At the heart of our curriculum is a clearly structured teaching and learning process that helps every child master each maths concept securely and deeply. For each year group, the curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps – lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built. To avoid superficial learning, sufficient time is spent on key concepts to ensure that learning is fully embedded and consolidated before moving on to the next concept.
The whole class is taught mathematics together. All pupils work on mixed ability tables. Pupils learn with and from each other. Teachers may purposefully pair two pupils of different abilities to enable peer-support and to avoid less able pupils encountering and dealing with negative self-esteem and feelings towards maths. This mastery approach values real understanding and richer, deeper learning above speed. It sees all children learning the same concept in small, cumulative steps, each finding and mastering challenge at their own level. Those pupils, who grasp a concept easily, have time to explore and understand that concept at a deeper level. The evidence of global good practice clearly shows that this approach drives engagement, confidence, motivation and success for all learners.
“The expectation is that the majority of children will move through the curriculum at broadly the same pace. Pupils who grasp concepts quickly should not be accelerated onto the next stage of maths curriculum content, but instead, they should be challenged through rich and sophisticated, more complex problem solving and application of their sills and will be moving into mastery of maths.” (The National Curriculum for England 2014)
Throughout the lesson, teachers use their observations of learning to direct pupils to the correct level of challenge and maximise their participation and progression towards mastering the concept.
Teachers direct pupils’ learning by providing: