Our Curriculum and Approach
At Dallas Road we follow a ‘mastery’ approach for the teaching and learning of Maths, tailoring the curriculum so that it is relevant to each child and their personal learning journey.
Our children’s learning journeys begin in Reception, in the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each area of learning and development is carefully planned and mathematical learning occurs through purposeful play, and a mix of adult led and child-initiated activities. The learning environments we provide allow for fun and practical, ‘hands-on’ learning experiences; the interactions with the children during planned and child-initiated play provide rich opportunities for communicating and modelling language, showing, explaining, demonstrating, exploring ideas, encouraging, questioning, recalling and setting challenges. We recognise that play is about much more than content, but helps to build flexible mathematical minds and an enquiring spirit that the children can build upon as they move into Key Stage 1.
Across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we use the structure of the White Rose curriculum resources to sequence our learning into small steps, which is at the heart of the ‘mastery’ idea in Maths. Through the children’s learning, we have observed how small steps help our children to develop their conceptual understanding of important mathematical ideas and become more fluent mathematicians, leading to improved confidence.
An important aspect of our approach is the use of ‘variation’ (the sequence and the way the maths is represented) when we carefully plan and design the children’s learning. We believe that it is important that the children experience maths in a broad range of contexts and representations to help them to develop a deeper understanding and to make connections in their learning. This supports the children to become flexible thinkers and more confidently apply their skills and knowledge to solve problems.
Another core principle of our curriculum is to ask children to reason about maths. This is an opportunity for the children to talk or write about the maths they are using, patterns they observe or general rules they have learnt and applied. This again helps the children to develop a deeper understanding of mathematical ideas and to more confidently explain their thinking.
When learning, we recognise how important it is that the children use practical resources and pictorial representations, before proceeding to more abstract ideas. In each classroom, we have a range of resources available, from which the children can choose from, to help with their learning.
As part of our curriculum, we also support the children to develop their mathematical fluency. This encompasses a number of different ideas including the quick and efficient recall of number facts (such as number bonds or times tables) to having the ability to choose efficient methods and strategies when solving a problem.