Maths at St George's
At St George’s we teach Mathematics by using the ‘Big Maths’ approach. Big Maths is a teaching method created by Ben Harding that embraces the logical nature of maths, translating it into simple Steps and Progress Drives. This makes progress easy and fun for both children and teachers giving all pupils the opportunity to achieve.
Big Maths provides an accurate and simple, but highly effective, framework that guarantees numeracy progress. This framework is known as CLIC (Counting, Learn Its, It’s Nothing New and Calculation) and is underpinned by accurate steps of progression (known as Progress Drives). This helps children to see that the next step in their learning is simple, logical and straight forward.
The CLIC strategy empowers all adults in our school to accurately plan for the next steps in children’s learning and to effectively address any gaps that may arise along the way.
CLIC comprises of:
Counting – Counting is done in many ways including counting forwards and backwards in various increments; work on place value and reading and ordering numbers.
Learn Its – Learn Its are 72 number facts which are learnt throughout the years from Reception to Year 4. They are split across the different terms so that each class works on a few Learn Its at a time, to ensure they are fully embedded. 36 are addition facts and 36 are multiplication facts; these are learnt in class and practiced at home and are tested once a week in school through the ‘Big Maths Beat That!’ Challenge.
It’s Nothing New – Children use a bank of facts and methods that they already have, to solve problems and that each step of progress is very small; children will use and apply their skills and methods to a range of different situations and problems.
Calculation – This is often the main part of the maths lesson which focuses on teaching solid written and mental methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The children move through progress drives which introduce small, focused steps of progress throughout the year.
We spend a week every half term on developing written and mental methods in each of the four operations - addition, subtraction, division and multiplication. The remaining weeks centre around other areas of Mathematics including; Shape, Measure, Fractions, Statistics, Geometry and Problem Solving.
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Big Maths characters
As part of Big Maths there are characters that the children associate with different areas of the Maths curriculum. The aim of these characters is to help them remember certain methods, and make them more confident in their learning. Some examples of characters are:
Pim- Pim is a special alien because his he has 3 arms, legs, fingers etc on one side of his body and the other half 4. Children know that PIM makes 7 when he is all added up. Children use this to associate that no matter what the object (i.e. fingers, apples, cm) if the numbers are the same they will always create the same total. So 3+4=7, so PIM's 3 arms and 4 arms means he has 7 arms.
Squiggleworth- This alien dog helps children with place value and partitioning numbers. The number sits in his body and then children split and partition the number into his feet.
There are many other characters too and information about them can be found on the Big Maths website.
When carrying out learning walks in school, we always want to hear what our pupils have to say about their Maths lessons. Recently we interviewed some children in school and here are some snap shots of what they said about Maths at St George's:
" We enjoy our work because it is challenging and it makes us think more."
" Our teachers help us by giving us tool kits to use and red pen."
" We enjoy Maths because lots of our lessons are fun and active."
Children were also very keen to show off work they were proud of and could explain why they had chosen that particular piece.
During the previous summer term at St George's we started maths mechanics which is an opportunity for our year 5 and 6 children to support and share their love of maths with younger children in years 2 and 4. Children meet once a week to develop skills within CLIC through active learning. The children really benefited from this group and enjoyed it and it will be continuing this term with a new group of children. Below you can see what our previous children said about Maths mechanics:
Our children say:
" It's awesome, we get to learn new things in depth. It is nice to interact with people my own age and have their full attention." Fabio year 4.
" I get to learn more things and it is really fun." William year 2.
" It feels really good to teach them something, and I feel proud when they achieve it." Kai year 6.
" I love it, once I didn't know my 6 times tables, now I do and I even know my 9s!" Denis year 4.
Times table Rockstars!
Recently as a school we have begun using times table rock stars. The idea of this online game is that children create their own rock avatar and choose a rockstar name. They then play times table games under a timer, trying to improve their speed at recalling these number facts. As they get quicker, and the more they play, they can begin to earn gold coins which they can then use to buy things for their avatar.
So far we've had great responses from both the children (and teachers!) as they enjoy learning their tables in a fun and competitive way! Each week in achievement assembly the top scoring children and classes will be announced.
Children each have their own log in, which their class teacher will provide them with and they can access the game at school, and we are encouraging them to play at home too.
Below there is a link to the website, so take a look and see what it's all about!