Mastery Maths

Mastery Maths

At Grazeley Primary School, we provide all pupils with a secure grounding of mathematical skills and concepts.  A concept is deemed mastered when learners can represent it in multiple ways, can communicate solutions using mathematical language and can independently apply the concept to new problems.

Teaching for Mastery Aims

  • Teaching is underpinned by a belief in the importance of mathematics and that the vast majority of children can succeed in learning mathematics in line with national expectations for the end of each key stage.
  • The whole class is taught mathematics together, with little differentiation by acceleration to new content. The learning needs of individual pupils are addressed through careful scaffolding, skilful questioning and appropriate rapid intervention, in order to provide the necessary support and challenge.
  • Factual knowledge (e.g., number bonds and times tables), procedural knowledge (e.g., formal written methods) and conceptual knowledge (e.g., of place value) are taught in a fully integrated way and are all seen as important elements in the learning of mathematics.
  • The reasoning behind mathematical processes is emphasised. Teacher/pupil interaction explores in detail how answers were obtained, why the method/strategy worked and what might be the most efficient method/strategy.
  • Interim methods (e.g., expanded methods for addition and multiplication) to support the development of formal written algorithms are used for a short period only, as stepping stones into efficient, compact methods.
  • Precise mathematical language, couched in full sentences, is always used by teachers, so that mathematical ideas are conveyed with clarity and precision. Pupils are required to do the same (e.g. when talking about fractions, both the part and its relationship to the whole are incorporated into responses: “The shaded part of the circle is one quarter of the whole circle”).
  • Conceptual variation and procedural variation are used throughout teaching, to present the mathematics in ways that promote deep, sustainable learning.

o   Conceptual variation is where the concept is varied and there is intelligent practice. Positive variation is showing what the concept is, and negative variation is showing what the concept isn’t. This clears away misconceptions at the very start.

o   Procedural variation is where different procedures and/or representations are used to bring about understanding. For example, teachers may collect several solutions for a problem (some right, some wrong) before guiding the class towards the most efficient method.

  • Carefully devised exercises employing variation are used. These provide intelligent practice that develops and embeds fluency and conceptual knowledge.
  • Sufficient time is spent on key concepts (e.g. multiplication and division) to ensure learning is well developed and deeply embedded before moving on.

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