We believe that a high quality, effective mathematical education is essential. We follow the Maths Mastery approach, which has a clear curriculum design, a considered sequence of content and shows clear progression. By following the Maths Mastery approach, all staff have a shared vision and culture for Maths and there is consistency across year groups.
Department for Education research states that successful teaching promotes quick recall, accuracy and fluency alongside the development of understanding and reasoning. The MM approach promotes all of these. It ensures that our children’s knowledge and skills are linked and that they develop a depth of understanding. It also focuses heavily on language and communication, an area in which our children are showing increasing gaps as they enter and move through our school.
Within Maths lessons and Maths Meetings, our children are encouraged to develop mathematical powers, inquisitiveness, the confidence to question and the ability to make connections. The curriculum is cumulative, focusing at the beginning of each school year on concepts that have the most connections. During the rest of the year, children are expected to apply their previous learning in other units. The ability to make connections is essential in everyday life, as well as being critical to science, technology and engineering. Therefore, by following the MM approach our intent is to improve our children’s access to a variety of careers.
When a concept has been mastered, understanding can be applied to a totally new problem in an unfamiliar situation. Through the Maths Mastery approach, pupils gain the reasoning skills needed to do this, which is useful in all areas of life, not just mathematics.
The MM approach promotes a ‘Growth mindset’ in children so that they understand that, with dedication, hard work and perseverance, they can develop their mathematical ability over time. They are taught to enjoy challenges as they understand that, with effort, setbacks can be overcome. Again, this is beneficial to all areas of life, not just mathematics. Children come to understand that with consistent effort and by applying effective strategies, success will follow. They will be encouraged to enjoy and be successful in maths, regardless of their ability or background.
Here at Thornaby C of E, we follow ‘Mathematics Mastery’ to ensure that our children have full coverage of the Maths National Curriculum. Mathematics Mastery is a progressive approach to maths were each topic unit builds on the next in a cohesive way and then each year builds on the foundations/skills taught the previous year. To allow knowledge of key mathematical skills and concepts, every year group participates in daily Maths meetings. These sessions are around 15-20 minutes long and consist of singing, chants and actions that embed key mathematical knowledge such as number bonds, counting, days of the week, one more and one less, sequences, part-part-whole etc. All pupils in each year group are taught broadly the same objective in lessons however to ensure all children can access the learning tasks are scaffolded and constraints added to support and challenge pupils so each pupil achieves their full potential. The key principles of Mathematics Mastery are: mathematical thinking, conceptual understanding and mathematical language. We address these principles in all maths lessons to ensure our pupils are given time participate in fluency, reasoning and problem solving tasks. We aim to encourage the deepest of learning in all mathematical concepts therefore we uphold a concrete-pictorial- abstract approach towards lessons. Concrete manipulatives are used by all pupils to embed the foundations of concepts before pupils move onto using pictorial representations to show understanding and finally abstract representations to record mathematical thinking. Pupils are encouraged to move between the three representations to allow solid links to be formed between concepts. All maths sessions are structured in the following way:
Mathematics lessons are structured in such as to allow two short teaching inputs split with a ‘talk task’. Talk tasks are key to mathematics sessions as they allow the pupils time to work with a partner to complete a task usually similar/linked to the independent task they will complete later in the session. The talk tasks in each session focusses on the pupils using the key mathematical language to embed conceptual understanding and express mathematical thinking. This part of the session allows for misconceptions to be addressed. ‘Mathematics Mastery’ really promotes problem solving and reasoning. Giving children the opportunity to problem solve and reason in sessions allows our pupils to make rich connections, see patterns, justify opinions, describe and explain what they know, show how they have solved it, prove they are correct or incorrect and find all possibilities. We hope to build problem-solvers of the future and build resilience in our children; essential skills they can use in all aspects of their learning.
Pupils who have not understood the session or have a misconception are given same day intervention. By allowing this quick small group or 1.1 intervention, ensures all our children keep up and are not playing catch up! Some pupils also benefit from pre-teaching before the maths session. This allows them to complete a similar task/activity to that of the upcoming maths session to boost their confidence and self-esteem within the actual maths session.
Here at Thornaby C of E, we want our children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be. The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others. Pupils can underperform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The Mathematics Mastery programme addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all pupils experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. We have fostered an environment where Maths is fun and it is OK to be ‘wrong’ because the journey to finding an answer is most important. We encourage our pupils to ‘have a go’. Our maths books are packed with a range of activities showing evidence of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. The impact of our concrete-pictorial-abstract approach is very clear to see in lessons, maths books and also the greater proportion of pupils on track to achieve expected or above. Pupils are developing skills in being articulate and are able to verbally, pictorially and in written form reason well. In maths sessions, pupils now believe in their own ability this in turn makes them confident in choosing the equipment they need to help them to learn along with the strategies they think are best suited to each problem. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. The impact of our mathematics curriculum is that pupils understand the relevance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts.