Big Ideas Behind Numbers

This year all of our teachers will have the opportunity to learn about the big ideas behind numbers (conceptual number development). You may not have heard of conceptual number development before and until recently, I hadn’t heard of maths described using these words either…

This approach gives children opportunities to build confidence with numbers in a variety of ways. You may hear your child using different language when talking about maths; part, part, whole boards, think boards or storyboards and arrays. These new ideas are all ‘tools’ and strategies we use to help children understand the big ideas in the classroom.  To ensure your child makes progress in their learning we have developed school pathways (like next steps in learning) which teachers use for planning. We will share these tools and strategies in a series of short videos on our blog in the coming months.

We have also introduced progress checks which enable our teachers to identify what your child does and doesn’t know and any misunderstandings which leads to errors about big ideas (concepts) which need addressed. This allows teachers to plan for your child from an actual starting point and not from a ”one size fits all approach“. At Burnside Primary School we are focussing on a “one size fits one” approach.

Your child will still learn all the essential big ideas (concepts) in maths – counting, place value, addition and subtraction, times tables – but will be taught how each part of their learning can help them progress to a greater understanding of numbers in the world around us. Ultimately, we want our children to be positive in their approach to using numbers at school. We will help your child develop ‘number sense’ and be able to discuss the methods that they choose and why, and give them a wide choice of strategies and tools which can be used to build their skills and confidence with numbers.