Sherdley Primary School
Growing Together, Respecting Each Other

Tel: 01744 678683
SEN Contact: Mrs K Bennett

Problem Solving

At Sherdley Primary School, we believe that Mathematics is essential for everyday life and a foundation for careers in technology, science, and engineering, among many others. Problem solving is widely understood to be one of the most important activities in school mathematics. Therefore, it is an integral part of our Maths curriculum and we consider it crucial to promote learning, personal growth and development.

‘The ability to solve problems is at the heart of mathematics. Mathematics is only “useful” to the extent to which it can be applied to a particular situation and it is the ability to apply mathematics to a variety of situations to which we give the name “problem solving”. At each stage the teacher needs to help pupils to understand how to apply the concepts and skills which are being learned and how to make use of them to solve problems. These problems should relate both to the application of mathematics to everyday situations within the pupils’ experience, and also to situations which are unfamiliar.’

Thirty plus years later and problem solving is still the beating heart of the Maths curriculum and – along with fluency and reasoning – completes the triad of aims in the 2014 New National Curriculum.


Problem of the Week

Problem of the week is a whole school initiative to:

  • Raise awareness of maths problem solving;
  • Develop children’s problem solving skills;
  • Engage children in problem solving – inside and outside of the classroom.

Each half term, there will be a different problem solving focus and tasks to complete for every year group (from Year 1 to Year 6).

How ‘Problem of the Week’ works:

  • A problem will be sent home via Class Dojo as part of students’ weekly homework.
  • Students should evidence this work like they would with their usual homework – for example showing their teacher or posting it onto Class Dojo.
  • Students will then be awarded 3 points on the Homework Heroes grid if the problem solving task is completed.



Useful resources


Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations
Sherdley Expectations

An excellent resource with ideas to support teaching ‘mastery’. You will need to set up Oxford Owls which is free to do

A useful article with links to appropriate tasks

Lots of Links to good interactive lesson support materials

Links to lesson support materials and activities

Number bonds to 10

With good links to tasks to encourage working systematically and other skills

Useful article with links to appropriate tasks

Useful Maths Problem Solving questions

Useful activities and strategies to find all possibilities

References – The Cockcroft Report (1982)

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