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Maths greater depth KS2 - Post Covid

Working at greater depth means a child has mastered the learning expected for their age and stage, and is therefore able to delve into it in more detail. Being able to explain what they have been doing to others, including teaching other children what they have learned. ...

The above statement is really interesting as it comes from a pre covid world which feels like we had the luxury of an education system that was not squeezed or pulled apart by external forces, not rocked by lock downs or year groups and staff suddenly going home for 10 days, coming back for a brief period and then going off again.

Schools were in survival mode, the adrenaline of the school body being the hard work and determination of school staff. Unlike the human body which produces adrenaline in response to fight or flight the school, quickly becomes fatigued and the cost is the tired and drained staff and school leaders.

This must have implications for Maths teaching and the maths mastery agenda. For example, how can year 6 teaching be as thorough and have that luxury of the pre-covid world with the conceptual gaps that will exist.

The current years 2 and 3 have had a torrid learning journey in maths with so many important concepts gone astray.

Many schools I visit are committed to the mastery approach but have begun to go a bit `procedural` as they believe this is a way to catch up.

This `going a bit procedural` can be a dangerous slide back to the old ways of teaching maths as there still seems to be a pervading belief that this idea of teaching the method without any reference to conceptual understanding must be better than nothing.

The difficulty here is that schools are under pressure to deliver, but by using our most precious resource, namely time, to teach procedurally we are harking back to the bad old days of the `the methods the thing'. We have come so far in the teaching of maths in this country it would be sad to go backwards.

Children need the experience of the multi dimensional view of maths if they are to be able to experience greater depth for themselves and teachers need to experience this first if they are to teach it.

It's important to be aware of the gaps and work to backfill, of course, but taking shortcuts will result in less rather than more depth.

I work with schools all around the UK to support teachers, leaders, and children to engender love and passion for maths.

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