Maths is now taught through a topic approach to help the children make links across the Maths and wider curriculum. The children will have plenty of opportunities to practise, consolidate and extend their thinking within mathematical concepts. We consider this to be a mastery approach.
What is Mastery?
Mastery is something that we want pupils to acquire. All pupils.
So a ‘mastery maths curriculum’, or ‘mastery approaches’ to teaching maths, or ‘mastery teaching’ in maths lessons all have the same aim—to help pupils, over time, acquire mastery of the subject.
Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Among the by-products of developing mastery, and to a degree part of the process, are a number of elements:
fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
a growing confidence to reason mathematically
the ability to apply maths to solve problems, to conjecture and to test hypotheses.
Mastery of maths, which should build gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short term ability to answer questions in tests or exams.
Is mastery new? There’s nothing new about the desire among teachers to help children develop deep understanding of the subject. But the word ‘mastery’ in relation to maths teaching and maths learning is relatively new, and we think it is a useful label that encapsulates this key aim.