At East Wittering, we follow the National Curriculum for Maths using the Maths Mastery approach to teaching.
We use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics.
Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her move on to more advanced material.
Five Big Ideas in Teaching for Mastery
A central component in the NCETM/Maths Hubs programmes to develop Mastery Specialists has been discussion of Five Big Ideas, drawn from research evidence, underpinning teaching for mastery. This is the diagram used to help bind these ideas together:
Coherence: Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, and ensuring that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small steps.
Representation and Structure: Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation.
Mathematical Thinking: If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others.
Fluency: Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
Variation: Varying the way a concept is initially presented to students, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. Also, carefully varying practice questions so that mechanical repetition is avoided, and thinking is encouraged.
How is Maths taught at East Wittering?
Fluency Skills– To develop children’s fluency, throughout school children take part in early morning ‘Maths Flash’ sessions. Children practise counting forwards and backwards and in steps of different sizes, including fractions and decimals in later years.
Discrete Maths Lessons – The maths curriculum objectives are taught through discrete Maths lessons. We are working towards a mastery approach to teaching mathematics. This means that we focus on topics, such as place value or addition, for a longer period of time to enable pupils to gain a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts. This builds upon learning from previous years. Children are given opportunities to develop fluency, reason mathematically and solve problems. Teachers from Early Years to Year 6 follow the White Rose scheme, however they also use a wide variety of other resources, to provide children with a range of challenges where they apply their skills. All classes provide Math talking stem sentences for children to use to respond to their reasoning questions and teachers use these during lessons to embed practice.
Cross-Curricular Maths – Many aspects of the curriculum, especially Measurement, Geometry and Statistics are taught through a cross-curricular approach. There are particularly strong links with Computing, Science, Geography and Art.
Models and Images – To support children’s conceptual understanding, we use a range of models and images, including Numicon, straws, bead strings, place value counters, number lines, fraction boxes, Dienes’ apparatus.
Speaking and Listening – Children are given frequent opportunities to discuss their mathematical thinking and articulate their reasoning.