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What is Big Maths?

Big Maths is an approach to teaching number that aims to ensure that children are confidently numerate as they progress through school. It provides a rigorous and progressive structure and enables children to fully embed key skills and numeracy facts through fun and engaging lessons. It is based on 4 key elements which make up each maths lesson: CLIC.

Counting – Counting is done in many ways including counting forwards and backwards in ones, then moving on to multiple numbers, hundreds, thousands, then on to fractions and decimals. This section also includes work on place value and reading and ordering numbers.

Learn Its – ‘Learn Its’ are 72 number facts which are learnt throughout the years from Reception. They are split across the different terms so that each class works on a few Learn Its at a time to ensure they are fully embedded. 36 are addition facts and 36 are multiplication facts; these are learnt in class and are tested once a week.

It’s Nothing New – Children use a bank of facts and methods that they already have to solve problems and that each step of progress is very small; children will use and apply their skills and methods to a range of different situations and problems.

Calculation – This is often the main part of the maths lesson which focuses on teaching solid written and mental methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The children move through progress drives which introduce small, focused steps of progress throughout the year.


How does Big Maths work?

During each maths lesson, the children will experience 20 minute CLIC sessions, 5 minutes on each of the four sections, taught in various ways and often using colourful characters. Each class works on a set list of Learn Its each term and these are tested each week in a timed test made up of several Learn Its from the appropriate maths level.

In addition to this, each class will complete a CLIC test once a week which is an untimed test made up of questions on several areas of maths. Each week the children enjoy trying to beat their own score from the previous week. Samples of the tests can be seen below.

What should children be doing at home to support Big Maths?

Children should be practising the appropriate Learn Its for their class at home to support what is happening in lessons. These largely consist of times tables and simple addition facts to encourage rapid recall when calculating.

The same written methods used for teaching calculations in Big Maths are followed throughout the school to gain a consistent approach towards teaching methods. Below you can see examples of terminology used in Big Maths that you may hear your children mention.