Primary INSET : Challenging More Able Pupils in Maths

Primary maths

I feel particularly inspired. Unlike many courses, this felt achievable.
Alison Tanner, Year 5/6 Teacher Cameley Primary School

What are the barriers for the more-able mathematician and for the teachers?

How can lessons be designed to support all pupils and provide opportunities for more-able to excel?

How can the more-able mathematicians follow lines of enquiry and apply their understanding to more complex maths problems and concepts?

How can a whole-school approach support more-able mathematicians?

Maths is an exciting subject. The National Curriculum provides a framework to enable children to explore a range of concepts and improve fluency, ability to reason and solve mathematical problems. However, many children need to have the opportunity to become more secure and develop a ‘greater depth’ at every stage of their learning – and it’s not always clear how to do this on a daily basis.

The Problem with ‘Gifted & Talented’ Labels in Maths

Pupils are often labelled as Maths marvels from an early age because they are quick to learn, apply facts and algorithms, and can work speedily through a series of questions.
Historically this ‘G&T’ labelling resulted in a child being pushed forward far too quickly and missing out on a completely rounded Maths curriculum, while their ‘bottom Maths set’ peers were not challenged enough.
Just as we might misdiagnose a child as having special needs, we can equally misdiagnose a child as being mathematically talented.

High Expectations in Maths

High expectations in Maths are everything and we must relate these to all pupils. As Dame Alison Peacock tells us in her book Assessment for Learning without Limits, we can get it very wrong:

“false, limiting assumptions are made about children’s capacity to learn.”

Dame Alison Peacock

This course provides teaching and learning ideas and resources to be able to develop the more-able mathematicians but also allows opportunities for middle-ability pupils to explore concepts too.

Teaching & Learning for More-Able pupils

• Identify the characteristics of ‘more-able’ or ‘High Potential Pupils’
• Develop teaching and learning strategies in Maths
• What a daily lesson can look like for the more-able mathematician

Maths Teaching & Learning Strategies for More-Able Pupils

• Developing questioning and enquiry
• Encouraging Independence
• Planning for effective learning

Practical Activities for more-able mathematicians

• Using resources effectively
• Developing a line of enquiry

Maths Mastery

• Digging Deeper
• Whole-School Strategies to support more-able mathematicians

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