At Hannah Ball School, we follow the ‘Teaching for Mastery approach’. Our curriculum is designed, developed and delivered using White Rose in conjunction with other high quality Teaching for Mastery resources. We use workbooks to provide a coherent structure through the curriculum and support children on their journey towards deeper understanding.
Teaching for Mastery is an approach that has been developed by lengthy research into the elements for maths teaching that is so very successful in places such as Shanghai. In 2014, the government began investing heavily in the training and development of teachers across the country; a project that we at Hannah Ball School have been involved in for the last 3 years.
Mathematics is fundamentally an abstract concept and part of the Teaching for Mastery approach is to build understanding of this using concrete resources and pictorial models. These help children to make sense of the number system from recognising numbers in Foundation stage, to multiplying fractions in year 6.
More time is spent on each area of mathematics, with a focus on small step teaching through which the children are encouraged to make connections and think mathematically. Fluency with number facts is hugely important; the children are encouraged to gain this through a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts of the number system; particularly in EYFS and KS1 where this is delivered through the NCETM’s mastering number programme. In KS2, the children spend a lesson each week honing arithmetic skills and employing a deeper understanding of number to solve calculations in the most efficient way. Reasoning and problem solving form part of our everyday maths teaching.
A particular focus is placed on moving all the children forward together. Differentiation is structured differently from previous methods of teaching in mathematics. You are less likely to see children working on different tasks, but more subtle forms, such as resources, reasoning and careful use of questioning to allow children to be supported or stretched. This allows access for all and for no child to be limited in their aspirations.