Therefore, at Coleridge, we teach maths differently. Children are not simply rushed through the curriculum, gaining vast, but superficial knowledge that can fall apart whenever they encounter something unfamiliar. Instead, significant time is spent ensuring children have a deep, sustained knowledge of mathematical concepts and that secure building blocks are in place. As a result, we believe that all of our children can succeed in this subject, that no child ‘just can’t do it’.
But our children do not learn just how to ‘do maths’; huge emphasis is also placed on teaching them to ‘think mathematically’. Through contextualized problem solving activities, children work in the same way real mathematicians do, learning skills such as reasoning, conjecturing, generalizing and working systematically. This allows children to experience maths as something that is fundamentally useful, and not just a series of skills that must be learnt in order to pass tests. Our approach also produces outstanding results, with a huge majority of our children making expected, or better than expected, progress each year.
To do all this, Coleridge has adopted a mastery approach to teaching maths. As a school, we are pleased that one of our Assistant Heads, Louise Foulkes, has been trained by the NCETM as a Mastery Specialist, enabling her to develop expertise in mastery pedagogy and embed excellent practice in our school. Louise also works closely with a number of other schools to help them experience, experiment with, and implement ‘teach for mastery’ approaches within their own communities.
To find out more about Louise’s work and what a mastery approach entails, please see below: