Teaching for Mastery
Since mastery is what we want pupils to acquire (or go on acquiring), rather than teachers to exhibit, we use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics.
Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her move on to more advanced material.
Teaching for mastery in our school includes:
- Rejecting the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths’.
- Encouraging pupils by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed.
- Helping the children to understand the nature and purpose of mathematics in everyday life
- Breaking the curriculum down into ‘small manageable steps’ to help the children grasp the concept better and to avoid cognitive overload.
- Having number at the heart. A large proportion of time is spent reinforcing number to build competency
- Ensuring teachers stay in the required key stage and support the ideal of depth before breadth.
- Ensuring students have the opportunity to stay together as they work through the schemes as a whole group
- Providing plenty of opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum.
- Developing confidence in using and applying mathematics and to learn to
enjoy its challenges
- Developing financial understanding and capabilities as life skills.