At Stuart Road Primary Academy we have high expectations for every child. Teaching for mastery in Maths is essentially the expectation that all pupils will gain a deep understanding of the Maths they are learning. For understanding in Maths to be secure, learning needs to be built on solid foundations. A mastery approach to the curriculum means pupils spend far longer on key mathematical concepts whilst working at greater depth. Maths teaching for mastery rejects the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths`. All pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed. Pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time. This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind.
If a pupil fails to grasp a concept or procedure, this is identified quickly and early intervention ensures the pupil is ready to move forward with the whole class in the next lesson. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through speedy teacher intervention and those children who grasp the concepts more quickly are given opportunities to deepen their knowledge and improve their reasoning skills rather than accelerating on to new curriculum content.
Daily maths lessons are taught in small steps from the NCETM. Using the NCETM curriculum design ensures a coherent and detailed sequence of essential content to support sustained progression over time. Lesson design identifies the new mathematics that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning. We develop children’s learning across all strands of maths through a variety of approaches. We provide children with concrete manipulatives to secure their understanding of place value. As they develop as mathematicians, they are expected to use both pictorial and written methods as outlined in our whole school calculation policy. To help children succeed in maths, there is a strong focus on developing maths fluency and arithmetic skills.
Fluency is promoted through IT programs such as TT Rockstars and Numbots and daily fluency sessions. This allows children to monitor their own progress, motivate themselves and practice essential elements. Children are also encouraged to use MyMaths (both at home and in school) to further consolidate learning.
All Maths objectives are revisited multiple times within and across key stages, ensuring that the learning sequence is correct and that children are always building on and embedding previous knowledge and understanding. Pupils are given frequent opportunities to revisit previous learning in different and new contexts thereby allowing for greater depth of understanding. Teachers are making sure that learning is revisited and embedded not only within a term or year, but also over a key stage; inter- and intra- curricular links are used to encourage connected learning; and children are provided with a range of rich, experiential learning opportunities which both inspire and challenge.
Problem solving is central and opportunities are given for pupils to calculate with confidence, ensuring an understanding of why it works so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening. The use of precise mathematical language enables pupils to communicate their reasoning and thinking effectively. A high-quality Mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
If you would like any help or advice about how to develop your child's or your own knowledge of the Maths curriculum please see me (Mrs Ioja) or your child's teacher.