compassphone-callemail stararrowhomeworktwitter
School Logo

Manor Field

Infant School





CPA Approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract)

CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) Approach

Why is this important in children's learning?


Children (and adults!) can find maths difficult because it is abstract. The CPA approach  is fundamental as it builds on children’s existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a concrete and achievable way. At Manor Field Infant School we use the CPA approach in our maths teaching to ensure maths mastery is achieved.


Concrete Stage


The concrete stage is the "doing stage". During this stage, the children use concrete objects e.g, multi-link, diennes to model problems.


Pictorial Stage


Pictorial Stage is the "seeing" stage. Here, visual representations of concrete objects are used to model problems.


Abstract Stage


Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children use abstract symbols to model problems. Students will not progress to this stage until they have demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem.


Please find below a diagram of the different stages.