Approach to the Teaching of Mathematics in Glasshouses Primary School

At the heart of Glasshouses Community Primary School is our motto: ’enjoying learning together’. This can only be achieved if all children have access to carefully planned lessons that cater for each individual’s needs through high quality teaching; effective use of maths resources and appropriate challenge for all pupils. Therefore, this document will outline the approach that we take to ensure this happens consistently throughout school.
Having identified mental arithmetic as a whole school weakness, the introduction of UFOs (Using the Four Operations) is designed to enable these skills to be practiced daily.
Our whole school approach is that UFOs happen daily, from 9:00 – 9:30.
An example of a UFO is displayed below:
UFO’s just like the rest of the school’s approach to teaching and learning must be daily planned. This is to ensure that we are meeting the children’s immediate needs daily and addressing any misconceptions/misunderstandings. They can also be used to help influence practitioner’s maths planning and consolidate/pre-teach mathematical concepts. The UFO grid is separated into four sections, one for each operation.
In order for these to succeed, the questions must be of a large variety exposing children to the types of questions they may be potentially asked in summative assessments. This should include a mixture of fluency/ skill-based; word problems; and missing number problems. These all allow children to practice these basic skills in a variety of ways. The impact from this will be significantly improved achievement in maths as a whole, especially numeracy.
What does the UFO session look like?
9:00 – 9:20: As soon as children enter school for the morning, their maths books and UFO sheet should be ready for them. Children are to start working straight away. During this time, the teacher is able to take the register and sort any immediate issues whilst the other children are working.
Children are expected to work through UFO’s independently, using resources to help support them answer each question.
The adults’ role during this time is to float around each child, noting the children’s success and common questions that children have found difficult to answer (this helps influence the following day’s UFO).
9:20 – 9:30: Teacher to then model those questions selected during their AfL. ALL children are expected to mark their own work in green pen.
It is not expected that the adult goes through every single question on the UFO grid. Only go through those questions that the children find most challenging.
After modelling, the adult provides the children with a few additional questions to complete in their UFOs based upon the needs of the children. These are to be completed in green pen, as this will show immediate progress.
Maths Lessons
We have adopted our maths approach to coincide with consistency across school.
All maths lessons should begin with an input (starter not necessary superseding the UFOs) that introduces a mathematical concept or builds upon an existing one. There must be clear examples of each question the children may encounter and shown how to present to their work properly.
The tasks that the children are set must follow BAD:
All children are given access to all challenges, following our growth mind-set focus within school. Children choose the challenge themselves that they wish to complete with adult encouragement to ensure every pupil is challenged.
If a pupil becomes confident with a challenge, they move onto to the next one without having to complete the entire task. This ensures every child is challenging themselves and progress can be evidenced.
In KS1 – the ‘working zones’ must also show the BAD approach.
The children must have access to a large range of resources to support their learning and to also challenge them.
Some examples of school resources include:
– Numicon
– Dienes’ blocks
– Fraction walls
– Place value mats
– Uni-fix cubes
– Times tables grids.
– Four operations clearly displayed.
Marking and Feedback in Mathematics
During a numeracy lesson, the adults’ roles in the classroom are to be constantly ‘live mark’ so that children can respond immediately.
Anything that is correct must be ticked in pink.
An incorrect answer is a purple dot.
Children respond to feedback and any self-marking in green.
Challenges must be indicated in purple.
Learning Environments
The learning environment in maths are crucial to support children’s learning. In each classroom, there should be a maths working wall where the day’s WALT is displayed, the mathematical concept, and examples accompanied with how it should be set out. There should also be a wide range of vocabulary to help children decipher any word problems they encounter.
As a result of the UFOs, each class needs to display the appropriate age method of working out each operation (See Calculation Policy for guidance).
See the photo below: