At Allens Croft, we believe that every child has the ability to be successful if they are given the right tools and support, at the right time. It is for this very reason that we have adopted a mastery approach in our Maths lessons; an approach that is being used across the country to chase the success of children in Singapore and Shanghai. This approach puts an emphasis on fluency of essential skills and the whole class having a deep understanding of a concept before moving on to the next “small step”.
These are the key features that underpin the teaching of Maths at Allens Croft:
- Whole class teaching of the same topic
We have a strong emphasis on keeping the class together until specific concepts or skills are mastered and then moving on together. This however does not mean that some children will be left behind or others not challenged. Interventions and deeper understanding are used to make sure that our lessons cater to all children.
- Speedy, focused interventions
Those children that have not met the expected outcomes or have gaps in their understanding, will be helped by receiving short, immediate extra time on maths later in the day. This is a positive opportunity to consolidate their understanding and short practice activities at home could certainly be part of this to follow intervention.
- Emphasis on depth not breadth
Children that have mastered the skill, concept or procedure are presented with higher order thinking activities, rather than accelerating through the curriculum. We use problems and challenges that encourage mathematical thinking and reasoning to further deepen their understanding.
- Focused and thorough teaching and planning
Within mastery the idea is to focus on one small step at a time in a lesson, with an emphasis on the mathematical structures involved and the best way to represent these through models and images. We encourage you to ask your child to explain and show methods or strategies rather than trying to help your child by demonstrating your own method that they learnt at school. Each small step is important as it builds towards deep understanding of a concept and so it is vital that the methods that are being taught are consistent.
- More time spent on teaching each topic
The same topic is likely to have the same focus until the class has mastered the concept, skill or procedure being taught. This is particularly the case for number and calculations. Although the focus areas are being taught over a longer time, there are smaller steps of progress and the extra time is for practice and depth, making the learning effective.
Each Year group will be hosting at least one Maths Inspire workshop for you to come along and experience the activities, language, models, images and questioning that goes into our lessons. Hopefully these sessions will give you good idea of the depth of understanding that is now expected of your children.