Mastery in Maths Policy 2016
The Mastery-learning model forms the basis of our approach to traditional teaching. This means spending greater time going into depth about a subject as opposed to racing through the things that all children should know. Previously, racing through content lead to some children having large gaps in subject knowledge because the concept they had just learnt was either too big or learnt too quickly. As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have an absolutely solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient for secondary school.
Now, we have the confidence to take learning at a steadier and deeper pace, ensuring that no child is left behind, as well as providing deeper and richer experiences for children who are above the national expectation for their age.
We focus on all children achieving what is expected of their age group and not going beyond this. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a range of situations and then be creative to really understand it. Simply going beyond their age group does not guarantee they understand something, it just means they have heard it.
At our school no child will be taught content from the year group above them, they will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge and skills in multiple ways.
In short, this means working towards:
•Teach less, learn more: less teacher talk and more evidencing learning and progress
•No child left behind: all children are enabled to keep up every day.
•Space and time to experience and apply, with all children entitled to additional support to ensure they do not fall behind or to go deeper
•Understanding real life applications wherever possible to make learning relevant and not abstract; nothing should be taught without a purpose.
All of this means that there is a change in the way we teach and assess children, most notably in how we organise the children’s learning and how we report their progress to parents.
We will be doing more of this:
•Teaching all children in class, together, most of the time
•Verbal feedback during lessons, shorted comments in books and more ticking of correct concepts
•Spending longer on one idea
•Giving children who need it, additional support over shorter, more intense periods, like a day or week.
•Daily or weekly mini assessments with a few formal tests over the year
And less of this:
•Formal marking with lots of written feedback and highlighting
•Covering lots of ideas in one week
•Formal, long term interventions to boost them out of class
•Separating children into ability groups
•Formal testing of children weekly or termly
This approach is seen as good practice. It is promoted by the government and seen as the best way to deliver the new national curriculum.