At Sacred Heart, we follow the mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics. We use the ‘Singapore Mathematics’ concrete – pictorial – abstract approach to conceptual development so the children are provided with opportunities to use practical equipment and visual models before they move onto the abstract written methods. The whole class is taught mathematics together. Differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different pupils, not in the topics taught, particularly at earlier stages. The questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class will differ, with higher attaining children, or those pupils who grasp concepts quickly being challenged through more demanding problems, which deepen their knowledge of the same content.Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on.
We promote children’s ability to reason through opportunities to discuss their thinking and understanding. Teacher/pupil interaction explores how answers were obtained as well as why the method worked and what might be the most efficient strategy. We promote problem solving and solution finding. We promote precise mathematical language, often couched in stem sentences, used by teachers so that mathematical ideas are conveyed with clarity and precision. We value ‘mathematical talk’ and children have lots of opportunity to talk about and evaluate their mathematics during lessons.Conceptual variation and procedural variation are used extensively throughout teaching. This helps to present the mathematics in ways that promote deep, sustainable learning. Positive variation is showing what the concept is and negative variation is showing what the concept is not. This clears away misconceptions at the very start.
EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE
We follow EYFS curriculum guidance for mathematics. In Reception, we use the White Rose small steps and digging deeper suggestions and develop upon these to suit our own children and environment.
We are committed to ensuring the confident development of number sense and put emphasis on the mastery of key early concepts. Pupils explore the ‘story’ of numbers to twenty and the development of models and images for numbers as a solid foundation for further progress. Teachers use the ‘Singapore Mathematics’ concrete – pictorial – abstract approach to conceptual development.