‘Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms, it is about understanding’
William Paul Thurston
It is our strong belief that all children have the right and the capabilities to become confident and competent mathematicians. Our aim is to develop in each child a deep, conceptual understanding of mathematical skills, knowledge and vocabulary through a mastery approach to maths. Children will be taught the same age-appropriate content as their peers through sequences of connected lessons using manipulatives and representations that will take them through a concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to understanding key mathematical concepts.
Children will be given opportunities to practise and apply the knowledge and skills they have been taught through a range of carefully crafted problems that include mathematical reasoning.
From EYFS through KS1 children will be taught to develop fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. They will be taught to use the four operations using a practical approach such as concrete objects and manipulatives. Children will develop their ability to recognise, describe, compare and draw shapes and will experience a range of measures. By the end of KS1, children will confidently recall number bonds to 20 and will show a precise understanding of place value.
In KS2 children will be taught efficient formal written methods to perform calculations accurately with increasingly larger numbers (including decimals). Children will be taught to solve a range of problems involving fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. Children will be taught to develop their mathematical reasoning in order for them to analyse and confidently describe relationships between numbers, fractions and shapes. They will be able to classify shapes and will be taught the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of KS2, children will use algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems and will be fluent in written methods for all four operations (including long multiplication and division).
Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.
The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths.
Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. At Pawlett Primary School Academy we have worked closely with the Boolean Maths Hub, following the NCETM’s four-year Mastery Readiness Programme in order to foster a whole-school approach to mastery maths. From September 2023, EYFS and KS1 will join the Mastering Number program to enhance their understanding of number fluency (please see the useful links section for more information).
At Pawlett we utilise a range of quality resources in order to cover the key objectives using a small steps approach. In all year groups, a range of manipulatives are used to ensure children have the opportunity to work practically with number concepts before moving on to pictorial and abstract representations.
Teachers plan for misconceptions and children are encouraged to make links between the different mathematical concepts they learn. Staff are supported with shared planning approaches to ensure consistency in maths across the school. We have an ongoing approach to the professional development of our staff through termly maths staff training to ensure high-quality teaching.
Throughout their learning journey at Pawlett, children will make strong links between key concepts in maths. Explicit mathematical vocabulary is crucial as the children become increasingly confident in explaining their mathematical thinking and reasoning which will demonstrate their understanding. They will be able to recall specific knowledge required for solving problems and will confidently draw upon existing skills in order to solve problems.