The Primary Advantage Maths Program.
At St Mary’s we understand that maths is crucial for everyday life and that children need to be equipped for the world when they become adults. We believe that PA maths enables all children to achieve their very best by using the concrete, pictorial and abstract model. The programme was developed by a group of teachers from Primary Advantage schools in Hackney and is rooted in current research into best practice in mathematics teaching. It is based on the reforms to the Primary mathematics programme of study which became statutory in 2014.
At St Mary’s we have been using the Primary Advantage maths programme for 2 years. In our first year we trialled the programme in Key Stage one and in our second year we rolled it out across the school from nursery to year 6.
The PA maths Programme aims to empower young people to achieve their potential, to use their knowledge of mathematical language to talk about their work and explain their findings and ultimately use their skills to make informed and responsible choices throughout their lives.
The PA Maths programme is not a scheme of work, it provides teachers with a framework for teaching the key objectives. It supports all children by being based on the concrete, pictorial and abstract model which benefits all children, particularly children who may have difficulties, because it moves gradually from actual objects (concrete) through to pictures (Pictorial) and then when the children are ready onto symbols (abstract).
The programme provides models and images for teaching key skills and for problem solving bar modelling is used which is a visual representation of the problem that is trying to be solved.
The bar model helps children visualise the relationships between the numbers given and the amount you are looking for in a word problem. What’s great about this tool is that the model starts in primary school with addition and subtraction problems and then can be expanded to work with multiplication and division problems, fractions, ratios, and percentages. This model is incredibly useful when you need to make sense of the given information and figure out how to attack a complex problem.
The PA maths Programme runs alongside our calculation policy which looks at the methods used to teach the four operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. We teach our children using a range of different resources and models to ensure all children are able to access maths and achieve their very best.
In the early years concrete resources will be used such as fruit, bear counters, pencils etc.
In Key Stage and one and lower Key Stage two pictorial resources will be used such as dienes counting sets.
Please see the attached leaflets that explain the fundamentals of maths for every year group. There are also lots of ideas, websites and practical ways to support you child with maths.