Big Maths is a numeracy programme that was introduced at St John’s in September 2011. It has had a huge impact, helping our children to become even more numerate and exceed in their mathematical achievement. Big Maths provides children with a fun and lively experience as they learn with jingles, songs, games and the famous Big Maths characters.
Children work through steps known as ‘Progress Drives’ where they follow a natural sequence of progression e.g. to know double 60 they need to first know double 6. Each step is always very small, but essential. This helps to boost confidence as all children can see that the next step up the progress drive is always easy and achievable. These Progress Drives allow for continuity and consistency across the whole school as all teachers are using the same steps of progression.
The lessons involve lots of repetition, revisiting and reinforcement to ensure solid knowledge of the basic maths skills, constantly nudging children up the Progress Drives.
We welcome visitors from schools far and wide to look at Big maths in action and in the past this has included schools from Kent, Wales and Cornwall as well as many Walsall schools. As a result of this success we are officially a partner school with Andrell Education. Ben Harding, the author of Big Maths, is a frequent visitor to St John's to enable us to keep moving Big maths forward.
Daily Maths Lesson
Each daily maths lesson begins with a CLIC session:
Counting: Children learn to count forwards and backwards (progressing from whole numbers to ten through to counting in decimals and fractions) and to ‘count on’ from any number.
Learn Its: Recalling basic number facts including all four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division)
It’s Nothing New: Children apply what they have learned to acquire new skills in a simple manner.
E.g. if they know 4 + 3 = 7, then ‘its nothing new’ to learn that 4p + 3p = 7p.
Calculation: Children use and apply facts and knowledge from CLI to all four operation calculation methods (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).
Pupil CLIC Books
Children from Year 1 to year 5 have their own individual CLIC book that shows their CLIC journey, celebrating every step on the Progress Drives.
Big Maths Assessment
As well as tracking children’s knowledge and understanding using their position on the Progress Drives, once a week the children sit two quick and easy Big Maths tests. These are used as assessment tools that allow teachers to see exactly what the children know and what they don’t know. They also provide children with a fun and motivational way to track their own progress and set their own targets for numeracy. Both tests begin with fun, catchy jingles that enthuse and engage the children.
The CLIC test: The CLIC test is a set of 10 questions involving number.
E.g. The four operations, doubling/halving, multiplying by 10/100, using decimals. Each child works on a CLIC test of a level appropriate to them and when they have achieved full marks for three consecutive weeks will move on to a higher level test, regardless of age or year group.
The Big Maths Beat That test (BMBT): The BMBT test is based on the children’s weekly Learn Its. It is a timed test where the children are constantly challenged to increase their own score (literally…”Beat That!”, where ‘that’ is their best ever score).
Children with the most improved score in their year group are celebrated each week in celebration assembly.
Big Maths Characters
Many of the It’s Nothing New concepts are introduced and taught using fun and interactive characters. This has proved to be a very powerful tool as the characters and the mathematical language that is associated with them is used consistently through the school and constantly referred to by both children and staff.
Each character helps children to learn and remember key principles that can be applied across a range of topics and difficulty.
E.g. Pim helps children make links between 3 + 4 = 7, 30 + 40 = 70, £30 + £40 = £70 and 0.03 + 0.04 = 0.07.
Through half termly Newsletters, parents will be introduced to these characters and their place in Big Maths, hopefully promoting discussion with their child.
We hope you enjoy Big Maths as much as we all do!