At Queen’s Park Primary School we have a mastery approach to teaching Maths with the help of Mathematics Mastery, a professional development programme for teachers.
Our Mathematics curricular principles are:
The ‘mastery approach’ to teaching maths means that instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, we want pupils to build a deep conceptual understanding of concepts which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations.
Our Maths curriculum is cumulative - each school year begins with a focus on the concepts and skills that have the most connections, which are then applied and connected throughout the school year to consolidate learning. This gives pupils the opportunity to ‘master maths’; by using previous learning throughout the school year, they are able to develop mathematical fluency and conceptual understanding. Problem solving is woven throughout the mathematics curriculum and is used continually through lessons to help deepen children’s understanding.
So how do we avoid teaching procedures and instead get pupils to develop a deep understanding in mathematics?
We use ideas called Dimensions of Depth to deepen pupils’ understanding.
Maths Meetings are a vital part of our maths teaching and are used to consolidate key learning. Each Maths Meeting lasts between 5 and 15 minutes and they happen regularly throughout the week. Each year group in school from Reception to Year 6 participate in Maths Meetings.
Maths Meetings provide an opportunity to teach and revise 'general knowledge maths' which may not explicitly be covered during the maths lessons that week, such as telling the time, and also allows the daily integration of maths into the surrounding environment. This means that children are practising concepts and skills on a regular basis, meaning they are continually building on their mastery of these concepts.
Times Tables Rock Stars (TTRS) is used at our school to encourage the use of times tables and support pupils in becoming fluent in their recall of multiplication facts. TTRS is a carefully sequenced programme of times tables practice which engages pupils by benchmarking their progress and allowing them to compete across class, year groups and even with other schools.
The activities are short, fun weekly challenges for families and primary-aged children to do together to solve everyday maths problems, each of which is linked to things at home, events at school or the cultural calendar.
Active Maths encourages pupils to be active whilst practising a range of mathematic skills. Pupils in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) through to key stage 2 access Active Maths lessons on a weekly basis. Teachers plan activities which allows pupils to apply the learning from the weeks Maths lessons in a different way or gives pupils chance to practise a different area of Maths which has not been covered in the half term. This could be Number, Measurement, Geometry or Statistics. Pupils access their learning in a physical way which is fun and engaging whilst still practising skills from a core subject. They will develop these skills in conjunction with the PE curriculum aims.