Our approach to teaching maths
Maths lessons at Holy Trinity will always follow a ‘mastery approach’ allowing children an opportunity to investigate, explore and deeply understand concepts through concrete (a physical object), pictorial (pictures and drawings) and abstract (using mathematical equations) representations so that all children develop an understanding of the mathematical structures being taught.
Lessons are broken down into small connected coherent steps that gradually unfold the concept being learned, providing access for all children and leading to the ability to apply the concept in a range of contexts. The children will be given the opportunity to purposefully practise each small step through carefully chosen questions, leading to the confident completion and further exploration of independent tasks.
Our expectation is that the majority of children will move through our maths programmes of study at broadly the same pace. Throughout all maths lessons, the children’s understanding of the concept being learned will be observed, monitored and assessed. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be further challenged by being offered rich reasoning and problem solving activities. Those who feel less confident in grasping the concept being taught and who would benefit from additional practice will be supported in small groups or 1:1 immediate and additional pre-teaching/post-teaching interventions and ‘masterclasses’ to scaffold their learning and help to close any gaps in understanding thereby enabling them to maintain their confidence and continue learning at the same pace as their peers.
Every lesson at Holy Trinity will always include active fluency activities to engage and enable all children to practise the rapid and efficient recall of fundamental maths facts.
Throughout all lessons children will be constantly discussing and explaining what they are learning with their teachers and peers allowing them to explore and reason the concept they are learning. They will be expected to use accurate maths vocabulary and respond in full mathematical sentences supported by question stems.
Lessons will always include challenging reasoning activities providing all children with the opportunity to explore and explain their understanding of a maths concept helping deepen their understanding and knowledge. We want all children to enjoy thinking mathematically and they will be given the opportunity to reason problem solving questions allowing them to be curious, investigate and explore a variety of different strategies whilst being able to relate and apply their knowledge to real life examples.
To challenge and deepen the children’s learning even further, all children will be presented with high order questions, enriching deeper thinking challenges and high ceiling tasks.
Variation is an important feature of our mathematics lessons. Conceptual variation is used so that the children have the opportunity to look at a concept being taught in more than one way. This variation draws attention to critical aspects of a concept to develop a strong deep understanding. Teachers also aim to use procedural variation so that activities and exercises are sequenced carefully to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structures.
Mistakes at Holy Trinity are highly valued and when they occur are used in the teaching to further explore concepts, resolve misconceptions and give the children the confidence to always have a go in a safe and secure mathematical environment.