At All Saints Multi Academy Trust, we believe that everybody has the potential to find enjoyment and achievement in Mathematics. By creating a positive and confident culture around mathematics through engaging, high-quality, experiential provision, we intend to equip our children with confidence and competence to use numbers and think mathematically in everyday life.
Instrumental to this is our “Mathematics Mastery” Curriculum (https://www.mathematicsmastery.org). Using the ‘mastery approach’ as its underlying principle, Mathematics Mastery is designed to allow pupils to build a deep conceptual understanding of skills and knowledge that can be applied to a wide variety of different contexts and situations. Our Mathematics curriculum is sequenced cumulatively, building upon prior knowledge and understanding and revisiting them again and again in increasingly complex ways. Each school year begins with a focus on the key concepts and skills that have the most connections, which are then applied and connected throughout the school year to consolidate learning.
Our curriculum embeds a deep understanding of maths by employing a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach – using objects and pictures before numbers and symbols so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
To support our learning in the classroom, we also use interactive online platforms such as Times Tables Rockstars and Numbots. Both programmes have been carefully sequenced and designed through research to improve fluency and recall in key areas such as counting, multiplication and division facts, and number bonds. As our curriculum continues to develop, we hope to find other creative ways such as these to engage and excite our children about mathematics.
Mathematics Mastery lessons follow a 6-part structure. This keeps the lesson pacey, gives flow and allows more opportunities to teach creatively, give feedback and assess learning.
The 6 parts are:
- Do Now – a quick recovery and retrieval task all pupils can access with minimal teacher input.
- New Learning – an introduction to the main learning concepts for the lesson
- Talk Task – an opportunity to practise the new learning by talking about maths using the key vocabulary
- Develop Learning – a space to build and develop a deeper understanding of the maths concepts
- Independent Task – a fluency or reasoning task to practise learning independently
- Plenary – a recap of the lesson, checking understanding and celebrating success.
All staff are trained in this approach and receive continuous professional development and coaching to ensure confidence and effective practice. Our focus on high levels of mathematical communication from staff and pupils helps our children who speak English as an additional language to acquire new vocabulary, as well as supporting the development of mathematical knowledge across all pupil groups.
One of the core aims of Mathematics Mastery is that pupils progress through the curriculum at broadly the same pace. However, we recognise that some pupils will require additional practice to keep up with their peers. For pupils who have not fully understood a concept within a lesson, we use small group interventions and catch up sessions. By responding to specific pupils’ needs, we give pupils the chance to keep up with their peers by reinforcing the learning from that day's lesson and addressing any misconceptions. For those pupils who show significant gaps in their knowledge, we use intervention materials specifically designed to help consolidate understanding in four critical strands: counting, place value, number bonds and addition and subtraction. Selected pupils receive closing the gap interventions each week.
Another important aspect of our Maths provision is our Maths Meetings which take place 2-3 times throughout the week in each class. Maths Meetings provide an opportunity to teach and revise 'general knowledge maths' which may not explicitly be covered during the maths lesson, and also allows the daily integration of maths into the surrounding environment.
Progression and attainment within mathematics is measured in a variety of different ways. The Mathematics Mastery 6-part lesson is designed to support continuous assessment for learning throughout the whole session. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and support staff assess what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Interventions will be both planned for and "live", meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are challenged appropriately.
Regular conversations with pupils across the school show a predominantly positive attitude towards mathematics, and high-quality work is produced in books on a daily basis. Children enjoy the different elements of their daily maths lessons and take pride in their work when asked to talk about what they have done.
In addition, pupils also sit more formal NFER Maths tests at key points during the academic year, which are used by staff to assess prior knowledge, identify gaps, and plan future learning accordingly. During regular Pupil Progress meetings, staff discuss each children’s attainment, and plan interventions accordingly to overcome barriers to learning. Whole school progress is also tracked to identify trends across different age and pupil groups.