Teachers should use every relevant subject to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency. Confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills is a precondition of success across the national curriculum.
Teachers should develop pupils’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning in all subjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics. Pupils should be taught to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and use measures, make estimates and sense check their work. Pupils should apply their geometric and algebraic understanding, and relate their understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty. They should also understand the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data. They should be taught to apply their mathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down more complex problems into a series of simpler steps.
At Smarden Primary School our goal is to create life-long mathematicians by creating a learning environment that ensures all children can succeed. Our vision is for all pupils to become independent learners with lively enquiring minds who enjoy and are confident active users of maths which shall prepare children for the wider world. To do this we approach the use of Mathematics Mastery in all our teaching.
Mathematics Mastery is an approach where students must achieve a level of mastery in prerequisite knowledge before moving forward to learn new skills, valuing depth over breadth. The National Centre for the Excellence of Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) states mastery as:
Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.
The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths.
Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.
This is supported by the National Curriculum (DfE, 2013) which clearly specifies its three aims of developing fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
These aims will be achieved by providing stimulating, practical lessons, the opportunity to question and explain and to develop a deep mathematical vocabulary. Teaching will incorporate various approaches which will meet the needs of different learning styles within the classroom for example kinesthetic, spatial and auditory learners. It will include physical activities, a high use of manipulatives, practical tasks, real life problems and cross curricular links. To do this the school uses the ArkCurriculumPlus MyMastery program.