Mastery approach to Teaching and Learning
The Mastery-learning model forms the basis of our approach to teaching. This means spending greater time going into depth about a subject as opposed to racing through the things that all children should know. Previously, racing through content lead to some children having large gaps in subject knowledge because the concept they had just learnt was either too big or learnt too quickly. As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have an absolutely solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient for secondary school.
Now, we have the confidence to take learning at a steadier and deeper pace, ensuring children are not left behind, as well as providing deeper and richer experiences for children who are above the national expectation for their age.
We focus on allowing as many children as possible achieving what is expected of their age group and not going beyond this. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a range of situations and then be creative to really understand it. Simply going beyond their age group does not guarantee they understand something, it just means that they have heard it.
At our school no child will be taught content from the year group above them, they will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge and skills in multiple ways.
In short, this means working towards:
- Teach less, learn more: less teacher talk and more evidencing learning and progress
- No child left behind*: all children are enabled to keep up every day.
- Space and time to experience and apply, with all children entitled to additional support to ensure they do not fall behind or to go deeper
- Understanding real life applications wherever possible to make learning relevant and not abstract; nothing should be taught without a purpose.
All of this means that you may see a change in the way we teach and assess your child, most notably will be in how we organise your child’s learning and how we report their progress to you.
We will be doing more of this:
- Teaching all children in class, together, most of the time
- Verbal feedback during lessons,
- Spending longer on one idea,
- Giving children who need it additional support over shorter, more intense periods, e.g. a day or week.
- Pre-learning – groups of pupils being given a ‘leg up’ by carrying out some preliminary learning that will help them to access the contents of the next teaching sequence and prevent them from falling behind.
- Top – up sessions – groups of pupils that are in danger of falling behind will have sessions provided by the teacher or teaching assistant to consolidate new concepts
And less of this:
- Covering lots of ideas in one week
- Formal, long term interventions to boost them out of class
- Separating children into ability groups
This approach is seen as good practice. It is promoted by the government and seen as the best way to deliver the new national curriculum.
NB* We are fully inclusive and ensure that all pupils are making progress. However, we are aware that for some pupils with SEND requirements, for these pupils the amount of effort put in is just as important as the academic standards reached. We consider meaningful ways of measuring all aspects of progress including communication, social skills, physical development, resilience and independence.