The National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure all pupils:
- Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
- Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
The National Curriculum for mathematics is a mastery curriculum.
What it means to master something:
- I know how to do it
- It becomes automatic and I don’t need to think about it (like driving a car)
- I’m really good at doing it – painting a room, or a picture
- I can show someone else how to do it
At Hillbrook Primary School, Mastering Mathematics is even more than that:
- It is achievable for all
- Involves deep and sustainable learning
- Builds upon concepts that have already been sufficiently mastered
- Develops the ability to reason about a concept and make connections
- Develops procedural and conceptual fluency
Mastery is a Continuum – mastery at a particular point in time means sufficient mastery for that stage of learning
At Hillbrook, our expectation is that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics. In order for this to happen we will be spending longer on each topic and will teach the children in microscopic steps to ensure that they develop conceptual understanding along with procedural fluency.
Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention to enable the children to access what is being taught.
The expectation of the National Curriculum is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. Higher attaining children will be given rich and sophisticated problems which deepen their knowledge of the same content. They are not accelerated through curriculum content. Research has shown that these children often leave primary school with a superficial understanding of what they have been taught.
One of the aims of the National Curriculum is that children become fluent in mathematics. Fluency comes from deep knowledge and practice. The ability to recall facts and manipulate them to work out other facts is important.