Maths Mastery explained
At Hanover, we know that maths is about much more than numbers. Children’s chances of success are maximised if they develop a deep and lasting understanding of both mathematical concepts and procedures . This is why we teach for ‘mastery’. ‘Teaching for mastery’ describes ‘how’ we teach, rather than ‘what’ we teach. These methods combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. These include: teaching in small steps, using representations (objects and images) to illustrate concepts, and developing mathematical fluency thinking.
Reception to Year 6 teachers use the White Rose Maths Scheme of Learning as a starting point for all lesson design. This ensures that there is a coherent ‘small steps’ progression in Maths across all year groups, ensuring all ideas taught are built on previous knowledge.
Have a look at the programmes of study for each year group.
In lessons, we use the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach. This involves providing children with concrete materials (real things) and pictures or diagrams, in order for them to grasp abstract mathematical concepts. We ensure pupils spend enough time fully exploring a topic, reinforcing it with practice, before moving onto the next one.
Children need to be fluent with mathematical facts in order to free up working memory for complex mathematical problems. Core fluency facts include counting to 20 (EYFS), addition and subtraction facts to 20 (Key Stage 1) and multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12 (Key Stage 2). To support this, children in Nursery to Year 6 take part in ‘Maths Meetings’ regularly through the week. A Maths Meeting is a ten minute whole class session focused on counting and practising different areas of maths. These are high-energy sessions that involve songs and chants – great for making children more mathematically fluent! We also use Times Tables Rockstars in Key Stage 2 as a tool to help pupils develop fluency in multiplication tables.
Mathematical thinking is at the heart of everything we do. In Maths, we focus on helping children understand and use the correct mathematical vocabulary; without it, children cannot explain a mathematical process. Children need to be able to say it in order to understand it , so we encourage children to explain ‘I know this because…’. To further support children with this, teaching is supported by carefully-planned sentence stems a scaffold to help students get started in speaking or writing in Maths.
Children in Years 1-6 use Mathletics to practise previously-learnt maths knowledge and skills. This is set weekly.
We run regular parent workshops and ‘open classroom’ events throughout the year to support families to understand how maths is taught at Hanover, and how to best help your children at home with their maths learning.
Maths in the EYFS
Young children develop their mathematical understanding through their experiences. Children do maths in the sand pit, in the water tray, playing games in the garden, during baking and in their construction (to list just a few examples). In their play, children identify their own mathematical problems and explore different strategies to solve them. They talk about and compare objects and events. The adults’ primary role is to help develop children’s understanding by supporting children’s exploration (for example by providing resources), by questioning, ‘wondering’ and clarifying children’s ideas, and by suggesting further challenges to extend learning.
As in the rest of the school, in Reception we follow the White Rose curriculum which we use alongside the NCETM Numberblocks materials in our adult-led teaching. We also teach mathematics in regular ‘maths meetings’ to practise what we have learnt using songs, actions and games.