We have employed ‘Power Maths’ in Beit Shvidler starting from September 2019. This is a whole-class, textbook-based mastery resource that empowers every child to understand and succeed in Maths. At the heart of Power Maths is a clearly structured teaching and learning process that helps us make certain that the children master each maths concept securely and deeply. For each year group (Rec-Year6), the curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps – lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built. Arithmetic, reasoning and problem solving skills are taught alongside each other.
Unlike most other subjects, maths comprises a wide array of abstract concepts. By taking a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (C-P-A) approach, Power Maths allows children to tackle concepts in a tangible and more comfortable way. Manipulatives are used throughout the school with more emphasis in KS1 and early KS2.
Just as prescribed in the National Curriculum, the goal of Power Maths is never to accelerate through a topic but rather to gain a clear, deep and broad understanding. Since maths competence depends on mastering concepts one-by-one in a logical progression, it is important that no gaps in understanding are ever left unfilled. Same-day interventions – either within or after a lesson – are a crucial safety net for any child who has not fully made the small step covered that day. In other words, intervention is always about keeping up, not catching up, so that every child has the skills and understanding they need to tackle the next lesson.
Similarly, confident learners will be challenged through exposure to unfamiliar problems, development of reasoning skills and by exploring multiple ways to manipulate numbers and solve problems with deeper understanding. This inclusive approach allows all children to achieve, with concepts being revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.
Lessons are focused on building a healthy culture of ‘maths talk’ which empowers learning from day one. When children learn to talk purposefully together about maths, barriers of fear and anxiety are broken down and they grow in confidence, skills and understanding. Explanation and discussion are integral to the Power Maths structure.