A Tes survey of 1,100 teachers also reveals that more than 80 per cent feel confident in their ability to teach since adopting the method.
The government is investing £41 million in the mastery method of maths teaching in primary schools. This approach involves all pupils working on the same lesson content at the same time. The class does not move on to the next part of the curriculum until all members have grasped the concept being studied. The aim is for all children to believe that if they work hard enough, they can succeed at maths.
The mastery method is used in Shanghai and Singapore, both of which regularly achieve high placings in the Programme for International Student Assessment survey of different countries’ education systems.
But Marina Branco, maths lead at Primrose Hill Primary in North London, emphasised the importance of adapting the East Asian approach to suit her own pupils’ needs.
“In places like Singapore, primary maths teachers only teach maths,” she said. “They have a lot more time to analyse what works and doesn’t work. That’s the thing that’s a challenge for us in the UK: we don’t have much time to reflect on it.”
Do you use maths mastery in your school? Have your pupils benefited from it? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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