The Maths Approach at St Peter's
“Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.”
National Curriculum 2014
The aims of the 2014 National Curriculum are for our pupils to:
The National Curriculum sets out year-by-year programmes of study for key stages 1 and 2. This ensures continuity and progression in the teaching of mathematics.
The EYFS Statutory Framework 2014 sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old and supports an integrated approach to early learning. This is supported by the ‘Development matters’ non statutory guidance.
The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of intelligent classroom practice and the school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chance of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a secure understanding of the mathematical concepts being taught which enable pupils to move on confidently to more advanced material, whilst mastering maths, means pupils acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.
“When we learn a new idea, an electric current fires in our brains, crossing synapses and connecting different areas of the brain. If you learn something deeply, the synaptic activity will create lasting connections in your brain.” (Boaler, 2016)
There a Five Big Ideas when adopting a Mastery Approach:
REPRESENTATION & STRUCTURE
VARIATION (Intelligent practice)
This is not using a variety of resources but making small adaptations to representations that help deepen understanding and challenge the learner.
MATHEMATICAL THINKING (Reasoning):
Supporting pupils in Reception, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 to develop good number sense
At St Peter's, we are involved in the Mastering Number project. This project aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. We have also made the decision to include Year 3 children in this project to mitigate the disruption that Covid has had. The aim over time is that children will leave KS1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number. Attention will be given to key knowledge and understanding needed in Reception classes, and progression through KS1 to support success in the future.
The short videos below give a flavour of Mastering Number happening with different age-groups. The teachers explain how the programme has benefited all pupils in their classes, providing firm foundations for later work in maths.