The Essence of Teaching for Mastery
• All pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard they can succeed.
• Pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time. This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind.
• If a pupil fails to grasp a concept or procedure, this is identified quickly and early intervention ensures the pupil is ready to move forward with the whole class in the next lesson.
• Lesson design identifies the new concept that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning. In a typical lesson pupils sit facing the teacher and the teacher leads back and forth interaction, including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration, and discussion.
• 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 deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. The structure and connections within the subject are emphasised, so that pupils develop deep learning that can be sustained.
• Key facts are learnt to automaticity to avoid cognitive overload in the working memory and enable pupils to focus on new concepts.