Teaching of Mastery Maths
Maths teaching for mastery rejects the idea that people ‘just can’t do maths’. We believe that by working hard at maths children 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. We ensure that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence. We encourage children to 'keep up, not catch up' allowing no pupil to be left behind. Daily formative assessment is used to identify misconceptions and addressed with rapid intervention, generally through small group work that same day. Early intervention ensures that pupils are ready to move forward with the whole class.
Lessons are designed to reduce cognitive load, making small step progress going back and forth between teacher and pupils. Mastery maths use metacognitive strategies to promote achievement, independence and resilience through reflection, assessment, evaluation, planning and application.
Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding support development. Practise is an important part of learning but we encourage intelligent practice which is vital for procedural fluency and development of conceptual understanding. Key facts such as times tables and addition facts within 10 are learnt to automaticity to avoid cognitive overload in the working memory.
At Adlington Primary, our intent for mathematics is to teach a broad, balanced and progressive curriculum, using Maths to problem solve, reason and develop fluent conceptual understanding in each area of mathematics. Our policies, resources and schemes support our vision and help children across the school to become fluent mathematicians who can reason and solve a range of mathematical problems. Teachers across the school have access to the Lancashire scheme of work and its many associated interactive resources. We also supplement the Lancashire Scheme work with resources that support the teaching and learning of maths. For example - MyMaths, Times Tables Rock Stars and Purple Mash. This allows maths learning to continue at home.
Teachers alongside SLT decide how the children in their class will be best supported and challenged for different areas of maths; in how they will use resources and planning from these schemes. The mapping of Mathematics across school shows clear progression in line with age-related expectations. Staff at Adlington use their professional judgement, moderation and precise monitoring tools (alongside the subject leader) when deciding if and when certain areas of maths need to have more or less time spent on them, rather than simply following what the schemes of work suggest. From this point, targeted support will be factored into lessons, interventions and home learning. Adlington’s written calculation policy has a clear progression, with children using ‘expanded’ methods to ensure a clear understanding before they move on to using more concise written methods. We also encourage exploration of maths with a focus on children discussing maths at every opportunity possible. We want children to not just learn a method but be able to justify why they have chosen a certain method and explain why that method is the most efficient.
At Adlington, we have invested heavily on using technology (ipads to access interactive maths resources) to be used alongside the maths curriculum, which in turn, has enabled children to better use interactive models and images to support learning in each area. We support children’s learning through ‘Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract’, to ensure that children develop a deeper understanding of what they are learning. Children have access in all lessons to maths aids (number lines, base 10, number beads, multiplication squares) and are able to access them independently where needed. Teachers implement the school’s agreed calculations policy for progression in written and mental calculations. These policies are shared with parents/carers annually so they can support their children’s learning of mathematics.
Assessments (Lancashire Assessments) are carried out approximately once a term, to help teachers to gather a picture of what children have learned that term. This then informs the ‘next steps’ for that particular child. Formative assessment is incredibly important at Adlington, where we focus on challenge questions, and analysis of learning, extension work, mini plenaries and discussion with peers. Mathematical vocabulary is explicitly included on the school’s calculation policy, to ensure that there is a consistency of correct mathematical vocabulary being used across the school. Floor books are also used to form part of the judgement given each term.
Children’s fluency is developed through practising key skills, repeating, reinforcing and revising. Children practise the 4 operations of maths (Add, Subtract, Multiply and Divide) and are given opportunities to reason and solve problems regularly in all areas of mathematics, through morning activities we call ‘4 for 4 plus one more’.
Learning at Adlington is varied with the vision for deep and secure understanding. Children are given time to practise and perfect their calculation strategies, including having opportunities to make appropriate decisions when estimating, calculating and evaluating the effectiveness of their chosen methods. Investigative tasks are designed to allow pupils to follow lines of enquiry and develop their own ideas, justifying and proving their answers. Children work both collaboratively and independently when solving problems, which require them to persevere and develop resilience.
The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that our children, across all abilities, move through the curriculum at a similar pace. Our teachers are encouraged to use their professional judgement at all times, meaning that children are given sufficient opportunities to revisit areas of maths they are not yet quite secure on. This could be in the form of an intervention, targeted homework ,extra support in lessons. As a school, we believe children should receive Quality First Teaching, and this will form the support for children to ‘catch up’ in their learning, with the end result of children becoming fluent and confident mathematicians who demonstrate a positive attitude when faced with challenging maths.
At Adlington, through moderation of maths books, floor books and homework, they will show evidence of fluency, reasoning and problem solving, alongside a range of topics being explored regularly. We strongly believe that topics should be taught and then revisited regularly in order for children to maintain subject knowledge. Our approach allows children to revisit many areas of maths. Across the school, children are becoming more familiar with using sentence stems to help them explain their reasoning, both through spoken and written forms of reasoning.
We aim for children to Aspire and Persevere when attempting to become a great mathematician and believe that this mind set allows them to achieve.