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Mathematics equips pupils with a powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include fluency, logical reasoning, problem solving and the ability to think in abstract ways.
Bar modelling- a powerful visual approach for introducing number topics
At St George's we have adopted a bar model approach to help support our understanding of maths. Bar modelling is an essential maths mastery strategy. We aim to embed a deep understanding of maths using the bar model.
Bar modelling is not a method of calculation. Instead, it is a way of representing problems pictorially: from simple addition, through to finding percentages of amounts, all the way to complex multi-step problems involving ratio and proportion. Bar modelling allows pupils to draw and visualize mathematical concepts to solve problems.
We start by using objects and pictures before numbers and symbols. This helps develop a true understanding rather than learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening. This approach is easily accessible by all children and we don't want our children to be put off maths because it's boring and they find it hard to remember rules. The bar model approach helps children to develop confidence and their mathematical ability without having to memorise rules and procedures. Hence, making mathematics more engaging and interesting.
Bar models can be used to pictorially represent arithmetic problems, as well as reasoning problems written with a context.
The reading comprehension involved in problem-solving hampers our children, and while bar modelling doesn't remove the necessity to read and comprehend maths problems, it certainly provides a structured way of working through a written problem.
Click on the links to find out how we use bar modelling:
Teachers follow the Mathematics curriculum explicitly, using the White Rose Maths hub scheme to support them.
Other resources are used to supplement and enhance the work.
Mastery and mastery with greater depth tasks are used to challenge and assess the children’s understanding.
Practical equipment is used widely throughout the school to reinforce the concepts taught and to practice skills learnt.