Choppington Primary School uses Maths Makes Sense - a unique maths programme that develops true mathematical understanding right from the start. Maths Makes Sense recognises the importance of maths in our daily lives and helps our children to:
• learn the skills of numeracy, geometry and measure that can be used in everyday life and developed later for the specific demands of a particular career
• develop problem-solving and reasoning skills that are so vital in day-to-day life
• develop thinking skills – an invaluable skill in every subject area.
Maths Makes Sense gives our school:
1. A consistent whole-school approach. A structured and coherent mathematics curriculum for the whole school, helping us to deliver a high-quality mathematics education to every child.
2. High expectations for all. Underpinned by the ambition for all children to excel and develop a sense of excitement about mathematics.
3. Fluency with number. Strong emphasis is placed on developing quick and accurate number skills.
4. Deep understanding. Using a powerful learning system of concrete objects, actions and vocabulary, a solid understanding maths is developed from the earliest stages, leading to strong reasoning and problem-solving skills.
5. Sustained Professional Development. Supported by a Professional Development service for all the staff in our school.
The Maths Makes Sense learning system
Maths Makes Sense uses a learning system of concrete objects, exaggerated actions and special vocabulary to help every child succeed in our school and become a confident mathematician. The combination of objects, actions and vocabulary makes maths accessible to children from the youngest age. The learning system builds deep understanding and embeds a picture of the maths in children’s minds so they progress to thinking without the aid of physical objects; they refer to their mental images instead.
The Maths Makes Sense teaching cycle
We teach Maths Makes Sense with a teaching cycle of instruction and assessment to help every child succeed and to help make sure no child gets left behind. The cycle consists of Direct Instruction, Guided Practice and Partner Teaching, with partner work embedded throughout. During Direct instruction, our teachers use big teaching to teach a new concept or idea to the class. During Guided practice, the children practise what they have been taught under careful guidance from their teacher. Partner teaching is a proven technique that works on the premise that the best way to understand if you really understand something is to try and explain it to somebody else. Children teach each other what they have learned and, in this way, they consolidate and deepen their own understanding. Assessment is at the heart of this cycle; our teachers carefully monitor and assist children where necessary.
Maths Makes Sense structure and coverage
Maths Makes Sense covers all areas of mathematics. Each year group is organised into six blocks of work, with each block lasting roughly one half-term. Maths Makes Sense 1-6 is organised into strands (Arithmetic 1, Geometry, Data and Measure, Arithmetic 2, Reasoning), with each strand taught on a different day of the week (see structure diagram opposite). Maths Makes Sense Foundation focusses on a different strand or a combination of strands each week, including counting, number, writing, calculation, shape, position, sorting and data. Maths Makes Sense covers all statutory requirements of the National Curriculum (2014). Richard Dunne, the creator and author of Maths Makes Sense, was a member of the select group who advised the Department for Education on the Programmes of Study for Mathematics for the National Curriculum (2014).
Further to the daily maths lessons we also have 15 minute daily fluency sessions, using Third Space Learning's 'Fluent in 5' resources, and times table sessions.
See the Long Term Plans below.