Teaching for Mastery and Power Maths
At Danesfield, we are continually striving to improve how we teach in order to enable the best possible learning journey for each of our pupils as a result we have adopted ‘teaching for mastery’ approach to lessons.
‘Teaching for mastery’ refers to classroom practice that gives pupils the best chances of acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. It is research and evidence-based and as such is recommended by the Department for Education (DfE) and the National College for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM).
At Danesfield, we now have a fully embedded ‘teaching for mastery’ approach:
- Firstly, pupils are taught by their class teacher as a whole class rather than in attainment sets. There is much evidence to support that not setting improves long-term outcomes for all pupils, regardless of their current attainment level, and in addition, it promotes a Growth Mindset. We very much want to send the message to every child that we are all mathematicians. We will, of course, continue to ensure within this approach that all pupils will be suitably supported and challenged.
- Secondly, we have invested in a high-quality DfE approved scheme called Power Maths. This consists of online tools to support teachers with planning and teaching as well as practice books for the pupils’ independent work. By using this scheme, we will ensure a consistent and cohesive approach across the school, alongside providing opportunities for teachers’ professional development.
- In addition to the above, practical resources are used both in the teaching and modelling and the pupil-led activities, and pupils are encouraged to represent problems in different ways to show their maturing grasp of key concepts taught.
We are also big believers that “deep learning takes longer, but lasts longer”. Deep learning happens when skills and knowledge are applied in a variety of contexts. We supplement our ‘teaching for mastery’ approach with a variety of other experiences which include:
- Bi-weekly inquiry-based mathematics lessons which will often be cross-curricular, practical and offer an insight into the application of maths in the real world.
- The use of a range of maths story books to link Maths with reading comprehension and stories, generating enthusiasm in learners who have a strong reading interest.
- Bi-weekly fluency-based lessons, utilising a scheme called ‘Funkey Maths’, as a fun, practical, and visual way of learning times tables, fully supporting all learners.
- Ongoing financial education as part of a Maths-PSHE initiative. Children have full access to Danesfield Bank, a fully unique experience for Danesfield pupils, where they are able to earn, spend, save, accrue interest (and even go in to debt!) using their personalised bank cards where they virtually collect their Dane Coins.