Our vision is for all children to be able to access an engaging, coherent and challenging journey through maths with the belief that they can achieve an in-depth understanding.
As a school, we are always looking for opportunities to improve your children’s education and as you may know, since the change in National Curriculum in 2014, the expectations and the way that mathematics is being taught in schools has changed drastically.
Inspired by a teaching philosophy from Asia, the teaching for mastery approach is being adopted across the country. Here at East Cowton and Kirkby Fleetham we believe that over the longer term, this is the way that mathematics should be taught so that children can apply maths in the wider world as they grow up.
The mathematics lessons and curriculum we provide help and guide our pupils to make sense of the numerical world around them by being fluent in basic number facts, understanding patterns and applying learning to real-life problems.
What we are doing to move towards a mastery approach?
We started our journey to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for every child in July 2018. There are several elements which have influenced improvements in attainment and progress in mathematics for our children.
The teaching for mastery approach aims to provide all children with the opportunity to learn the basic foundations of mathematics earlier on in their school lives, and then build on these and gain a deeper understanding of all concepts throughout their academic journey in school. We are currently working towards a long-term goal of implementing and modifying the teaching for mastery approach, undertaking much training and development, in order to deliver an even better education for your children.
Mathematics is led by Mrs Marie Mann, who is undertaking the Mastery Specialist Teacher Programme this year with the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics).
What you will see in maths lessons?
We endeavour to teach lessons that are stimulating and interesting in addition to keeping an keen eye on the fact that many mental skills need hard work and regular practice.
Teachers are currently using Power Maths as a resource to plan coherent lessons that enable pupils to journey through mathematical concepts. The learning will focus on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics. To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced.
In all lessons teachers plan carefully the representation that are used (concrete resources) to help to support children’s mathematical understanding of the concept being taught.
Pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking. Teachers use questions to challenge thinking, to check understanding. A variety of questions are used, but you will hear the same ones being repeated: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Can you represent it another way? What’s the value? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Can you show me how you know?
There is a whole school focus on developing an instant recall of key facts, such as: number bonds, times tables, division facts, addition and subtraction facts.
How can you help?
- Help your child practice their mental maths targets at home, a few minutes a day is all you need
- insist that numbers are written the correct way round
- Support your child with their maths homework, play maths games with them on SUMDOG and enjoy maths together
- Talk to your child about maths, get them to explain the mathematical calculations they use and how they achieved their answer
- Encourage your child to experience and use maths in ‘everyday life’ e.g. buying things at the shop, cooking, telling the time etc.
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