The way maths is taught in primary schools is changing and at Quintilian, we believe we are at the forefront of maths education.
Australia currently lies in 26th place in the TIMMS mathematics results for Year 4, and this is providing the catalyst for change. From international studies conducted on the top-performing countries, there are some common concepts that underpin teaching maths to mastery.
Quintilian’s Year 6 teacher Chris Johnston previously worked in the UK as a professional development lead for the National Curriculum for Excellent Teaching of Maths (NCETM) which has begun introducing these concepts in recent years. Our Year 5 teacher, Tristan Collin, was a Mathematics Learning Specialist whilst teaching in Victoria. He coached and provided professional learning for teachers to improve and develop their skills in Mathematics.
The Australian Maths Association is also starting to collaborate with these high performing Asian countries and we believe the upcoming review of the Australian Maths curriculum will reinforce this.
The Essence of Maths Teaching for Mastery
- Maths teaching for mastery rejects the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths’
- All pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed.
- Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding are developed in tandem because each supports the development of the other.
- It is recognised that practice is a vital part of learning, but the practice used is intelligent practice that both reinforces pupils’ procedural fluency and develops their conceptual understanding.
- Significant time is spent developing a deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. The structure and connections within mathematics are emphasised so that pupils develop deep learning that can be sustained.
- Key facts such as multiplication tables and addition facts within 10 are learnt automatically to avoid cognitive overload in the working memory and enable pupils to focus on new concepts.
Quintilian School always strives to provide an outstanding educational experience for all of our students, and this includes ongoing professional development for our teachers. It is wonderful to have onboard teachers like Chris and Tristan who are passionate about maths education and developments in education as a whole.