Mathematics vision statement
Mastery approach in teaching Mathematics
Mathematics is an important creative discipline that helps us to understand the world. We want all pupils at Bellfield Infants to experience the power of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity about the subject.
Our Maths Mastery Curriculum has been developed to ensure every child becomes confident and successful. We teach to develop a secure and deep understanding and encourage children to be creative with their application of mathematical skills. We use misconceptions as an essential part of our learning experiences and provide challenge by encouraging application of taught concepts to problems before moving onto new content. Our Maths curriculum will challenge and develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills, through the use of a wide range of resources, representations and technologies. Being confident, resilient, able to persevere and show determination is at the core of what we want to achieve.
Why are we using this approach?
Mastery of Maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject of Mathematics. This way of learning is something that we want pupils to acquire, so a ‘mastery mathematics curriculum’ aims to help pupils, over time, acquire mastery of the subject. There are a number of elements which will help children develop mastery of Mathematics
- fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
- a growing confidence to reason mathematically
- the ability to apply Maths to solve problems and to test hypotheses
Mastery of Maths, which will build gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short-term ability to answer questions in tests or exams. We will take longer over each mathematical topic (shape, measure, addition etc.) so that early understanding is cemented deeply within each child.
Some Key features of this approach
There will be a significant amount of time devoted to developing basic number concepts. This is to build up children’s fluency as number awareness will affect their success in other areas of mathematics. Children who are successful with number are much more confident mathematicians.
Teaching for Mastery
A mastery approach to teaching and learning has been designed to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum.
A mastery approach:
- has number at its heart. A large proportion of time is spent reinforcing number to build competency
- ensures students have the opportunity to stay together as they work through the curriculum as a whole group.
- sets challenges to extend pupils, ensuring that a depth and breadth of each key concept is gained.
- provide plenty of time to build reasoning and problem-solving elements into the curriculum.
Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract
All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept within Maths, will have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking the approach Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract, described below.
- Concrete – children will have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.
- Pictorial – children will then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.
- Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, children will be able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.
Main Goal- Everyone Can Succeed
As a school we believe that all pupils can succeed in Mathematics. We do not believe that there are children who can do Maths and those that can’t. A positive mind-set for mathematics and strong subject knowledge is key to children’s success in mathematics.
At Bellfield Infant school we are committed to foster children’s deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of the subject of Mathematics. As a school we believe that all pupils can succeed. We want our children to experience a sense of awe and wonder as they solve a problem for the first time, discover different solutions and make links and connections between different areas of mathematics within our topics.
In our curriculum a significant amount of time is devoted to developing key number concepts each year. This is to build fluency, as number sense will affect pupil’s success in other areas of mathematics
- We believe pupils must be given time to fully understand, explore and apply ideas – rather than accelerate through new concepts. This approach enables learners to truly grasp a concept, and the challenge comes from investigating it in new, alternative and more complex ways.
- Children are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.
- Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils richer and deeper learning experiences.
- Pupils will be able to represent a concept in multiple ways, use the sufficient mathematical language to communicate related ideas and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.
- Pupils will have a positive mind set for mathematics and strong subject knowledge so that they can be successful in Mathematics and use this in real life situations.
Maths: No Problem!
This year across KS1 we will be using a new scheme of work in Mathematics called ‘Maths: No Problem!’ which is based on the Singapore approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics.
Lessons and activities are designed to encourage children to become more fluent in their problem-solving and encourage a higher level of thinking in maths in order to deepen understanding and master concepts.
The Maths No Problem mission statement:
“We believe that every child can master an understanding and love of maths with the right kind of teaching and support. We want you to join our mission to build the confidence of the nation’s maths teachers and learners.” Maths No Problem (2016).
What is Maths – No Problem!?
Maths — No Problem! Is a series of textbooks and workbooks written to meet the requirements of the 2014 English National Curriculum? The Maths — No Problem! Primary Series was assessed by the Department for Education’s (DfE’s) expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. As a result, the Maths — No Problem! Primary Series are recommended textbooks for schools on the mastery programme.
Textbooks in Maths
Maths – No Problem text books are adapted from examples used in Singapore, and designed to support a mastery approach to mathematics teaching. The children use these alongside their working journals to show their understanding of the concepts taught.
- Exploration -instead of ‘Let me teach you…’ as a starting point, children are encouraged to explore a problem themselves to see what they already know. At the beginning of each lesson in our school this exploration is referred to as the ‘In focus task’.
- Structured discussion -the teacher will lead a discussion with the children in order to organise the findings of the exploration, compare/contrast strategies and guide toward the most efficient strategy (or the one being learnt that day).
- Questionsto challenge thinking – teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding. Children are also encouraged to question each other frequently throughout the lesson; this aids the development of independent learners and deepens their understanding. A variety of questions are used, such as: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Is that right? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Questions are also used to challenge children who have grasped the concept. Children are expected to listen to each other’s responses and may be asked to explain someone else’s ideas in their own words, or if they agree/disagree etc.
- Discussion and feedback– pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking throughout the lesson, but are expected to complete written work independently (unless working in a guided group with the teacher).