At Tower College we work hard to keep up to date with current research and practice in education and we are continually reviewing and reflecting upon our curriculum provision to ensure that we are providing our pupils with the highest quality education.
Over recent years there have been huge changes within the teaching of mathematics which have been influenced by the Shangai approach to maths. This is based on teaching smaller steps but in much greater depth to develop a solid understanding of the underpinning principles, structures and processes of maths and through this to achieve a mastery of maths.
A few years ago we adjusted our Maths Scheme to align ourselves with this new approach and this year we have put a large focus on further developing ourselves as a Maths for Mastery school. We have joined our local Maths Hub and are making connections with other schools who are focused on developing their own Teaching Maths for Mastery. Following on from this Mrs Gibson and Miss Porter are representing the school on a Sustaining Maths for Mastery programme hosted by the Maths Hub which will support and guide a number of projects and developments in this area. This programme is currently focussed on the teaching of maths in the Pre-Prep and Lower School departments although Mrs King has also been excited to become involved and to learn more about how this approach can be used in the Upper and Middle School to enhance our current provision.
Mrs Gibson, Mrs Boyd and Mrs King have attended training courses focussed on the effective use of maths manipulatives and resources to help children to develop a greater understanding of the maths that takes places behind the written calculations to ensure that pupils are not just remembering an abstract formula or process but also understand and can explain what is happening and why. The focus is on building the pupils’ ability to fluently recall and apply a range of key facts and strategies and also on developing their ability to reason and justify their findings and to solve real life mathematical problems helping them to recognise the importance and value of mathematical thinking in their everyday lives.
Moving forward next term Mrs Gibson, Miss Porter and Mrs King will be continuing to develop and share their knowledge and expertise and will be updating our maths policies in line with new research and advice. The children will be exposed to a greater range of maths manipulatives through which to explore and develop their understanding and we will be having a focus on expanding our mathematical vocabulary and promoting more in-depth mathematical discussion.
In order to keep parents updated with our approach to the teaching of maths we also have plans to develop a way of communicating the language, strategies and processes that we will be using in school. This will ensure that the mastery for maths approach can be supported at home providing a consistency of approach and hopefully building confidence for all of the parents, grandparents and other family members who we know are so instrumental in supporting our pupils at home.
We are very excited about our journey to Maths for Mastery and we are looking forward to seeing the impact of all of our new developments.