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A ‘mastery’ approach has been adapted and implemented at Buckingham Park Primary School for the planning, delivery and engagement with mathematics. By teaching maths using the mastery approach, we are aiming for sustainable and deeper learning, which can be recalled, transferred and applied in different contexts. Reasoning and problem solving are integral to the schemes and to our approach. We expect each lesson to have an element of applying knowledge and skills. It is through such activities that children see the real purpose of maths, and gain the most enjoyment and satisfaction.

We use the White Rose Schemes of Learning to guide our teaching of maths from Reception to Year 6 and sources such as NCETM and nrich.co.uk to link mathematical talk and knowledge across the various blocks. The curriculum is broken down into small, manageable steps that all children work on in a daily lesson together. Those that need a bit more support are given additional help either in the lesson, before or afterwards. Those that need more challenge are given rich tasks and deeper problems to build a more profound understanding. The schemes interleave prior content in new concepts. For example when children look at measurement, there are lots of questions that practice the four operations and fractions. This helps children make links between topics and understand them more deeply. There is a distinct focus on number work. We reinforce number fluency throughout the year by providing additional maths sessions during the day. Children who have an excellent grasp of number make better mathematicians. Spending longer on mastering key topics will build a child’s confidence and help secure understanding.

Teachers use formative assessment to evaluate the learning during a lesson. They may ask questions to check understanding, or scrutinise independent work in order to identify common misconceptions or share thinking. Such assessment allows teachers the flexibility to intervene in a lesson to remind, redirect or reteach pupils as required. Regular marking of independent work allows teachers greater understanding of whether or not a concept has been grasped, and gives them the opportunity to feedback to pupils, to reinforce learning and to praise. They also give an excellent opportunity to see what concepts may need to be given additional time, and to adjust planning accordingly.

Formal termly summative assessments and end of block assessments, allow teachers to evaluate how individuals, groups and the class as a whole are progressing compared to national expectations. The end-of-year assessment will be completed in May (Years 2 and 6 SATs) or June (rest of the school) to provide a snapshot of individual annual progress.


A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.

· Quick recall of facts and procedures.

· The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.

· The ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics.

What is mastery in mathematics?

National Curriculum Progression Mapping

Schemes of work for each year group

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