Teaching of Maths
Big Maths is a teaching approach that makes progress in maths easy and fun. Big Maths has been extremely successful both nationally and internationally with thousands of children learning through daily Big Maths CLIC sessions and the weekly ‘Beat That!’ challenges.
Big Maths firstly answers the question, ‘How do we get children properly numerate as they journey through school?’ It provides us with 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 characterised by accurate steps of progression (known as Progress Drives) that make new learning easy and obvious to children by cashing in on the timeless natural laws of Maths.
Big Maths is therefore a rigorous, systematic and structured approach that provides children with a fun and lively experience as they learn through jingles, songs, games and the Big Maths characters.
Big Maths helps children to understand the links between core numeracy (the basic principles that underly all maths) and outer numeracy which is the application of these core principles.
CLIC stands for ‘Counting’, ‘Learn Its’, ‘It’s Nothing New’ and ‘Calculation’. Maths lessons contain each of these elements.
Children will count forwards and backwards in all kinds of steps depending on their level e.g. in 1s, 2s, 3s, 6s or even 25s! When practising counting at home with your child, make sure you go forwards and backwards. Don’t always start at 0 – make sure they can count on from 75 to 106 for example.
‘Learn Its’ are addition facts and times tables facts. There are 72 Learns Its in total; 36 addition Learn Its and 36 multiplication Learn Its. These are facts that children need to learn off by heart, so when they are asked ‘What is 6+4 ?’ they are able to give the answer as quickly as they would be able to tell you their name. As soon as they know 3x5=15 they also know 5x3=15 (This is known as a ‘Switcher’).
It’s Nothing New:
This is the most important aspect of CLIC. It is the way children become successful and properly numerate. The idea that 5-things and 3-things are always 8-things is a fundamental concept. Once children understand this concept, we can change the ‘thing’ to other units, e.g. ‘tens’, so that 5 tens + 3 tens = 8 tens. Children begin to learn the concept by counting random unit e.g. bananas, aliens, cats etc. It then becomes much easier to use standard measures such as ml, m, cm, kg, whilst understanding the underlying number concepts.
This aspect of CLIC is when the teacher will focus on developing the children’s understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Big Maths maps out which steps children should do in a clear order and helps teachers to identify where to go back to if a child needs extra support.
The whole system is underpinned by weekly 'Learn Its' and 'Beat That!' challenges. These short tests, which are thoroughly enjoyed by all the children, allow staff to see where any gaps in learning are and quickly go over them with the children in the subsequent maths lesson. Furthermore this form of low-stakes retrieval practice really helps to embed their learning.
White Rose Maths
White Rose Maths supports teaching for mastery for all pupils. It encourages problem-solving and reasoning, often asking the 'why?' and 'how do you know?' questions to support deeper mathematical thinking. Through presenting mathematical problems in a range of different ways it further encourages mathematical fluency.
Times Table Rockstars
All children from Year 1 are encouraged to use Times Table Rockstars to increase their speed and accuracy in times table recall.
We use the Automatic Training Mode (ATM) in Times Table Rockstars to ensure that the questions are being levelled appropriately.
How does it work?
Learners play in the Garage or the Arena and begin with our first set of questions (1x10 up to 4x10). When they can answer at a rate of 20 per minute, we'll introduce the next set of questions. As learners progress, ATM brings in commutativity, missing number questions and division facts. So the first 9 levels, look like this:
Level 1 : 1×10 to 4×10
Level 2 : 10×1 to 10×4
Level 3 : A mix of 1 and 2
Level 4 : 10×?=10 to 10×?=40
Level 5 : ?×10=10 to ?×10=40
Level 6 : A mix of 4 and 5
Level 7 : 10÷10 to 40÷10
Level 8 : 10÷1 to 40÷4
Level 9 : A mix of 7 and 8
Then the process repeats for 5×10 to 8×10 and once more for 9×10 to 12×10 before moving onto the next table and starting the process again.
Once they have a few tables under their belt, ATM combines them for a while, to consolidate recall, and then brings in a fresh table. The process repeats - all the while giving plenty of opportunity to revisit prior learning, by interleaving earlier tables and giving due weight to the facts we know learners struggle with the most - until your learner has become a Rock Star at all the tables!