We have adopted a maths scheme called Power Maths to support our teaching of maths.
What is Power Maths?
Power Maths is a resource that has been designed for UK schools based on research and extensive experience of teaching and learning around the world and here in the UK. It has been designed to support and challenge all pupils and is built on the belief that EVERYONE can learn maths successfully.
How does this support our approach to teaching?
The philosophy behind Power Maths is that being successful in maths is not just about rote-learning procedures and methods, but is instead about problem solving, thinking and discussing. Many people feel they were taught maths in a way that was about memorising formulas and calculation methods, then having to apply them without any real understanding of what or how these methods actually work. Power Maths includes practice questions to help children develop fluent recall and develop their conceptual understanding.
The Power Maths Teaching Model
At the heart of Power Maths is a clearly structured teaching and learning process that helps you make certain that every child masters each maths concept securely and deeply. For each year group, the curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps – lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built.
The Power Maths Lesson Sequence
At the heart of Power Maths is a unique lesson sequence designed to empower children to understand core concepts and grow in confidence. Embracing the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics’ (NCETM’s) definition of mastery, the sequence guides and shapes every Power Maths lesson taught. Flexibility is built into the Power Maths programme so there is no one-to-one mapping of lessons and concepts meaning that we can pace our teaching according to each class. While some children will need to spend longer on a particular concept (through interventions or additional lessons), others will reach deeper levels of understanding. However, it is important that the class moves forward together through the termly schedules.
Whole Class Approach
Traditionally, children who learn quickly have been accelerated through the curriculum. As a consequence, their learning may be superficial and will lack the many benefits of enabling children to learn with and from each other. By contrast, Power Maths’ mastery approach value real understanding and richer, deeper learning above speed. It sees all children learning the same concept in small, cumulative steps, each finding and mastering challenge at their own level. Remember that in mastery maths, EVERYONE can do maths! Those who grasp a concept easily have time to explore and understand the concept at a deeper level. The whole class therefore moves through the curriculum at broadly the same pace via individual learning journeys.
Each lessons includes the following parts shown below:
A Retrieval Challenge or Multiplication Starter: A 10-minute mental recall activity to help gain fluency in Mathematical facts.
Discover and Share: This part of the lesson encourages ping pong teaching, a model where pair work, shared learning and teaching instructions are back and forth. This part encourages some discovery in pairs and some whole class discussions.
Think Together: This part of the lesson is where we follow the I do, we do, you do method. The teacher models and explains, the children all have a go together and get a chance to practise before the independent task.
Practice: Children use the Power Maths questions during this part of the lesson and are encouraged to use resources modelled during the ‘think together’ section. Children can work independently or collaboratively during this part.
Reflect: Here, children have an opportunity to consolidate their learning independently, as well as sharing this in a class
Deeper Learning Challenge: Additionally, at Tor Bridge Primary School we also give the children deeper learning challenges to help deepen their understanding.
What if my child needs a confidence boost, or wants to be challenged further?
Power Maths is based on a ‘small-steps’ approach, sometimes called a mastery approach. This means that the concepts are broken down so that our children can master one idea without feeling over-whelmed. There are a range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving questions in each lesson that are designed to support the different needs and confidence levels within a class, while at the same time fostering a spirit of working and learning together. Each lesson includes a challenge question for those children who are ready to delve deeper into a concept.