At King’s Sutton Primary Academy, we have adopted a mastery approach to teaching and learning mathematics. We believe that ability within mathematics is not fixed and that all pupils have the potential to achieve. Mastery is not just being able to memorise key facts and procedures. Mastery involves knowing why as well as knowing that and knowing how. It means being able to use knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it to new and unfamiliar situations.
We share the aims of the National Curriculum to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
In Maths lessons you will see:
- Mental/oral starters for daily fluency practice.
- CPA (Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract) approach to show the structure behind the abstract. Children have access to equipment/draw pictorial images to try out steps alongside the teacher's input and when working independently. Structures and connections within the maths are emphasised in order for children to make appropriate links.
- Stem sentences used to access learning AND as a tool to explain reasoning. (eg I know it is because…. (stem sentence), I know it is not because it is not…. (Stem sentence)
- A mixture of fluency, reasoning and problem solving tasks. Maths talk and reasoning are at the core of every lesson. The children know that they need to explain why their answer is correct and how they worked it out.
- Teachers making use of misconceptions (planned and unplanned) to further understanding of concepts (What it is and what it is not).
- Learners being given the opportunity to explore mathematical concepts deeply by approaching them in a range of ways (broadening rather than acceleration). This may include using different types of equipment/pictorial image/method to reach the same answer or using the same concept to approach problems presented in different contexts.
- Differentiation from the core. A core task will be set for all pupils. The support task will provide additional support in order for children to achieve the learning expected in the core task. Once children have demonstrated competence in the core task they will be set an unfamiliar challenge task where they will need to make links and decide how to apply the core task learning to a new situation. (Occasionally, where the gap is too large, SEN children may need to access different tasks)
- Making links and spotting patterns.
- Contexts are used to relate learning to the real life need for maths understanding.
- Differentiated, high-quality questioning to explore children’s understanding and develop it further.
In books you will see:
- Progression of difficulty through questions provided during a lesson eg calculations that follow a pattern before random calculations, calculations that do not cross a boundary before calculations that do cross a boundary, angles starting on a horizontal line before angles that do not start on the horizontal line etc.
- Children drawing pictorial images to aid working out/reasoning explanations.
- Children writing sentences/paragraphs to explain their reasoning, making links and spotting patterns.
- Neat presentation.
- Challenge tasks in blue that develop children’s conceptual understanding and reasoning skills as well as addressing calculation errors.