Maths Makes Sense

Maths Makes Sense Advocate School

Maths Makes Sense is a transformational approach for consistently high standards in maths. It is a consistent, whole-school approach to teaching maths, with high expectations for all, perfectly in line with the aims of the new Primary National Curriculum.

Deep conceptual understanding through a learning system of concrete objects, actions and vocabulary which develops fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Transforms children's understanding and enjoyment, encouraging all children to excel and become excited about maths.

Learning System. Maths is a symbolic, abstract language. To decode this language, symbols need to come alive and speak so clearly to children that maths becomes as easy to understand as reading a story. Maths Makes Sense has a unique learning system that truly enables this to happen.

It makes maths concrete and fully understandable by making consistent use of tangible objects such as cups, cards and sticks, combined with exaggerated physical actions and a special vocabulary for each symbol. Maths Makes Sense children have an active, spoken and visual image of each maths concept, which completely embeds understanding.

As mathematical concepts are learnt in such a memorable way, they are understood from the start and are never forgotten.

What Maths do Children Need to Know at Primary School?

Maths Makes Sense combines the use of concrete objects with exaggerated actions and a special vocabulary to teach the 10 Big Ideas that primary school children need to understand maths.

These 10 ideas underpin the whole Maths Makes Sense learning system and are taught consistently throughout the school.

The 10 Big Ideas

Introduced by age 7:

  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Multiplication
  • Division
  • Equals
  • The symbols speak to you
  • The logic of the language tells you the answer
  • Denomination

Introduced after age 7:

  • Ratio
  • Infinity

A Dynamic and Powerful Way of Teaching

Maths Makes Sense has a unique way of teaching maths that makes maths symbolic, enjoyable and fully understandable.

Concrete objects. Maths Makes Sense uses concrete objects including cups, cards and sticks to create a tangible and visible representation of maths. It embeds a picture of maths in children's minds, which they can recall later when they start working without concrete objects.

Exaggerated actions. Children use physical actions to act out calculations and mathematical concepts. This helps children to learn kinaesthetically.

Special vocabulary. Maths Makes Sense uses carefully designed phrases to help children access and apply mathematical concepts in a clear cut and increasingly familiar way.

Adding using pennies in Reception.
Counting together.

Making shapes in Year 1.
Partner work in year 1.

Working Wall SENR.
Working Wall SENT.