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Philosophy and overarching principles

  • All children will learn - All children can be successful at mathematics when given high quality intruction and meaningful support
  • Collaboration supports mastery - Children learn through collaboration. The opportunity to work with others supports understanding and encourages the development of problem solving and reasoning skills.
  • Depth is prioritised over breadth - Each topic should be explored in greater depth and in a variety of ways; a topic is only considered to be complete when the children's knowledge is secure.
  • All children move on together - Children progress through learning at broadly the same pace, with opportunities for faster graspers to deepen their understanding
  • Focus on understanding - The ability to solve a calculation is not enough; children must be able to demonstrate and articulate their understanding of the mathematical concept.

Applegarth will support the mastery approach by:

  • Investment in subject knowledge o A clear understanding of what is meant by a ‘mastery approach’ will be shared along with the pedagogy behind it.
    • Regular CPD sessions will be planned and delivered on all areas of the mathematics curriculum for teachers and TAs.
    • Examples of resources will be provided.
  • Investment in resources o Useful, relevant, concrete and pictorial resources will be made available to each class.
    • Training in the use of resources will be provided.
  • Mathematics support will be readily available from the leadership team o Planning support will be available during PPA. o Team teaching of lessons. o Professional dialogues about strengths and areas for development.
    • There will be the opportunity to observe other teachers delivering mathematics lessons, e.g. through teacher research groups (TRGs).

Features of a successful mathematics lesson utilising a mastery approach include:

Planning and design
  • Coherent, carefully sequenced learning steps: each part of the lesson supports the children accessing the next part.
  • ‘Ping Pong’ instructional model: there is a high level of back and forth between teacher instruction and pupil activities, e.g. a six-part lesson.
  • Conceptual variation: the mathematical concept is presented in a variety of ways so children are able to discern the essential features.
  • Multiple representations: a variety of manipulative and pictorial representations have been used to explain the mathematical concept.
  • Procedural variation: questions have been chosen with care to demonstrate a particular concept, ensuring that calculations are more than simply finding an answer, but about understanding patterns and concepts too.
  • Depth for all: every child in the lesson has the opportunity to apply their key learning through extension, application, reasoning or problem solving (or a combination).
  • Scaffolding: support is available for those who need it (this could be additional concrete resources or further support from the teacher in a focus group).

Read our Maths Curriculum Overview