Our school is adopting a mastery approach to mathematics. A mastery approach rejects the idea that some children ‘can’t do maths’. We accept and expect that all children can achieve well in maths. Success in mathematics is the goal for all children because we understand that strong numeracy skills benefit a person’s life opportunities, health and wellbeing (The Essentials of Numeracy: report by nationalnumeracy.org.uk).
In school we use the Maths No Problem! scheme of work which follows a Mastery approach to developing fluent maths skills and problem solving and reasoning ability. Our approach includes:
- Children supporting each other’s learning in mixed attainment pairs.
- Children carefully using chosen equipment to represent mathematical problems to expose mathematical structures.
- Children are able to talk about and explain the mathematics they are learning and when appropriate how this is applicable to real life situations.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, Maths is split into two areas: number and shape/space and measure. Maths is delivered through a range of focused and child initiated activities, both in the setting and in the outdoor learning environment.
Structure of our learning:
The whole class works through the programme of study at the same pace with sufficient time on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.
- Through careful lesson planning, all children are on a learning journey together from a shared starting point through small coherent steps that are achievable by all.
- Our learning uses a Concrete Pictorial Abstract model, providing children with practical and visual experiences in maths before moving to written concepts and calculations.
- The whole class is taught mathematics together. The learning needs of individual pupils are addressed through careful scaffolding, skilful questioning and appropriate rapid intervention, in order to provide the necessary support and challenge.
- Our tasks are not differentiated. It is expected that all children will access the learning through appropriate support and skilful questioning.
- SEND children are given personalised outcomes but are expected to be participating in whole class learning wherever possible.
- Journaling, reflecting on what you have learnt, takes place in a separate book in which we support children to be able to reflect on what they have learnt and when/how to use and apply these skills.
- Variation: The questions and examples are carefully varied to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.
- Challenge will be available to all through opportunity for deep learning, reasoning and open ended challenging problems.
- The reasoning behind mathematical processes is emphasised. Teacher/pupil interaction explores in detail how answers were obtained, why the method/strategy worked and what might be the most efficient method/strategy. Difficult points and potential misconceptions are identified in advance and strategies to address them planned.
- Fluency will be reinforced in a separate session – Fast Maths.
- Everyone will receive 5 Maths lessons per week. Our maths lessons last 1 hour, comprising of 30-35 minutes whole class teaching and assessment of learning, 20 minutes of independent practise time and a 10 minute plenary, with an additional 20 minutes of intervention for those who need it.
* In some classes Maths is run across a whole morning because of staffing arrangements or the needs of the class.
Here are some of our children who have been making progess using Times Table Rockstars at home and in school. They celebrated in Rockstar style! Well Done everyone!