Maths lessons at GMA
What will I see in mathematics lessons at Gothic Mede Academy?
Whole class together – we teach mathematics to whole classes and do not group children. Lessons are planned based on formative assessment of what pupils already know and we include all children in learning mathematical concepts. At the planning stage, teachers consider the scaffolding that may be required for children struggling to grasp concepts in the lesson and suitable challenge questions for those who may grasp the concepts rapidly.
Longer but deeper – in order to ensure children have a secure and deep understanding of the content taught, our plans have been adjusted to allow longer on topics and we move more slowly through the curriculum. Lessons are planned through a chosen scheme of learning (White Rose Maths), and supplemented with other resources such as NCETM, Nrich and Teach Active. Teachers adapt each lesson to meet the needs of their children and add extra questioning / tasks which will allow children to learn the content more deeply. The learning will focus on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics.
Key learning points are identified during planning and a clear journey through the maths developed.
Questions will probe pupil understanding throughout and responses are expected in full sentences, using precise mathematical vocabulary.
Fluency – there is a whole school focus on developing an instant recall of key facts, such as number bonds, times tables, addition and subtraction facts and daily fluency sessions are delivered in addition to the maths lesson.
Discover/exploration - Instead of ‘Let me teach you…’ or giving a learning objective as a starting point, children are encouraged to explore a problem themselves to see what they already know.
Develop reasoning and deep understanding (contexts and representations of mathematics) – problems are often set in real life contexts – carefully chosen practical resources and pictorial representations are used to explore concepts. These pictorial representations will appear in books as children show their understanding, rather than answers to a series of calculations. The use of practical resources, pictorial representations and recording takes place in every lesson (the CPA approach).
Structuring – the teacher will organise the findings of the exploration, compare/contrast strategies and guide towards the most efficient strategy (or the one being learnt that day).
Step by step approach – journey through the mathematics through small carefully crafted steps to support deep understanding.
Questions to challenge thinking – teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding – a variety of questions are used, but you will hear the same ones being repeated: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Can you represent it another way? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine?
Discussion and feedback – pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking.
Practising – not lots of repetition but “intelligent practice” characterised by variation.
Rapid intervention – in mathematics new learning is built upon previous understanding, so in order for learning to progress and to keep the class together pupils need to be supported to keep up and areas of difficulty must be dealt with as and when they occur (usually during the lesson or soon after).
Marking – work is marked in line with our marking and feedback policy. The most valuable feedback is given during a lesson.
SEN pupils – may be supported by additional adults, different resources, differentiated activities. They will also complete additional activities outside of the mathematics lesson. We have high expectations of all children and strongly believe that all children are equally able in mathematics. Some may take longer to grasp concepts and may need careful scaffolding or extra time/support (guided groups, same day catch-up, additional homework, pre-teaching, intervention group, specific parent support).