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We get excited about what we do - talking to teachers, and authors, chatting with pupils and turning conversations and ideas into practical educational series. Find out more about our guest bloggers.

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Getting back to basics: area

With the pressures of curriculum coverage, topics such as area can sometimes be raced through.  However, lingering with these topics and squeezing out as much mathematical thinking as possible can help children to make links to other areas of maths and experience success which then breeds motivation to master other aspects of maths. In this blog post, Nick Hart takes a look at getting the basics right for this key topic.

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Keeping end points on your radar

The first of the new Key Stage 2 National Tests are fast approaching. If you are planning on a revision programme, or even if you aren’t, it is probably best to be aware of the areas that will be included in the tests that have not been taught in Year 6. Thank to Mathematics Advisor Caroline Clissold for this valuable article on end points.

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Deepening children’s understanding of maths

It is important to say from the outset that depth of understanding of maths should be a goal for all and not just the most able children.  Differentiating for the most able should not necessarily be fundamentally different tasks.  Certainly, those children should have opportunities to deepen their conceptual understanding of an area of maths but why not have that expectation of all children?

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The value of precise mathematical vocabulary

The national curriculum requires that children use mathematical language. It states that ‘the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof’.

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Creating the conditions for mastery (1)

With thanks to Nick Hart, Deputy Head at Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School in Slough, for this fascinating article on scaffolding.

In one episode of the Simpsons, Bart moves school and is immediately put into a remedial class.  He joins a lesson where they are continuing their work from the previous day – the letter ‘a’.  Bart’s observation is: ‘Let me get this straight.  We’re going to catch up to the other kids by going slower than them?’

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Creating the conditions for mastery

With thanks to Nick Hart, Deputy Head at Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School in Slough, for this fascinating article on scaffolding.

In one episode of the Simpsons, Bart moves school and is immediately put into a remedial class.  He joins a lesson where they are continuing their work from the previous day – the letter ‘a’.  Bart’s observation is: ‘Let me get this straight.  We’re going to catch up to the other kids by going slower than them?’

Read more »

Teaching additive reasoning

With thanks to Nick Hart, Deputy Headteacher at Penn Wood Primary School in Slough, for this really interesting article on teachng additive reasoning.

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What is the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach?

You may have heard ‘the CPA approach’ referenced in the context of mathematics mastery and wondered what it really means. We asked Cherri Moseley, one of our Series Consultants and authors of Rising Stars Mathematics (our brand-new textbook programme) to explain how it works.

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Teaching addition and subtraction for mastery

Thank you to Caroline Clissold for these practical ways to help children acquire mastery in these two operations. These ideas are specifically targeted at Year 2 but can be adapted for any year group.

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Mastery in Practice

This month, our Mathematics Consultant Caroline Clissold explains what mastery means in practice. 

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