Mathematics at Alumwell Juniors
Here at Alumwell, we know the importance of developing children's skills and understanding of mathematics, as well as building confidence and resilience in the subject.
Each day, our children are provided with a variety of learning opportunities, from daily 10 minute challenges, which enable our children's arithmetic to be practiced regularly, to problem solving challenges, where our children require to look deeper at mathematical concepts.
For some children, looking at a page of calculations can be confusing and it can often lead to them believing maths is too difficult. Using a mix of concrete materials (physical objects) and pictorial representatives, our children build their understanding and confidence. Only then do we begin to introduce numbers and symbols in an abstract calculation. In maths lessons across Alumwell, pictorial and abstract calculations are often shown side by side, this enables all our children the opportunity to be successful in each lesson. This approach is called the CPA approach and it makes up the basis of all our lessons.
To enable our teachers and children to continue developing this approach, here at Alumwell we follow the White Rose Maths scheme. This scheme incorporates the CPA approach brilliantly as well as providing support for parents who may be required to homeschool again in the future. This enables an undisturbed and continuous learning opportunity for our children.
One aspect of maths which needs to be continuous in school and at home is the learning of times tables. In school, children are tested regularly using The 99 Club and Times Table Olympics. Children really enjoy the competitive nature of these games! We have also signed all of our children up to use Times Table Rockstars! Which is an excellent program for improving children's knowledge, speed and understanding of both multiplication and division facts. TT Rockstars can be accessed online from any device you may have at home - if you need any help in accessing this please contact your child's class teacher.
In maths, we are always on the look out for new and exciting ways to teach. The Bar Model has been an approach we have used in school for a short time but one that has had an impact on the way our learners view problem solving.
To problem solve, children must understand what the question is asking them to do. This can often be the hardest part of the problem, the maths itself is usually straight forward. The Bar Model allows them to draw out the problem so that they can start to establish what is being asked of them. They can then start to use calculations to get to the correct answer. Here are some examples: