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Problem Solving Strategies

The principles of a mastery approach to maths are at the heart of what we teach and at the centre of this model is problem solving.

We explicitly teach our children problem solving strategies to support them in tackling challenging work.

8 Problem Solving Strategies

There are 8 problem-solving strategies that we teach during the children’s time at school.

For further explanation :

  • Trial and error or guess and check
  • Trial and improvement (eliminating incorrect solutions systematically)
  • Acting it out (using resources) or drawing a picture, diagram or model of the problem
  • Creating a table or list to organise number facts in a systematic way
  • Simplifying the problem to make it more accessible and understandable
  • Spotting a pattern (this may be extended to reveal a solution)
  • Working backwards
  • Using algebra

We aim to provide children who are stuck with a problem (routine or challenging) to either use their understanding of number and algorithms to help or to use one of these strategies to ‘unlock’ the problem and enable them to be successful.

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