Teaching for Mastery at Huyton with Roby CE Primary School
What Does Mastery Mean?
Mastery of mathematics is something that we want pupils – all pupils – to acquire, and continue acquiring throughout their school lives, and beyond.
Mastery rejects the idea that people ‘can’t do maths’. Some may find it more challenging than others, but with hard work and the right help they will get there in the end.
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.
What’s different and new?
Actually, nothing is new about teaching for mastery approaches. How we teach maths is based upon tried and tested good practice that has been around for years. However, the mastery approach brings these ideas together in a more systematic way.
Do you still follow the national curriculum?
Absolutely; we want to ensure that all pupils:
Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
Can apply mathematics to solve problems
Our aims are:
- To develop within their capability the mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding required for an ever changing world.
- To foster a positive interest, enjoyment and confidence in Maths.
- To discover the integration, relationships and patterns between Maths and many other areas of the curriculum.
- To see the relationship of Maths within the whole environment and to tackle practical problems in everyday life.
- To calculate quickly and accurately, make and test generalisations and simple hypotheses and the ability to estimate accurately.
- To express ideas fluently in spoken and written form.
- To work logically and methodically and acquire the skill of being self critical.
- To be flexible and creative in approaching mathematical situations.
- To develop independence of thought, and motivation and the ability to co-operate with others in group situations.
Throughout the school children are taught as full class, smaller groups or may be taught individually, according to their needs.
What are the key features of the mastery approach?
- Curriculum design:
A detailed curriculum is mapped out, ensuring a clear learning journey across all phases.
- Teaching resources.
High quality resources are used to support learning, at all ages. Concrete and pictorial representations of mathematics are chosen carefully to build procedural and conceptual understanding together.
- Lesson design
Lessons are crafted with care, adapted and edited over time to suit to the needs of each class. They include a variety of representations and contexts to fully explore a concept.
- Teaching methods
Teachers are clear their role is to teach in a precise way, making it possible for all pupils to engage successfully with the tasks at the expected level of challenge. Pupils will often discuss and critique their work. Precise questioning during lessons, ensures that all pupils develop technical proficiency and think deeply. However, there is no priority given to technical proficiency or technical understanding; the most successful classrooms will value both equally.
- Pupil Support and differentiation
Differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different pupils, not by the topics taught. Questioning and scaffolding, according to different pupils’ needs, will differ. Difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed rapidly – through small group support or teacher-led feedback.
All tasks are chosen and sequenced carefully, each being subtly different, in order to show pupils the underlying structure to pupils. Class and homework are designed to develop a deep understanding.
Want to find out more?
The link below has a set of videos specifically made for parents. Covering everything from the first fundamental of mathematics to long division.
Original documents used and adapted to create this page: