The actual approach to teaching Maths

The intention of this approach is to provide all children with full access to the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ –  in mathematics, rather than many failing to develop the maths skills they need for the future. 


High Expectation of New Curriculum – encouraging a growth mindset.

  • Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics.


Process of Delivery – all stages of understanding should be taught through reasoning activities.

Emerging understanding
2 preliminary steps if pupils require the support to achieve the year group objective.
Developing understanding
Secure understanding
Year group objective
Using the understanding
Using understanding of Secure objective to solve word problems.

Pupils should be encouraged to adopt Bar Method to solve word problems.

Applying the understanding
Applying understanding of Secure objective to answer Test  questions.
Investigating the understanding
STEM, NRich and NCETM websites are good for investigative maths challenges.
Mastered the understanding
NCETM Mastery Assessment documents for challenge guidance.


Differentiation – up after Secure – NOT DOWN

  • The large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.
  • The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. When to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage.


  • Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.


Taking a mastery approach, differentiation occurs in the support and intervention provided to different pupils, not in the topics taught, particularly at earlier stages.  There is no differentiation in content taught, but the questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class as they work through problems will differ, with higher attainers challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge of the same content.  Pupils’ difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with rapid intervention – commonly through individual or small group support later the same day: there are very few “closing the gap” strategies, because there are very few gaps to close.


Times tables and Key Instant Recall Facts very much at focus of entire curriculum which could be addressed on a daily basis as 10 min starter.


Fluency comes from deep knowledge and practice.  Pupils work hard and are productive.  At early stages, explicit learning of multiplication tables is important in the journey towards fluency and contributes to quick and efficient mental calculation.  Practice leads to other number facts becoming second nature.   The ability to recall facts from long term memory and manipulate them to work out other facts is also important.

All tasks are chosen and sequenced carefully, offering appropriate variation in order to reveal the underlying mathematical structure to pupils.  Both class work and homework provide this ‘intelligent practice’, which helps to develop deep and sustainable knowledge.




End of Assessment Period Tests only assess secure –  not mastery.

Children are to be tested on their age appropriate test (Year 4 – Stage4), any children being assessed below stage should be deemed SEN and submitted for inclusion on SEN register, the expectation is still that these children will be achieving Secure during lessons.

These tests should be used as follows:

Test 1 – End of AP1

Test 2 – End of AP2

Test 3 – End of AP3

Test 4 – End of AP4

Test 5 –  End of AP5

Test 6 –                 End of AP6

These tests purely there to inform your planning and support your assessment. ARE, Above or Below can be judged based on progress shown in children’s books (e.g. the children who regularly work to Using and applying challenges are ARE, children who regularly work to investigating and mastery are above, children who struggle to progress further than secure are below ARE – but should then receive immediate intervention to rectify)

Weekly skill checks

Each week pupils will be exposed to every objective within the year group and, using precision teaching, complete an example of each objective. Pupils are expected to correctly answer the objectives they have already been taught through the challenge approach.

  • All pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems.
  • Keeping your X’s X.



1:            Immediate same day or next day intervention – extra time and support for low progress within current objective– with expectation of every pupil achieving using and applying. Towards end of week, emphasis should shift to immediate same day intervention for highest ability to have mastered the objective.

2:            Extra time and support for previous AP’s low achievers.

The pupils within these interventions may change on a daily basis, as different pupils will need extra support on different objectives.

Keep watching. Planing examples to follow.


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