The answer is only the beginning.
- Chinese proverb
E fficiency and depth
L ink knowledge with skills
M ind of a mathematician – What is the same? What is different?
H igher order thinking skills
U nderstanding and depth
R elationship spotting
S ystematic (step-by-step) approach
T esting predictions
We believe that every child is a mathematician.
All children at Elmhurst follow the Maths No Problem scheme which is based on a number of teaching approaches from Shanghai but developed for the English national curriculum. The scheme encourages pupils of all ages to use concrete resources to explore the problems they are trying to solve. The aim is to build mathematicians who can represent, understand and solve problems in a variety of ways.
Here at Elmhurst, we learn to become fluent in using both mental and written methods to solve calculations. We use informal recordings (jottings) and journaling to explain and explore our thinking in solving problems. It is important that our pupils have the right skills to choose the most efficient method to solve any problem they are faced with.
Number fluency (being able to manipulate and use numbers in different ways) is an extremely important skill for all areas of maths. This comes from a rapid recall of times table facts up to 12x12 (by the end of year 4) and the ability to use known facts to find answers to questions we might not yet have the answer to. Once our pupils have these skills, they can apply this to related multiplication and division facts with increasing difficulty. This is at the heart of our vision to empower pupils to be proficient at number crunching.
In line with some teaching approaches in Shanghai, pupils use the bar model to visualise and understand problems. This enables them to explore a range of representations and methods and allows then to embed a deeper conceptual understanding alongside their number fluency.
Our learning-teaching approach is step-by-step and steers towards ‘mastery’ where the focus is on creating as many relationships and links between the skills and concepts – depth as opposed to acceleration.
"It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein
Elmhurst Primary School is the home of the London North East Maths Hub. We host regular open mornings to showcase the mastery approach to Maths learning. Please complete the form on our Maths Hub page if you wish to visit our school on one of the Open Mornings.