The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all children: become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics; are able to reason mathematically; can solve problems by applying their Mathematics.
At Lambs Lane, we recognise three levels of learning:
- Shallow learning: surface, temporary, often lost
- Deep learning: it sticks, can be recalled and used
- Deepest learning: can be transferred and applied in different contexts.
The deep and the deepest levels are what we are aiming for by teaching maths using the Mastery Approach. A typical maths lesson will provide the opportunity for all children, regardless of their ability, to work through fluency, using and applying and problem solving/ reasoning activities. All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, will have the opportunity to build competency by taking this approach.
We believe that all children are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics. This is achieved through practice and consolidation in every lesson and ongoing assessing to identify when support or challenge is needed. Strategies for learning include:
Concrete – children use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.
Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can be used to solve problems
Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts to reason and explain.
New concepts are shared in an initial related problem; which children are able to discuss in partners and reach solutions together. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning as well as promoting an awareness of maths in real-life contexts. These problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Teachers use careful questioning to draw out children’s reasoning, giving children a chance to explain how and why.
Our Mastery Approach ensures:
- all pupils experience challenge and success in mathematics and develop a growth mindset.
- quick recall of number facts and procedures
- the flexibility and fluidity to move between the levels of learning
- the ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics
- that a mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, use mathematical language to explain their ideas and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.