RUCSAC Problem Solving in Maths


At The Meadows, we recognise that problem solving is an integral part of our daily lives. Most days we are presented with problems, in varying contexts, that we must find a solution to in order to be successful.

To prepare our children for real life, problem solving is an important part of our curriculum, particularly within Maths. At the start of each lesson, our pupils are provided with a problem, in a real life content, to hook them into their learning. In their independent learning, pupils are given frequent opportunities to solve a range of problems using the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract) approach to help them.

Whilst we are providing our children with frequent opportunities to problem solve, we have found that some children in the past have struggled to formulate an efficient strategy to help them be successful.

Therefore, to help our children, we have introduced a new approach to problem solving throughout the school; this forms part of our school development plan this year in Maths. It is called the RUCSAC method. Whenever they are faced with a problem, we encourage our children to use the strategy as followed:

Image result for rucsac

R- Read the question.

U- Underline the key fact.

C- Choose the correct method or operation.

S- Solve the problem.

A - Answer the question.

C - Check the answer.

In each classroom, as well as in the corridor, we have a display for pupils to use to remind them:




Here are some examples of the children's problem solving so far:






So if your child is solving a problem at home, why not encourage them to use the RUCSAC method to help them be successful.

Mrs Kuffour 


Pupil Voice


Where might you solve Maths problems in real life?

Isaac Cl2 - You use Maths to see how far you can jump on sports day."

Edward Cl2 - You use Maths when you buy and ice cream on holiday."

Amy Cl2 - "You would solve a Maths problem in the shops when you are buying food. You solve problems using methods."

Ellenor Cl3 - "When you are applying to be a teacher because you have to go through the course to make sure you know what you are doing in Maths to help other people."

Archie Cl4- " You might solve them when you are dealing with money because you have to subtract how much you spend from how much you have."

Anonymous Cl4 - "When you are a build or a maintenance worker. You need to take measurements such as how long the bricks are, how much cement you need to build walls."


How do you solve a problem?

Edward Cl2 - "You have to use the RUCSAC method to work out problems."

Charlie Cl3 - "We use RUCSAC. Each letter stands for something you need to do in Maths and it helps you if you are struggling on something."

Adam Cl3 - "You can look at the 'Power Maths' characters to help you."

Cody Jay Cl4- "I underline the white hat facts, then you figure out what calculation you need to do in order to solve the problem. This is part of the RUCSAC method."

Anonymous Cl4 - "Use your RUCSAC method. Make sure you read the question carefully and underline the white hat facts because if you miss a fact out, particularly and important one, you would get the question wrong."


How does RUCSAC help you solve problems?

Zac Cl3 - "It helps you to solve problems in an easier way."

Lucas Cl4- "It helps me solve a problem because you can follow the steps to help you solve the question. If you are struggling, you need to focus on the white hat facts because then you can identify what you need to do in order to answer the question."

Zac Cl4 - "When you do RUCSAC, it tells you what you should do first and what you should do last. You need to read the question so you understand what to do, then find the facts so that you can choose the method you want to do to solve the question. It helps you to work strategically." 

Christi Cl4 - "It helps you solve problems because you go through it step by step. It has helped me to be more successful when problem solving in Maths, for example, sometimes when I used to answer a question, I didn't underline my white hat facts so I made little mistakes."