At Meadlands, we are passionate about teaching Maths. We want our pupils to have a secure understanding of the national curriculum, but more importantly we want to develop and grow mathematicians, who love and get excited by maths, who are able to use their new learning in other areas of the curriculum and see how it can be transferred to real life application. Through our maths lessons, we aim to develop pupils who aspire to be challenged and are independent learners who continually push themselves.
Teaching for mastery: What does mastery maths mean?
At Meadlands, we follow the National Curriculum for maths and use the White Rose maths scheme which uses a Maths Mastery approach to teaching. In this approach all pupils are taught the same mathematical content together, there is no acceleration of learning onto newer content. Since mastery is what we want pupils to acquire (or go on acquiring), rather than teachers to exhibit, we use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice that give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics. Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure, and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her to move on to more advanced material.
Mastery of mathematics is something that we want pupils – all pupils – to acquire, or rather to continue acquiring throughout their school lives, and beyond.
Central to the development of mastery in our classrooms, we follow the NCTEM’s “five big ideas”- these have been drawn from research evidence, underpinning teaching for mastery. This diagram is used to help bind these ideas together:
Lessons at Meadlands are broken up into small, connected steps that gradually unfold the concept (the learning) providing access for all children. Small steps of progression support the secure development and understanding of a new concept and when mastered children can expertly apply this concept to a range of contexts. Learning is not superficial, but deep, understood, and transferable.
Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons exposes the mathematical structure being taught. Every curriculum objective covered, is taught, and applied using a concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA) approach. This allows children to learn and engage using practical resources, then seeing the pictorial form or drawing it themselves, to finally understanding and applying the concept using an abstract (written) method (see below for diagram). Within different year groups and stages of learning, the length of time taken on each CPA approach differs and is up to professional judgement and formative assessment. However, the CPA approach is not linear and can be used alongside each other, so children are exposed to the relationship between the concept representations and how they are the same and different. The Calculation Policy should be read in line with this policy to understand how the CPA approach is applied to each year group in the teaching of number and calculation.
Lessons typically are broken in to four parts:
At Meadlands, we understand that if pupils have a quick and efficient recall of number and times table facts, this will support their grasp and understanding of new concepts and procedures. Therefore, we place emphasis on the learning of key number facts and times table facts through two avenues:
1. Key Instant Recall Facts
Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFS) are designed to support the development of the mental skills that underpin much of the mathematics work in school. They are particularly useful when calculating be it adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing.
Each year group is allocated up to six facts to focus on throughout the year, in line with age related expectations. Time is dedicated at least twice a week in small bursts, to ensure the KIRF is practiced and learnt so our pupils grow in confidence to recall their facts instantly. Each half term, children will be assessed on their year group KIRF. Each pupil has their own Meadlands KIRF Passport which details their score and whether they have mastered the KIRF. Pupils who do not achieved their KIRF will continue to work on it in an intervention group.
2. Times Table Targets
To motivate the children to learn their times tables, Meadlands uses an award system which involves the opportunity to earn Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond certificates for time. The certificates link to the times tables the children are expected to know at the end of set year groups. The children need to learn their tables and complete a timed test in order to receive their certificate. Each pupil will have a Times Table target card in the back of their maths book, which details their current times table target, and which awards they have earnt so far.
The table below lists the certificates that can be earnt in each year group and the times tables tests:
Examples of work
Assessment and recording
We assess children in accordance with the schools Assessment Policy, using both formative and summative assessment strategies. We make formative assessments all the time during the maths lesson, through marking their work and the completion of Exit Passes. We also assess children through monitoring their Times Table target cards and their KIRF Passports.
At the start of each new topic, pupils complete a pre-unit assessment, this is used by the teacher to assess the pupil’s retained learning and any gaps that need to be closed, whether this is on a whole class basis or through small group interventions. The pre-unit assessment should be the topic test for the year before, e.g., the pupils in Year 5 about to start addition, would complete the Year 4 White Rose addition assessment. This would then be marked and stuck into the pupil’s book.
At the end of each topic, children then complete the year group specific White Rose topic assessment, as a tool to monitor which children have mastered all the unit’s objectives and which children may need to attend booster sessions to close this gap in their learning.
Formal teacher assessments are made once per term. Teachers base their judgements on evidence in the books alongside the completion of an Arithmetic and Reasoning paper that links to the learning that has taken place since the start of the academic year. These assessments also help us to identify those pupils who are not making expected progress and they are then discussed at Pupil Progress Meetings where intervention will then be planned and put into place.
In the summer term, Years 2 and 6 will be assessed through the Statutory Assessment Tests for the end of each key stage. Please note, End of Year 2 assessments are a combination of SATs results and teacher assessment.
As of summer, 2021, Year 4, will complete the Multiplication Test Check (This date has been postponed a year due to Covid-19). This online test comprises of 25 times table questions, with children having 6 seconds to answer each question. The outcomes of this test are for internal use only and will not be shared in the league tables. This will be statutory from next year (2022), but we are still going to take part this year.
Children in Years 3, 4 and 5 will be assessed through a series of teacher assessment, evidence in books, timed tests, and professional judgement.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage, levels of understanding are recorded on the Foundation Stage Profile throughout the year as they are achieved. They will be given an end of year ‘age-related’ result.
Key Stage 1 data
A general site that then gives you access to a range of online games and challenges:
A Year 5 favourite:
These sites allow you to work on specific tables: