We take a mastery approach in maths. This allows children to go into the different mathematical topics in more depth over time.
Part of every maths lesson is dedicated to fluency. Fluency comes from deep knowledge and practice. At early stages, explicit learning of multiplication tables is important in the journey towards fluency and contributes to quick and efficient mental calculation. Practice leads to other number facts becoming second nature. The ability to recall facts from long term memory and manipulate them to work out other facts is also important.
A key element to the mastery process is exploring a concept in a wide variety of contexts and using and being exposed to different models and approaches to explain and demonstrate that one concept. Looking at one skill or objective in different ways is key here. In mathematics each new concept is explored using the CPA model:
- Concrete: each lesson/concept starts with a concrete, practical activity.
- Pictorial: children should then be able to transfer the skills they have acquired by handling resources by visualising or drawing pictures with the same concept.
- Abstract: children are encouraged to make connections with what they know and generalise the concept by drawing conclusions.
Practice & clarification
Pupils work on the same tasks and engage in common discussions. Time to practise the concept or skill, in various ways, is also crucial and allows time for misconceptions to be addressed and also for skills and objectives to be clarified further as needed. Pupils’ difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with rapid intervention.
Once sufficient exploration and practice of a concept, skill or objective has taken place, and there is no need for further clarification, the next step is to apply the concept to a new context and reasoning problems.