Maths is a vital part of everyday life: it teaches children how to make sense of the world around them. It develops their ability to calculate but more importantly, to solve problems. Numbers are one way that we communicate between ourselves about our world; therefore, we need to understand what numbers represent, how numbers are used and how to describe the world mathematically.
We provide a maths curriculum to encourage children to enjoy maths, to help them to feel secure to have a go at problem solving and, most importantly, help them to see how this learning is applied to real life situations so they will be able to use the skills they've learned when they grow up.
Teaching maths for mastery is a transformational approach to maths teaching which stems from high performing Asian nations such as Singapore. When taught to master maths, children develop their mathematical fluency without resorting to rote learning and are able to solve non-routine maths problems without having to memorise procedures.
A mastery approach to teaching and learning Maths is being developed at Beech Hill to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum. We have chosen to implement the Power Maths scheme from Years 1 to 5 and will include Year 6 from September. The scheme ensures children are given time to understand something before they move on. A large proportion of time is spent reinforcing number to build competency and ensuring teachers support the ideal of depth before breadth. We provide plenty of opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements into our curriculum.
Whole class moves through content at the same pace
When teaching maths for mastery, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth and the teacher does not move to the next stage until all children demonstrate that they have a secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
Time to think deeply about the maths
Students are given time to think deeply about the maths and really understand concepts at a relational level rather than as a set of rules or procedures. This slower pace leads to greater progress because it ensures that students are secure in their understanding and teachers don’t need to revisit topics once they’ve been covered in depth.
Builds self-confidence in learners
In a traditional primary school maths lesson, children are put in different groups and given different content based on their anticipated ability. This means that from an early age children are classed as those who can and can’t “do maths”. Teaching maths for mastery is different because it offers all pupils access to the full maths curriculum. This inclusive approach, and its emphasis on promoting multiple methods of solving a problem, builds self-confidence and resilience in pupils.
Differentiates through depth rather than acceleration
Though the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Unlike the old model, where advanced learners are accelerated through new content, those pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.
Basis for the 2014 National Curriculum For Maths
Teaching maths for mastery is a key plank of the Government’s education reforms and is reflected in the 2014 English national curriculum for mathematics. The NCETM, Department for Education and OFSTED have all endorsed this evidence-based approach which is a key part of the work within the Maths Hubs Programme.
At Beech Hill, we believe all children, when introduced to a new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency by taking a Concrete- Pictorial- Abstract approach.
Concrete – Children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.
Pictorial – Alongside this children use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.
Abstract – Both concrete and pictorial representations then support children’s understanding of abstract methods.
Children are supported to develop their understanding of problem solving, reasoning and numeracy in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding.
For more information please visit the EYFS Curriculum link.
For further information about Mathematics in our school, please contact our Mathematics Subject Leader Miss Kenyon