Maths Update, September 2019
We are now fully embedded in the new curriculum and this year saw the fourth round of assessments of this new scheme. We would like to say well done to all the children in Year 2 and Year 6 who worked hard to achieve the best results they could in their SATS.
The Teaching of Maths at Millfields
Three years ago we changed the focus of our maths teaching towards a ‘Maths Mastery Approach’. We have been very happy with the results of our new approach to maths teaching. Each class uses a planning proforma which structures the teaching of mathematics in comprehensive blocks of learning, ensuring that the children consolidate their understanding of certain concepts before moving on to the next. We use a range of teaching and planning resources to ensure the children are fluent in a concept and become familiar in the application of their mathematical skills to reasoning and problem solving activities. We use a variety of practical resources to support the children’s learning and these can be found in every classroom from EYFS to Year 6. The children also attend regular ‘Maths Meetings’ which are held in addition to the maths lesson. These meetings cover a range of mathematical skills and language and develop an understanding of maths in the wider world.
What is Maths Mastery?
Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Developing mastery consists of three main elements:
- fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
- a growing confidence to reason mathematically
- the ability to apply maths to solve problems, to conjecture and to test hypotheses
Mastery of maths, which should build gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short term ability to answer questions in tests or exam. Some of the implications of adopting mastery approaches to teaching maths are new. One of these is the move away from labelling pupils as ‘high ability’ or ‘low ability’ and always giving them different tasks. Another is the approach, especially in the early primary years, of reducing the amount of mathematical topics handled in class, but taking longer over each one, so that early understanding is cemented more sustainably.