At Chadsmead we want every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of their background and starting points. We want learners to actively experience and develop a range of mathematical skills, enabling them to call upon strategies when tackling new maths challenges.
Using the National Curriculum as a starting point to determine age-related expectations, three underlying mastery principles contribute to teaching and learning at Chadsmead:
- Language and communication
- Conceptual understanding
- Mathematical thinking.
These principles guide children’s learning towards a secure ability to problem-solve independently and competently. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, we want pupils to build a deep conceptual understanding of each step.
Children have opportunities to develop and extend previous understanding of concepts as they meet new ideas. They work with multiple representations (concrete, pictorial, abstract) and are supported in making links between these. These representations are used as tools for reasoning and deepening understanding, rather than to just ‘get answers’. Through Talk Tasks, opportunities are given for peer discussion and the sharing of ideas. Children articulate their thoughts using precise mathematical language which is introduced and revisited in every lesson. Talk Tasks are valued highly; learners’ responses are noted in order to assess understanding. Further formal assessment is carried out each term to measure every child’s progress and attainment when measured against National Curriculum expectations.
Learners are encouraged to be independent thinkers - solving tasks which are appropriately supported with different levels of scaffold and all challenged through tasks requiring deeper thought.
An important aspect of our maths learning is frequent knowledge recall sessions – practising areas of mathematics and providing opportunities to revise knowledge and skills which may not be explicitly covered during current learning. This means that pupils consolidate key areas of maths many times so that they become embedded.