“The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics.” – Paul Halmos
Our vision is for every child to enjoy and succeed in mathematics, regardless of background.
Schools today face a range of barriers to success. All of which make building and embedding an effective approach to maths teaching more important – and more challenging – than ever. In the most successful countries teachers have high expectations for all students, address gaps in learning immediately, ensure that all students have access to rich mathematical content and teach conceptual and procedural maths together.
Our curriculum is underpinned by research on task design, variation theory, concept development and raising achievement. This evidence is explored in Helen Drury’’s books, ‘Mastering Mathematics’ and ‘How To Teach Mathematics for Mastery’.
Our school curriculum approach empowers and equips teachers to improve students’ enjoyment, resilience, understanding and attainment in maths.
Our classroom principles are the evidence-based foundations upon which our entire teaching approach is built. The principles are interconnected and together the whole is greater than the sum of its parts:
Success for all
Every child can enjoy and succeed in mathematics as long as they are given the appropriate learning opportunities. A growth mindset enables students to develop resilience and confidence.
Students must be given time and opportunities to fully explore mathematical concepts. The challenge comes from investigating ideas in new and complex ways – rather than accelerating through new topics.
Our students often give up too quickly when they are faced with challenges. Training them how to deal with new and different ideas is supporting them in becoming more resilient.
Enabling learners to solve new problems in unfamiliar contexts is the ultimate aim of mathematics education. Identifying, applying and connecting ideas enables students to tackle new and more complex problems.
Successful mathematicians are known to develop mathematical ‘habits of mind’. To encourage this, we must support students to be systematic, generalise and seek out patterns. Questioning is a key element of this.
Mathematical language strengthens conceptual understanding by enabling students to explain and reason. This must be carefully introduced and reinforced through frequent discussion to ensure it is meaningfully understood.
This is important for our students because a lot of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds and have limited vocabulary. Furthermore, we are keen to avoid as many misconceptions as possible by using accurate language.
Objects, pictures, numbers and symbols enable students to represent ideas and make connections in different ways. This develops understanding and problem-solving skills – while making lessons engaging and fun.
Weaker students benefit greatly from being exposed to representations as they are enhancing their understanding.
We believe high-quality, maths-focused professional development for teachers can make this happen.
Nothing is more powerful or effective than teachers supporting teachers. Teacher collaboration is key.
Ongoing access to high-quality professional development is also important.
We have seen an increase of enjoyment, resilience, understanding and attainment in maths.
Moreover, the quality of teaching has improved because the quality of our resources and the quality of the curriculum has improved. However, having the mastery resources available does not mean that these are the only resources we use. We still refine and adapt the resources we use to meet the needs of all students.
An independent, randomised controlled trial funded by the EEF found the Mathematics Mastery programme had a positive effect on student attainment after only one year.
Stretch and challenge club
Students are being taught in refined sets as much as possible and the strongest students in year 7 attend a maths stretch and challenge club after school.