At Clifton Primary School we have high expectations for every child.
Teaching for mastery in Maths is essentially the expectation that all pupils will gain a deep understanding of the maths they are learning. For understanding in Maths to be secure, learning needs to be built on solid foundations.
A mastery approach to the curriculum means pupils spend far longer on fewer key mathematical concepts whilst working at greater depth. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through speedy teacher intervention and those children who grasp the concepts more quickly are given opportunities to deepen their knowledge and improve their reasoning skills rather than accelerating on to new curriculum content.
Problem solving is central and opportunities are given for pupils to calculate with confidence, ensuring an understanding of why it works so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that children become efficient in selecting appropriate written as well as oral methods, underpinned by a strong conceptual understanding.
- Can solve mathematical problems by applying their skills in a variety of contexts with increasing complexity, both in unfamiliar contexts and model real-life scenarios.
- Can reason mathematically and present an argument or proof using accurate mathematical vocabulary.
The first aim of the Mathematics National Curriculum in England (DfE, 2013) is that all pupils will: ‘Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.’
At Clifton Primary School we believe that:
- The key to mathematical fluency is making connections and most importantly, making them at the right time in a child’s learning.
- Fluency requires so much more than a child simply memorising a single procedure. It is more about why they are doing what they are doing and choosing the most appropriate time to do so.
- Fluency demonstrates a child mastering the routine involved with carrying out various mathematical procedures and being able to apply the most efficient to a range of scenarios.
How can children be supported in becoming fluent?
Concrete resources: Diennes, cubes, plastic money, lego, pasta shells, straws, counters and many more.
Maths Talk: A quality based discussion about their work. Which method they chose and why they feel it is the most efficient or relevant. The ability to explain why and how the method selected is the same or different as those of others in full sentences.
Consolidation: By always applying a context to mathematical practice, children can make connections between the types of problems and a particular strategy that might suit. This is referred to a mathematical memory, rather than the ability to simply memorise.