At Holy Cross, we have adopted the Teaching for Mastery approach for delivering mathematics. This approach is based on academic research and is evidenced as being highly effective. At our school, pupils are taught to think mathematically and to deepen their understanding of concepts; the answer is only ever the beginning.
At Holy Cross, all children are encouraged to believe in their ability to master a mathematical concept and are encouraged to be resilient learners. As part of a teaching for Mastery approach, children progress together as a class and all learners, including rapid graspers, are challenged and stretched in their mathematics lessons.
A wide range of mathematical resources are used when delivering mathematics lessons and children are taught to use practical equipment, pictorial representations and formal written methods when exploring concepts. Rich discussion during mathematics lessons helps to develop our children’s vocabulary with the aim that they become confident mathematics who can explain their reasoning and methodology.
One way in which we are implementing a Teaching for Mastery approach is by using high quality textbooks to support our lesson planning. These textbooks offer a coherent progression of mathematics, breaking concepts down into small, manageable steps and providing images and representations that highlight mathematical structures. Although there are a few such schemes available, we have chosen to follow the Maths No Problem textbook scheme in Years 2-6 which offers two textbooks (A & B) for each academic year.
In EYFS and Year 1, the children are taught using the principles of mastery and are given the opportunity to further explore concepts through whole-class teaching, small group work and play. At this young age, our emphasis is very much on establishing firm mathematical foundations by securing each child’s understanding of number.