At Rodings Primary School, we endeavour to deliver a mastery approach in our curriculum.

This describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths.

Fluency which refers to knowing key mathematical facts and methods and recalling these efficiently is taught alongside our problem-solving activities and is often well supported in children’s home lives.

Skills are built on as children progress throughout the school and their understanding is deepened before they are exposed to new concepts. We provide plenty of opportunities for problem solving and reasoning, which questions their conceptual understanding and transfers skills to different contexts.

We encourage the children to

  • persevere and remain patient when faced with a problem that proves more difficult to solve or has many different solutions
  • learn to solve problems in many different ways e.g. concrete, pictorial and abstract
  • practise voicing their opinions and sharing their approaches
  • listen to each other’s ideas and acknowledge the different approaches that can be taken, reflecting on which approach was most suitable
  • question what they are being told, applying their own knowledge and skills to draw conclusions

Robert Bjork’s work on desirable difficulty illustrates the importance of problem solving in order for learning to be embedded. In addition to teaching mathematical skills, it is our intention for the children to learn about themselves as learners and develop their personal qualities.

They will have the confidence to approach problems, the ability, perseverance and resilience to solve problems, good communication skills to work with others, the curiosity to question what they are told and the honesty to reflect on their own and others’ approaches. In doing so, they will be well equipped moving forwards in their education and future lives.