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Maths Mastery

At Kingmoor Nursery and Infant School we want all pupils to develop a deep and secure conceptual knowledge of fundamental mathematical concepts. We want all pupils to enjoy their learning in maths and believe that all pupils can achieve.


We aim for all pupils to become strong mathematicians who can;


· Rapidly recall and apply mathematical knowledge fluently, including calculation strategies.

· Reason mathematically using precise mathematical vocabulary.

· Apply their knowledge and understanding of maths to solve problems.


In order to achieve these aims, we use a Mastery approach to teaching Mathematics across the school. Last year, our school participated in a NCETM Maths Hub Primary Teaching for Mastery programme and this is something which we have implemented in school.


What is Maths Mastery?


Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Children who have mastered key concepts are then able to apply their knowledge to a new problem or unfamiliar situation.


The key ideas of this approach are;

· Success in maths is achievable by all – we have high expectations for all pupils and encourage a positive mind-set towards maths. Learning challenges are scaffolded and supported so that all pupils can make progress.

· Learning is deep – Lessons are taught in blocks of learning where significant time is spent fully exploring and applying key ideas and concepts.

· Learning is built upon – Pupils build on prior learning from the year before that has been sufficiently mastered.

· Reasoning and making connections – Pupils are taught to make connections and notice patterns between areas of learning and use precise mathematical language.

· Fluency– Children learn key number facts and x tables by heart.

· Representation -Maths moves from one context to another using a concrete, pictorial and then abstract approach.

· Problem solving is central – Pupils can truly grasp a concept through investigating it in new, alternative and more complex ways through problem solving.

· Challenge through ‘Going deeper’ – Rather than accelerating onto new content, pupils are given tasks which challenge their thinking, deepen knowledge and improve reasoning.


How do we teach for Mastery in KS1?

Children are taught Maths in blocks of learning following the White Rose Maths schemes of learning throughout their time in Key Stage 1. Each block is taught beginning with a concrete approach, moving on to pictorial representations, before moving on to abstract maths.

· Concrete – Pupils are first provided the opportunity to explore concepts practically using manipulatives to model their mathematical thinking.

· Pictorial – Pupils are then encouraged to draw pictures or diagrams to model their understanding of concepts.

· Abstract – Pupils then move on to more formal mathematical representations and symbols once they have a good understanding of concrete and pictorial.


How do we teach for Mastery in the Early Years?



In the Reception there are two Early Learning Goals for Maths which are Number and Shape, Space and Measure. Teachers follow the White Rose Maths small steps schemes of learning for EYFS and NumberBlocks. Pupils are introduced to maths concepts through whole class teaching, before moving on to teacher-led tasks and within the continuous provision.



In Nursery children learn through playing and exploring, active learning experiences and creating and thinking critically. Pupils develop mathematics through Number and Shape, Space and Measure. Children have access to both the indoor and outdoor learning environment where children can explore and learn through play. The children’s interests are a powerful catalyst for mathematical enquiry and adults in school scaffold and support children’s play, mathematical interests and thinking through collaborative dialogue.


Pupils in both Reception and Nursery are taught the following key skills;


· Fluency- children learn and remember basic number facts such as 1 and 4 make 5.

· Representing Numbers and recognising amounts – children use different objects and pictures to represent a number in many different ways.

· Counting - saying one number for each object, knowing the final number is how many altogether and counting objects in any order.

· Reasoning – opportunities to explain what has happened and why, true or false activities.

· Problem Solving – allowing children to seek solutions, considering the best approach to use. This might involve; spotting patterns, estimating, predicting and finding many different ways to do things.

For more information about Maths Mastery have a look at;