great way to practise times tables (see below)
Use maths in everyday life – this goes hand-in-hand with the first bullet point. The statement “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it!” rings true here, if your child sees you being a mathematician in everyday life, it can help them to understand why maths bears a relevance to them. So next time you’re at the supermarket, estimate what the end bill will be – ask your child to help you round your items up or down to the nearest pound!
Help your child with their maths homework. Often, we will send homework which enables your child to practise a skill they have learned in school that week, or earlier to keep their mathematical knowledge ticking over. Encourage your child to explain to you how they did a calculation. If you’re unsure about a method we have taught because it differs to the one you learned at school, please consult our calculations policy or contact your child’s teacher – we are more than happy to help!
Mathematical Methods (+ - x ÷)
Click below to open a series of posters that explain how we teach children to use the four rules of number
Rapid recall of times tables is very important for fluency in mathematics and is a skill that can be transferred to other areas of maths, such as fractions. It is therefore very important that your child is given opportunities to practise their times tables on a regular basis.
Times Tables Rockstars (On-line learning)
We have introduced 'Times Tables Rockstars' to all children from Y2 to Y6. This is a website which enables your child to practise their times tables skills. Your child will be set homework to complete on the TTRockstars website each week; this may involve playing a set number of practise games, or trying to improve their “rock speed”.
How the website works:
Your child will be given a login to access the website. When your child logs in, they will need to choose a rock star name and an avatar (their own rock star). Once they have done this, it will give them the opportunity to practise their times tables by playing 1 of 4 game types:
Garage – this is where your child can practise the times tables which have been specifically set for them by their teacher.
Studio – this is where your child can check how fast they are able to recall all of their tables up to 12 x 12.
Arena – this is where pupils can challenge other pupils in their class.
Festival – this is where pupils can challenge other pupils their age from around the world (please note that pupils are unable to talk to others on the game).
As your child plays each game, they will receive virtual coins for each correct answer which they can then use in the virtual shop to buy items for their avatars e.g. a new guitar or new hair. The more coins they earn, the better the equipment they can buy for their character. For more information, click on the link below: