Mathematics is an essential part of everyday life and understanding our world. Often people do not realise how much they are using mathematics during the day; from telling the time, to measuring ingredients and even working out discounts on sale items in shops. Maths is everywhere!
At Wavendon Gate School we teach mathematics mastery. Our approach enables the development of pupils’ natural ability to think logically and solve puzzles and real life problems. Within our curriculum, pupils are encouraged to represent mathematical concepts using objects. Pictures are also used to support the visualisation of more abstract ideas. Pupils learn to think creatively and make links between mathematical concepts through exploring patterns in the number system as well as other areas. They develop the skills, knowledge and efficient methods of calculation necessary to support them in later life.
By following a progressive curriculum, our pupils are able to revisit a topic, theme or subject several times throughout their school career. The complexity of each mathematical topic increases with each revisit but new learning has a relationship with old learning and is put in context. We believe the benefits of teaching in this way are that the information is reinforced and solidified each time the pupil revisits the subject matter as it allows a logical progression from simplistic ideas to complicated ideas. Furthermore, pupils are encouraged to apply the early knowledge to later objectives.
We teach mathematics using a mastery approach. Mastery is what we want all of our pupils to acquire. Thus all teachers are ‘teaching for mastery’. Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, secure and flexible understanding of the subject. Our curriculum is enhanced using White Rose, a DfE approved scheme designed to embed teaching for mastery.
Lessons are typically broken into six parts:
1. Flashback 4 – the entire class spend time on a set of 4 fluency questions. They are encouraged to solve the questions in the most efficient way. The questions are carefully selected in order to revisit and reinforce prior learning.
2. Discover – a practical, real-life problem arouses curiosity. Children find the maths through story telling. A real-life scenario is provided for this section to give children the time to explore, play and discuss possible strategies.
3. Share (I do) – teacher-led, this interactive section follows the Discover activity and highlights the variety of methods that can be used to solve a single problem. It is an opportunity for children to share and celebrate their solutions and strategies.
4. Think Together (we do) – the children work in groups to solve a range of mathematical problems. The children need to think together in their groups and then discuss their methods and solutions with the class.
5. Practice (you do) – children work independently on questions that follow small steps of progression to deepen their understanding. This section also provides challenge questions which are designed for children to apply their knowledge of the topic in a range of different ways.
6. Reflect – the reflect section is an opportunity for children to show how deeply they have understood the target concept. Various approaches are used to check that children have fully understood and are ready to move on.
Key points of our curriculum:
- A highly effective approach to teaching maths based on research and evidence
- One of the Department for Education (DfE) recommended teaching for mastery schemes
- Builds students’ mathematical fluency without the need for rote learning
- Introduces new concepts using Bruner’s Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach
- Pupils learn to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand
- Teaches mental strategies to solve problems such as drawing a bar model
Times Tables Rockstars is a tool used in Year Two and across Key Stage Two to help pupils develop fluency in multiplication tables.