Home > Curriculum, GCSE, KS3, Maths > Mastery and School Visits

Mastery and School Visits

This morning a colleague and I travelled over to Huddersfield to visit a school that was implementing a mastery curriculum in maths. The idea of a mastery curriculum is something that very much appeals to me. The crux of it is that each stage I’m the learning of maths is embedded fully before moving on to the next. It is something we are considering adopting as a school and it was fantastic to be invited to go to this other school and see how they’re implementing it.

The visit involved observing a lesson and meeting with the schools mastery lead to pick her brains about the curriculum. The whole experience was worthwhile. It was great to see a different school the set up and the layout. How the kids their behaved, interacted and were turned out. I think we would all benefit from being able to visit other schools as part of our own professional development. Especially those who have only ever worked in one school, as it would broaden their horizons and ideas.

I’m in the middle of writing a report on the visit, and mastery, so will blog some further thoughts here when I’ve had time to research and digest. But some early thoughts:

– Mastery is a solid idea based on strong theoretical groundwork (as laid out be Kris Boulton at the recent maths conference)
– care must be taken to ensure that the most able on the cohort are stretched and not left stagnant while the others catch up
– mastery is a big undertaking, and needs to be embedded from year 7.
– measuring progress in the way that has been done previously at year seven will not work, and this would need to be addressed, but this needs to be addressed anyway in a post level world.

  1. October 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    “I think we would all benefit from being able to visit other schools as part of our own professional development.”

    Absolutely agree! When I joined the school where I was head I realised how many staff hadn’t set foot in another school for some time. For the April Staff Day I asked everyone to arrange a visit to another school – it could be local or further afield (with a cap on mileage expenses…), independent or state, primary or secondary – I just asked them to make the most of their contacts and to help each other out. If the school they wanted to visit was on holiday that day, I asked them to find a day that would work in THEIR holiday, and take the April Staff Day off in lieu.

    In the summer term we then had a staff meeting where staff in mixed groups (across departments/sections/Junior and Senior school – we were a 7-18 school) considered what they had learnt and what good ideas they could bring back which might help us in our development. But it was also good to hear, ‘I hadn’t appreciated how we….’ followed by positive comments about some of the ways we worked. It helped with their sense of perspective and encouraged them to look afresh at their own school.

    Glad to hear your visit was illuminating and productive!

    • October 22, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Hi Jill, that’s awesome that you did that at your school. I think it would be beneficial for all teachers to do this every so often.

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