At Parkgate Infants we believe that anything is possible and all children are capable of learning anything if it is presented in the right way. That is why we have adopted a mastery approach to mathematics that allows all children to achieve at a high standard. A mastery approach encompasses the belief that both teachers and children have high expectations of their learning in maths and moves away from labelling children as being naturally more or less able than others. Mistakes are celebrated in a mastery approach, as they can be valuable teaching points. The maths curriculum encompasses our school drivers and aims to:
- ensure that there is consistency and progression in our approach to mathematics
- ensure that children develop an efficient, reliable, formal written method of calculation for all operations
- ensure that children can use the methods we teach accurately with confidence and understanding
A key belief we hold is that mathematical concepts can be ‘mastered’ by all children and that children should not move on to another concept until they are secure with the one they are learning. The whole class is taught the same thing, with differentiation being achieved through providing appropriate questioning and support. Children are challenged by activities that develop deeper understanding, problem solving and reasoning skills. With a mastery approach, children develop the ability to use and apply their knowledge of a concept in new and unfamiliar situations, through sophisticated mathematical thinking. They are encouraged to make links between different areas of maths, as well as to their prior learning, helping them to gain a deep level of understanding.
Through a carefully designed curriculum, which is supported by lessons that are tailored to meet the children’s needs, children are given the opportunity to explore mathematical concepts in depth, with representations and manipulatives chosen specifically to facilitate their understanding. In this way, children can become independent learners.