For Maths we use 'White Rose' to support us with our planning and teaching.
We are developing an approach where we use concrete, pictorial and abstract resources to help the children develop their understanding of Maths. We have also been developing the 'Mastery' aspect of Maths learning.
Helping students on their journey towards mastery is exactly what White Rose Maths exists to do. It isn’t always an easy journey, and it’s important to realise that there’s more than one way to get there.
How do you know when a student has mastered something?
We think mastery of anything – playing an instrument, speaking a new language, mathematics – takes a very long time. That’s why we talk about the “journey to mastery”, rather than “having mastered”. For example, children start learning to add in early years and keep developing their skills over many years – from single digit numbers, to multi-digit numbers, then decimals, then fractions, then negatives, addition in different units (such as time calculations “35 minutes after 12:45pm”) etc. It would take several years to master addition, arguably one of the most basic concepts in mathematics so what we do is break the journey down into small steps, spending time carefully considering each. Through intelligent practice and building up experience of different contexts, gradually we move towards mastery where students are fluent in the unfamiliar and can apply their skills in any new situation.
How do we get through all the curriculum if we’re meant to spend time studying each topic in depth?
We recognise that time is an issue and it’s not easy to cover the full content of the curriculum in the depth we would wish too. Our curricula is designed to give time to think about a topic and develop understanding and also to realise that mastery will not have been achieved by the end of the unit, whatever its length. Our small step approach is designed to ensure that students will come back to topics time and time again, both within the study of the same area of mathematics and in other areas so that they will continue to deepen their understanding through this revisiting and interleaving.