Personalising learning in mathematics

Maths for Mastery is an inclusive approach which emphasizes the promotion of multiple methods of solving a problem, developing self-confidence and resilience. Though the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Taking a mastery approach, differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different pupils, not in the topics taught, particularly at earlier stages. There is no differentiation in content taught, but the questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class as they work through problems will differ, with higher attaining children, or those pupils who grasp concepts quickly, challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge of the same content. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on. Pupils’ difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with intervention – commonly through individual or small group support later the same day where possible.

Where children make less than expected progress efforts are made to ensure relevant support is put in place to help support the child. No child will be denied a full curriculum however and concepts will be revisited throughout the year during intervention to help with long term understanding.

  • All children receive a daily maths lesson (at times this may need to be rearranged due to external supply), although mathematical skills run through many other areas of  the curriculum.
  • Each lesson focusses on one clear learning objective which all children are expected    to master; extension activities enable those children who grasp the objective rapidly to extend their learning by exploring it at greater depth.
  • Each lesson can include elements of: fluency, to practise skills; reasoning, to deepen understanding; and problem solving, to apply skills depending on the objective being taught and the understanding of the children.
  • Teachers use the White Rose Mastery planning and resources to aid Maths teaching   within school. Teachers follow the scheme of work provided by the Maths Hub to ensure full curriculum coverage including fluency, reasoning and problem solving opportunities are addressed within lessons. Other online resources are available via Edshed and espresso which the children have access to both at home and in school.
  • Whole class teaching is adopted and children work in mixed ability groups. We believe that all children should have the same standard of teaching and to ensure this we aim not to group children based on their ability but also accept that at times this may be necessary. We therefore aim to differentiate via outcome rather than work set.
  • Every classroom has a range of practical apparatus to support children’s learning, with additional resources stored centrally. We aim to review this and add to it each year.

Within school we regularly conduct peer review sessions whereby we critically look at Maths   as a subject within the school. We observe lessons, speak to children/staff, analyse books/marking and ultimately come together as a staff to critique what we are doing well or want to improve.

Teachers assess pupils’ progress in mathematics every half term. In addition to recording whether a child is performing at, below or above national expectations, we adopt a forensic approach in order to identify key areas of learning:

  • Year group targets: which inform medium term planning and sequencing.
  • Small group targets:  driving differentiation in lessons and additional interventions
  • Individual targets: involving a one-to-one approach and a home-school programme

Cohort targets Summer 2022

ReceptionNumber bonds and mathematical vocabulary
Year 1Number facts and fluency of recall
Year 2Written methods of addition and subtraction
Year 3Written methods of calculations, equivalent fractions and measures
Year 4Applying fractions in context
Year 5Using calculations in context to solve problems
Year 6Geometry, algebra and statistics

Where we have identified a large group/cohort target area, we spend more time on the subject to consolidate pupils understanding, before moving on to linked concepts within the learning sequence. Sometimes, children will join small groups or one-to-one sessions to consolidate their learning. These take place outside of class maths sessions.

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