A mastery approach to the teaching of mathematic is used across Key Stage 1 & 2 with a specific focus on developing reasoning and problem solving skills, often through personal challenges and investigations. We use whole class teaching, taking pupils of all abilities through calculations in detail, supported by high-quality text books and practical apparatus.
Mastering mathematics means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a child’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.
Our Academy has been working hard on developing the fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills of the children using the Shanghai small steps of progression approach, thereby enabling all learners to master each step before moving on. We have also been using a wide variety of images and apparatus to support learning. Ultimately, we want all of our children to be able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge in a variety of situations and have been ensuing every child has numerous opportunities to deepen their understanding through a wide range of puzzles and problems, in various scenarios, from YR up to Y6.
Any child who has needed additional input in order to consolidate a concept, has had rapid and timely intervention from well trained and passionate staff which has had a very positive impact on both pupil confidence and attainment in the subject.
A Key Stage 1 maths club has provided further enrichment of maths mastery. The children who attended, thoroughly enjoyed working cooperatively and collaboratively on a series of challenges. Both staff and parents noticed, and some commented, on the way the sessions helped change their child’s negative view of the subject into a positive one which was reflected in their child’s excitement about the subject, ability to complete maths homework more confidently and their willingness to talk about their learning with their parents.
Shared learning sessions have further helped parents become more involved in their child’s maths learning. Family members have been invited in to their child’s class to learn alongside the pupils in a safe, happy and enjoyable setting. We fully believe that a shared partnership between the school and home can have a really beneficial impact on a child’s progress so we actively encourage this on a regular basis. In addition, parents have also had access to workshops where they have been able to learn about ways to support their child at home with learning times table facts, ideas for games to develop number fluency and guidance to help their child learn about fractions, decimals and percentages.
As a teaching staff, we decided to adopt the idea of a times table challenge right through the school. We created our own ‘Connor Club 99 Challenges’ which progress from knowing addition and subtraction facts within 10 to being able to rapidly recall all table facts and matching division facts for all the tables to x12. Every child who achieves the accolade of ‘Club 99’ status has their portrait added to our celebration wall. We also provide further challenge for our higher achieving pupils via the bronze, silver, gold, platinum and platinum plus levels which aim to deepen their knowledge so they remain motivated and suitably challenged.
Our higher achievers have also received additional high quality input from a mastery specialist, Mrs Band; Head of Maths, Mrs Jones, from Hayle Secondary School and some have attended workshops at Camborne Science and International Academy. Feedback from these sessions has indicated that the pupils have enjoyed and benefitted from the experiences offered.
Now the building work has been completed, we are again embracing our successful initiative, ‘Maths on the Move’, where every class takes their maths learning outdoors and uses the school grounds as a resource to support and challenge the children’s maths learning. Feedback from pupils indicates this is one of the approaches they most enjoy so we try and incorporate this into our planning on a regular basis.
Our maths subject leader works closely with the National Centre for the Excellence of Teaching in Mathematics (NCETM) to ensure she is up to date in all aspects of mathematics teaching and learning.