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Hamilton Maths, Mastery and Blocking

Are you thinking about maths mastery? Are you talking about using a blocked curriculum for your maths teaching. Are you confused about how to do this with Hamilton plans? Don't worry. You can continue to use Hamilton maths plans and teach in blocks for mastery. Mastery is not new to Hamilton - and we can help your children achieve it.

Obviously, Hamilton plans are focussed on Mastery - we teach and provide learning experiences in the three required areas:  

  1. underpinning children's conceptual understanding through the development of a consistent set of images and models; 
  2. engendering procedural fluency by suitable activities and practice;
  3. providing investigations and frequent opportunities for reasoning and problem-solving both within the weekly plans and also alongside them. 

However, what most schools mean when they tell me that they are moving to a 'mastery curriculum' or to 'maths mastery' is that they are doing the above but that they are also following a blocked curriculum. 

Personally, I have always felt that, teaching in England, where many children are not very good at memorising things (largely because they are not doing any routinised memorisation outside school) I am reluctant to teach a topic such as addition and subtraction only once in the year.  My experience over some forty odd years, tells me that this doesn't work! 

But obviously it is possible to teach in a more blocked way than is currently done by the existing Hamilton plans and I would not deny that there are some advantages as well as some disadvantages.

So, at Hamilton, we are doing some development work on the site, and also working with the mathematical content, in order to offer you a blocked option. 

We will be developing a new system of presenting our maths planning that will have the advantage of much greater flexibility - which I do think is a very good thing. Hamilton's rigorous pedagogy, progression and consistent development of models will all be preserved, but teachers will be able choose to teach in longer or shorter blocks.

This new system will take a little while to be up and running with all its whistles blowing and bells ringing. However, in the short term, over the summer, we have published a year-by-year blocked scheme that will show you how to teach from the Hamilton maths plans in blocks. Find this by going to the appropriate year under maths or use these links:

Year 1 | Year 2 | Year 3 | Year 4 | Year 5 | Year 6 

We would also like to give interested teachers the opportunity to trial the new system as soon as we have it available and give us your feedback. This will enable us to really tailor it to what teachers actually want - instead of pre-judging. If you would like to be a part of trials to take place over the next couple of terms, please email and let us know a bit about your school context.

-- from Professor Ruth Merttens, Director of Education, Hamilton Trust

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