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Holbeton Primary School

Holbeton Primary School

Holbeton Primary School



In Holbeton Primary School, the lessons are carefully structured; they follow a spiral approach. They move children forward with ideas in a carefully scaffolded way so that children do not fall through the gaps. 

When appropriate, Maths No Problem textbooks are used as readers. Reading helps children to make connections to the physical world (aids visualisation) and children learn to explain their reasoning by reading. 

At Holbeton, teachers aim to read not spell number sentences to aid children to make sense of symbols.
For example, add a story to 51÷ 3 - We don’t say, “51 divided by 3?” Instead we say, “51 ice creams shared equally into 3 boxes is the same as to say, how many do we have in each box?” 
Teachers pre-empt misconceptions and are confident enough to question children’s responses.

What do children learn in their maths lessons at Holbeton Primary School?

As well as teaching the breadth of the National Curriculum 2014, we believe that there are 5 abilities children must acquire in our maths lessons (the muscles for doing maths): 

  1. Communication - Explain it! 
  2. Visualisation - The mind’s ability to see – “Can you imagine?” 
  3. Making connections and eventually, generalising 
  4. Number sense - Knowing how to break numbers down 
  5. Meta-cognition - Can children manage their own learning? 

To support this, our classrooms provide time for: 

  1. Exploration (Very accessible! Easy to anchor, difficult to leave.) 
  2. Structuring
  3. Journaling
  4. Reflection
  5. Practice

What is the theory underpinning maths at Holbeton?

  • Dienes - Children learn through exploration.
  • Vygotsky - Children learn through social interaction.
  • Piaget - Children learn when immersed in an idea (focus on a single problem) for a long period, as children can make connections.
  • Bruner - CPA approach (concrete experience, pictorial representation, abstraction). - A spiral approach allows children a better chance to grasp concepts well. Each day, the books introduce something new but the central concept stays the same. 
  • Skemp - Constructing meaning so that the skill will happen (relational understanding).
  • Baroody - Research shows children remember through 3 stages:
    • Counting / modelling (concrete approach).
    • ‘Figuring out’ = mental exercise to build cognitive capacity to remember - deriving answers using reasoning based on known facts.
    • Remember / mastery = efficient production of answers. 

Please find our calculation policy below. If you have any questions about how maths is taught and what strategies are used, then pop in and either chat to your child's class teacher or Mr Armley-Jones.

If you would like to watch some videos that show how the Maths No Problem approach pupils' development of mathematical understanding, then please visit this link.