The Maths No Problem mission statement:
“We believe that every child can master an understanding and love of maths with the right kind of teaching and support. We want you to join our mission to build the confidence of the nation’s maths teachers and learners.” Maths No Problem (2016).
What is Maths – No Problem!?
Maths — No Problem! is a series of textbooks and workbooks written to meet the requirements of the 2014 English National Curriculum. The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series was assessed by the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. As a result, the Maths — No Problem! Primary Series are recommended textbooks for schools on the mastery programme.
Hang on! Textbooks in Maths?
The school mathematics textbook has a long history and something of a reputation to shake off:
Gown-clad schoolmaster strides into the classroom. ‘Turn to page 68 and proceed!’ then watches hawk-eyed over quaking students.
Even beyond this historical picture, textbooks have often been seen to occupy the less creative side of mathematics teaching. But this is all changing! New textbooks (such as Maths – No Problem!) are adapted from examples used in Singapore, and designed to support a mastery approach to mathematics teaching.
How have the Maths – No Problem! textbooks improved teaching and learning at Kingsley?
Our mastery approach to teaching is by no means achieved solely with a textbook. Rigour and skill characterise our teaching and the Maths – No Problem! approach is at the heart of this. So how has this improved our teaching and learning since we introduced the textbooks in January 2018?
The textbooks are skilfully designed by expert authors. They contain carefully varied questions and examples which:
Are easy for pupils to enter while still containing challenging components;
Encourage pupils to think about maths;
Deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
Structured discussion - the teacher will lead a discussion with the children in order to organise the findings of the exploration, compare/contrast strategies and guide toward the most efficient strategy (or the one being learnt that day).
Questions to challenge thinking – teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding. Children are also encouraged to question each other frequently throughout the lesson; this aids the development of independent learners and deepens their understanding. A variety of questions are used, such as: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Is that right? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Questions are also used to challenge children who have grasped the concept. Children are expected to listen to each other’s responses and may be asked to explain someone else’s ideas in their own words, or if they agree/disagree etc.
Discussion and feedback – pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking throughout the lesson, but are expected to complete written work independently (unless working in a guided group with the teacher).