We want children to think like mathematicians, not just DO the maths. We want pupils to explore, wonder, question and conjecture, compare, classify, and sort. It is important that we support all pupils in developing their mathematical thinking, both in order to improve the way in which they learn, as well as the learning itself. Good questioning can be used to develop pupils’ ability to compare, modify and generalise, all building a deeper understanding of mathematics. A crucial part of a ‘deep understanding’ in maths is being able to represent ideas in many different ways. Using objects and pictures to represent abstract concepts is essential to achieving mastery. We want a problem-solving approach to be the key to mathematical success, which is used continually throughout lessons to build on depth of understanding. Maths Meetings are a vital part of the Mathematics teaching. We want to consolidate key areas of mathematics and develop fluency in recall of key knowledge. We believe that everyone can get better at maths, when they put in the effort and work at it.
After spending time researching, we chose Mathematics Mastery as it is research-based and specifically designed for UK classrooms by Dr Helen Drury. The principles are interconnected which work together to build specialist expertise, develop teachers, improve maths lessons and drive change. Success for all – every child can enjoy and succeed in mathematics as long as they are given the appropriate learning opportunities. A growth mindset enables pupils to develop resilience and confidence. Problem-solving – enabling learners to solve new problems in unfamiliar contexts is the ultimate aim of mathematics education. Identifying, applying and connecting ideas enables pupils to tackle new and more complex problems. Mathematical language – mathematical language strengthens conceptual understanding by enabling pupils to explain and reason. Deeper understanding – pupils must be given time and opportunities to fully explore mathematical concepts. The challenge comes from investigating ideas in new and complex ways – rather than accelerating through new topics. Mathematical thinking – successful mathematicians are known to develop mathematical ‘habits of mind’. To encourage this, we must support pupils to be systematic, generalise and seek out patterns. Questioning is a key element of this. Multiple representations – objects, pictures, numbers and symbols enable pupils to represent ideas and make connections in different ways. This develops understanding and problem-solving skills – while making lessons engaging and fun. Maths Meetings occur daily for 10–15 minutes. A Maths Meeting covers several curricular areas, broken down into short segments; we have established a routine for mathematical thinking, building classroom culture, and making connections with mathematics in everyday life.
The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Regular and ongoing termly assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. We aim to have at least 76% of our children at or above the 2019 national average in key stage 1 and 79% at or above the 2019 national average in Key Stage 2.