Making primary maths real, fun and memorable

Uploaded by educationgovuk on 27.03.2012

Visiting schools throughout the country for his recent report,
Sir Peter Williams observed much existing good practice
in mathematics.
However, his review does identify some key areas
where maths learning could be significantly improved.
One school that particularly impressed Sir Peter
is the inappropriately named Weeke Primary in Winchester.
So what are they doing at Weeke to strengthen their maths teaching?
What are they doing to make maths real?
Alice the camel had five humps.
Alice the camel had five humps.
Alice the camel had five humps.
So does Alice go...
I think here where we're most successful,
we do get the child right at the heart of the learning
and the children can see that the teacher knows them well,
they've taken the time and the trouble
to A) find out what their interests are
but then to put that into planning.
And that takes time and effort and children appreciate that,
they realise that their own interests are being used
to help with their learning.
So that relationship between the children and the teacher
is what makes a success.
Okay, so hands ready.
So we go down...
What I always try and do is start off the lesson with a warm-up exercise,
some sort of breathing, some sort of active standing up, clapping,
anything really just to get the children on the ball.
Then we tend to do a song, anything that has counting in it really
that the children can get up and enjoy singing.
Then before I start the main input of whatever the lesson's going to be,
I will do some sort of number work.
Can you show me two?
Show me seven.
Seven. Good girl.
The most important thing is that the children have fun,
they look forward to coming to their lessons,
they're energetic and they are learning through their actions.
And 10!
Well done, well done.
How many spots on this side?
Can you show me?
How many spots on this side of Bill the ladybird?
Show me. What do we do, Sam?
I don't want them to get to Key Stage 2 and say that they hate maths.
I want them to get to Key Stage 2 and really love it
and understand it.
How many? Show me.
There's 10. So shall we show how we do that as a number bond?
We say zero and 10
equals 10.
I devised these symbols at the beginning of the year
alongside the children
to make the maths more personal to them
so that they have ownership of their mathematical learning
and I think it's really worked quite well.
What is an equals sign?
Equals, Sam.
I didn't know when I devised them how well it would go down,
if they would actually remember it or not.
But they have and they have really taken it onboard
and now when we're doing any addition,
they use those symbols as well and it really reinforces the point.
...add nine equals
They actually get to get up and use their bodies
and they're always having to think ahead
which is key in maths.
They've not learnt it by rote
because they have to remember those symbols
and where they're going to put them.
Zoe, how many spots on this side?
What Sir Peter particularly liked was the culture.
He liked the fact that fun and enjoyment and confidence
underpinned what we do in maths.
The teachers have to be relaxed and confident
and they have to have fun teaching the subject.
I'm just going to wait for everyone to have the right sausages up.
add seven
equals 10!
There are more smiles across the corridor
where Jane is teaching a mixed Year 3 and 4 class.
Hundreds, 10s and units.
Hundreds, 10s and units.
Numbers in the columns.
Numbers in the columns.
Two lines, two lines.
Two lines, two lines.
- Add. - Add.
- Add to the right. - Add to the right.
- Add to the left. - Add to the left.
- Boing, 10s over. - Boing, 10s over.
- Boing, hundreds over. - Boing, hundreds over.
- Pull it under. - Pull it under.
I want the children to learn
without knowing that they're actually learning.
So I think if you make the lesson really fun and enjoyable,
they forget that they're learning and they just do it without thinking.
Now using our rap, what's the next thing we've got to do?
Two lines, two lines.
Two lines, two lines. Let's put two lines, two lines in.
The success criteria we developed together as a class
and we looked at column addition
and then we wrote lists on a step-by-step guide
on how to achieve that.
Add the right, then add the left.
That's to tell you that first of all you add the units...
Once we'd done that we've simplified it
and then the children created their own actions
and their own rap to go with it.
Boing, 10s over
because you have to put the 10...
And if they've got a little routine or a little rap,
then it can help them work out what the next step is
and just make it a bit easier for them to get through their work
rather than panic, I think.