Mastery of mathematics is something that we want all pupils to acquire, or rather to continue acquiring throughout their school lives, and beyond. Teaching for mastery is already well advanced in St William of York, and it forms a key part of work within the Maths Hubs Programme.
Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her move on to more advanced material. It does not require children to accelerate on to the next year’s content of work, but rather develop a much deeper understanding of the current content.
In July 2016, the DfE announced new funding, totalling £41m over four years, to support teaching for mastery. This money is being channelled through Maths Hubs on several linked projects, designed to build on the successes of work that started in Maths Hubs in autumn 2014.
One of these projects is the China-England Exchange. One of our teachers travelled to Shanghai and spent two weeks working alongside maths teachers in China.
St William of York was selected as the host school, and two visiting teachers, Miss Lilly Yang and Mr Alex Yan, travelled to London to spend time teaching alongside our staff. They have observed our teachers teach and all of our staff have observed Lilly and Alex teach too. This is an incredible opportunity for teachers from both countries to share expertise and learn from each other. We have had many visitors from across London visiting so that they too can learn from this experience. D. Over the course of the two weeks, over 200 teachers came and observed teaching in our school. The buzz of maths talk was amazing!
This has been a very exciting opportunity for teachers and it will have a positive impact upon your children's mathematical understanding. We are very fortunate to have been selected as one of the few schools across the UK and we are looking forward to seeing the impact of this work in our school.
As a result of this experience, we have decided to use the visual representation for counting (like they do in Shanghai) by counting to 10 using one hand. This reinforces calculating rather than counting and it clearly highlights the relationship between numbers, such as 10 being made from one ten and zero ones.