Here at St Monica, we have begun to embark on a new mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. This year, we are part of the Solent Maths Hub Teaching Research Group (TRG) which involves a number of schools across the city. This has provided us with a number of opportunities to send our staff out to learn more about teaching to mastery.
A mastery approach is a set of principles and beliefs. This includes a belief that all pupils are capable of understanding and doing mathematics, given sufficient time. Pupils are neither ‘born with the maths gene’ nor ‘just no good at maths’. With good teaching, appropriate resources, effort and a ‘can do’ attitude all children can achieve in and enjoy mathematics.
What do we mean by mastery?
The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that:
• future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught;
• there is no need for separate catch-up programmes due to some children falling behind;
• children who, under other teaching approaches, can often fall a long way behind, are better able to keep up with their peers, so that gaps in attainment are narrowed whilst the attainment of all is raised.
What will you see in our classrooms?
1. whole class teaching.
2. the use of stem sentences and key vocabulary to develop children’s language.
3. a focus on conceptual and procedural variation to ensure small steps and build coherence.
4. careful task design to provide opportunities for children to deepen their understanding.
5. the use of a variety of representations – concrete, pictorial and abstract – to develop conceptual understanding.
6. more focus on questioning and discussion to embed a concept.
7. a shift in attitudes for learning with more focus on the method than the answer.
8. the inclusion of non-routine problems to develop reasoning and foster creativity.
We look forward to sharing our mastery journey with parents and carers throughout the year through parent workshops and maths drop-ins to observe teaching in the classrooms. Please don’t hesitate to contact the Maths team should you wish to find out more.
Maths workshops January 2018
Multiplying 3 digit numbers with exchanging efficiently lesson
Times table workshop2