Mathematics Approach – Statement of Intent
At Town Field, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Fundamentally, this rests on the belief that all children can – and indeed must, be successful in the study of mathematics. At Town Field we do not accept that ‘some people cannot do maths’ or that prior attainment should limit what a child is capable of learning. Mathematics is for everyone at Town Field. We believe that by embedding our core values of the ‘Town Field Ten’ skills for life and learning through our mathematics teaching, we will ensure our children are active, resilient learners who become life-long mathematicians.
We plan our learning with a mastery approach to the curriculum which means children spend far longer on fewer key mathematical concepts whilst working at greater depth. Problem solving is central and opportunities are given to calculate with confidence. It is important that children understand what they are doing rather than repeating routines. The mastery curriculum for primary schools places problem solving at the heart of mathematics with the main aim that every child can learn to solve sophisticated problems in an unfamiliar context. To enable them to achieve this, children must develop their conceptual understanding, mathematical thinking and use of mathematical language. This is where fluency and reasoning join together. We currently use Mathematics Mastery planning from Reception to Year 6. However, we do adapt these plans to suit the needs of our children. Children in EYFS are exposed to a wide range of mathematical experiences which form the basis of our approach to mastery teaching and learning.
Meeting Children’s Needs
At Town Field, we aim to ensure that all children move together through the learning in order to avoid gaps in understanding from forming. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through speedy teacher intervention and those children who grasp concepts more quickly are given opportunities to deepen their knowledge and improve their reasoning skills rather than accelerating on to new curriculum content. The National Curriculum states that children should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice. Fluency in maths works through intelligent practice. Fluency gives children the ability to delve deeper into maths; to develop number sense and choose the most appropriate method for the task at hand; to be able to apply a skill to multiple contexts. Maths Meetings support this and are a vital part of our maths curriculum, used to consolidate key learning for 10-15 minutes every day outside of the maths lesson.
Children’s work and Feedback
The learning that can be seen in children’s books will demonstrate a range of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. It will also contain the ‘Ideas for depth’ which all children are exposed to ensure depth for all. Recording in books may include; Mathematics Mastery worksheets, photographs, written working out (CPA examples) and other educational sources. Teacher’s endeavour to mark children’s work within the lesson and give oral feedback at the point of learning using the VF symbol. Children are directed to respond to feedback through the use of yellow/pink highlighters and may be asked to provide a written account (KS2 - using a green pen) (age/ability appropriate).
At Town Field, assessment is carried out in several ways. Formative assessment takes place in every lesson and is an integral component to our mastery approach. Teachers utilise carefully crafted questions to assess and challenge our children. We carry out summative assessments at key points in the year within our school’s monitoring and evaluating cycle. Headstart progress tests allow teachers to measure attainment and progress while also preparing children to positively engage in and complete regular summative testing (KS1 and KS2 SATs).
Click on the presentation slides below from our recent Maths mastery parent information session.