At Paxton we strive to ensure that every child will master mathematical concepts deeply through the ‘Teaching for Mastery approach.’ Mathematics teaching at Paxton aims to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving in order to promote confidence in their knowledge. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that all children have a secure, solid foundation of the maths skills and that their understanding is transferable so that they are equipped for secondary school and later life.
What do we mean by ‘Teaching for Mastery’?
The essential idea behind ‘Teaching for Mastery’ is that all children need a deep conceptual understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that:
· Future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught.
· There is no need for separate catch-up programmes due to some children falling behind;
· Children who, under other teaching approaches, can often fall a long way behind, are better able to keep up with their peers, so that gaps in attainment are narrowed whilst the attainment of all is raised.
The five big ideas (fluency, representation and structure, variation, coherence and mathematical thinking) are incorporated in every maths lesson. Through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract representations, all pupils develop a conceptual understanding and apply this to fluency, reasoning and problem-solving activities each lesson. Where possible learning is introduced in a real context, to make learning purposeful and relatable to the children.
As well as daily maths lessons, all classes have a daily fluency session where pupils develop their instant recall of relevant number facts, with a new focus each half term. This is a progressive programme across the school so that knowledge is embedded into the long-term memory. Instant recall, is essential in pupils being able to make progress within lessons and across the school year.