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The Downley School

“Learning, Growing and Succeeding Together”

Maths Information and Guidance

Teaching For Mastery And Power Maths

At Downley, 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).

Whilst we have already embedded many elements of the ‘teaching for mastery’ approach, such as using practical resources and encouraging pupils to represent problems in different ways, we have identified two key areas to move forward with:

  • Firstly, pupils will now be taught by their class teacher as a whole class rather than in attainment sets. There is much evidence 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 ensure that all pupils will be suitably supported and challenged as needed.
  • 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.

Deep learning happens when skills and knowledge are applied in a variety of contexts. To give our pupils further opportunities to experience this, each week they will also have an inquiry-based mathematics lessons which will often be cross-curricular, practical and offer an insight into the application of maths in the real world.