At St. Joseph’s, we believe that all children can be confident mathematicians, when provided with the right tools. We want to enable our pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and to be able to apply this learning in different contexts by providing thtem with a coherently planned and sequential curriculum. We want our children to use reasoning skills, which allow them to articulate their thoughts and be decision makers. We aim to develop in the children the ability to express themselves fluently, to talk about mathematics with assurance and using correct and appropriate vocabulary. Above all else, we aim to nurture a love of mathematics, which means that they are excited when provided with opportunities to solve problems. As a result of this, we hope that our children will become divergent thinkers who can work creatively in their future work place and in other aspects of their lives.
The Mastery Approach to the Teaching of Maths
The Mastery of Maths means to acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.
At St Joseph’s, we have been working towards a mastery curriculum in Maths curriculum since 2015. Our journey began with us being members of a small working group led by a specialist Maths teacher from the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths and a local Maths Hub, in order to develop our knowledge and skills in mastery teaching. Regional Maths Hubs have developed in recent years which bring together mathematics education professionals in a collaborative national network of hubs, each locally led, to develop and spread excellent practice, for the benefit of all pupils.
We observed lessons led by teachers from China in local schools; we invested in new resources and exemplification materials to support learning; we engaged with Mastery Specialist Programmes and we invested in approved textbooks and training for staff on the Singapore Maths Approach to teaching - the Maths No Problem resources.
Since then, we have continued to build our expertise in this way of teaching. Our Maths Subject Leader, Mrs Canavan, is an NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Maths) accredited Professional Development Lead. This means that she has gained recognition for the work she has done in leading other staff in this field of Maths.
We use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics. The rationales which underpin this approach are:
• The belief that all pupils can achieve
• Keeping the class working together so that all can access and master mathematics
• Development of deep mathematical understanding
• Development of both factual/procedural and conceptual fluency
• Longer time on key topics, providing time to go deeper and embed learning
Any parents who have queries about Maths in school, please get in touch via the school office.
Fluency and Remembering
How do we ensure children continue to regularly practice topics they have studied earlier in the year?
Every morning, staff give the children a series of questions from previously taught concepts and topics, using the principles of spaced learning to make sure they don't forget what they have learned. The questions will include topics learned very recently and topics learned longer ago. These help to ensure the essential skills are regularly visited and retrieved to strengthen retention thereby helping the children to remember more.
We also always encourage revisiting concepts through other topics also when we can.