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Inspire, Endeavour, Achieve


Mathematics Mastery at St Monica Primary School

Intent, Implementation & Impact Statement: Maths 2021-2022


Our 7 Principles of Mathematics Mastery Learning, Teaching and Assessment.

  • Innovation purposeful change to the practice of mathematics rooted in robust theory.

  • Nurture: All leaners understand themselves as unique knowledge builders and are encouraged in the belief that by working hard at mathematics they can succeed.

  • Success: Securing enjoyment in the mathematical journey by encouraging automaticity in the knowledge and language needed thus avoiding cognitive overload in the working memory.

  • Passion: Developing a fascination for mathematics by engaging in intelligent practice that both reinforces children's procedural fluency and develops their conceptual understanding.

  • Integrity: Lesson design identifies the new mathematical concept that is to be taught, the critical features, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning so that all children can succeed.

  • Responsibility: If a child fails to grasp a concept or procedure, this is identified quickly and speedy intervention ensures the learner is ready to move forward.

  • Excellence: Outstanding outcomes for all groups of learners through an emphasis on the structures and connections within the mathematics, so that children develop deep learning that can be sustained and are challenged to think and reason.

At St Monica Primary School we aim to equip all children with the skills and confidence to solve a range of problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning.  Children are encouraged to see the mathematics that surrounds them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills and knowledge in this subject. We ensure that these are taught well and secured through deep conceptual understanding rather than just a pure procedural process. The school’s mathematics curriculum is planned and sequenced so that new learning builds on what has been taught before and towards its clearly defined end points.

We have high expectations and strongly believe that we are all equally able to succeed in mathematics given the right resources and language structures.  Some may take longer to grasp concepts and may need careful scaffolding or extra time / further support.

This document sets out our approach and the reasons why mathematics at St Monica Primary School may look a little different to other schools, or the way lessons looked a few years ago.

We have drawn from research evidence which underpins our model for teaching for mastery based on the five big ideas and the aims of the National Curriculum:

Fluency – Reasoning – Problem Solving.


Mathematics Planning

  • The National Curriculum framework - All Year Groups have a long-term plan for Mathematics so that their whole curriculum is explored and mastered by the end of the academic year with no gaps.

  • Half termly - Collaboration across the Trust with the Mathematics Mastery Specialist ensures that leaders are empowered and learning is robust and research based.

  • Longer but deeper – Medium term plan maps the core content into progressive and connected units with the skills and knowledge to be gained.

  • Lesson design - Identify the new mathematics that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points, the vocabulary to be used and a carefully sequenced journey via the S Plans and small steps.

  • Text books and Websites– Early Years applies the framework of the Numberblocks series and KS1 and KS2 refer to the content of ‘The White Rose’; conceptual and procedural variation is modelled and reasoning (often through dialogue) and problem solving are part of every lesson. Teachers adapt each lesson to meet the needs of their children and add extra questioning, high order reasoning and academic language which allows children to learn the content more deeply.  The learning focuses on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical domains.  To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced.

  • Scaffolding – Models are planned such that all children access the precise reveal through the scaffolded unveiling of the concept in discussion. Some require further modelling and others may experience greater depth challenge questions if learning is rapidly and securely grasped.

  • Working Walls – Teacher to model explicitly and display within classroom the methods of working out, so that children can refer to throughout lessons and when working independently.

  • Questioning – Contrasts and similarities are planned through design to probe children’s understanding throughout, taking some learning even deeper.  All verbal responses are expected in full sentences, using precise mathematical vocabulary to build academic language fluency and reasoning.

  • Fluency – Teachers identify how patterning and relationships support the fluent learning and application of number facts within the mathematics. These are revealed within images and the practice questions where children are building the connections and inverse processes.

Lesson Structure and Pedagogy

  • Whole class learning together – we teach mathematics to the whole class through a growth mind-set approach. Mathematics teaching for mastery rejects the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths’.  All children are encouraged by the belief that by working hard they can succeed. By employing whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all children working together on the same lesson content at the same time, children secure both. concepts and reasoning in tandem, articulating their thinking through repeated stem sentences.

  • Developing reasoning and deep understanding – carefully chosen practical resources and pictorial representations are used to explore concepts.  These pictorial representations may appear in books as children show their understanding, rather than just answers to a series of calculations.  The use of practical resources, pictorial representations and abstract recording takes place in most lessons (the CPA approach) and sometimes through a repeated cycle.

  • Structuring – The connections within the mathematics are emphasised, so that children develop deep learning that can be sustained.

  • Step by step approach – the journey through the mathematics may appear as small steps, especially at the beginning of a lesson; there are points when suddenly a jump appears to have been made, or an extra challenge appears – this is normal.

  • Questions - to challenge thinking, teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to systematically check understanding, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In so doing, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary. A variety of questions are used but you will hear the same ones being repeated: How do you know? Can you prove it? Can you represent it another way? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Convince me that..? Listen out for more common questions you hear.

  • Discussion and feedback – children have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain or clarify their thinking.

  • Recording the learning – not just pages of calculations – In books you will see a range of activities including those requiring written explanations of the children’s understanding and calculations where fluency is explored.

  • Intervention – In mathematics new learning is built upon previous understanding, so in order for learning to progress and to keep the class together, children need to be supported to keep up and areas of difficulty must be dealt with as and when they occur.  Teachers check children’s understanding effectively, and identify and correct misunderstandings rapidly. Ideally this happens in the lesson but can also be on the same day or the following morning before new learning is introduced. Those pupils behind age-related expectations are provided with the opportunities to learn the mathematical knowledge and skills necessary to catch up with their peers.

  • Marking –The most valuable feedback is given during a lesson as a live process.

  • SEND – These children are expected to achieve. They may be supported by different models, manipulatives or more scaffolding depending on assessed need. They will also complete additional activities outside of the mathematics lesson that are specific to the concept if they are in danger of not meeting or exceeding expectation.


  • Early years children explore mathematical concepts through active exploration and their everyday play based learning.  Children are taught key concepts and the application of mathematics using a hands on practical approach and the Numberblocks series which links directly to the Characteristics of Effective Learning.

  • The Numberblocks are fully explored with each episode running for a week until all children have secured the learning in a full range of contexts. This is additionally evidenced through the five principles of counting.

  • Children access the songs and visuals and these are then responded to in their provision. The story sequences are used as Pie Corbett style refrains, with children modelling the language and order of the story.

  • EYFS practitioners provide opportunities for children to manipulate a variety of concrete objects which supports their understanding of shape, space, measures, quantity and number.

  • Mathematics in the early years provides children with a solid foundation that will enable them to develop skills as they progress through their schooling and ensures children are ready for the National Curriculum.

  • By the sixth half-term, children begin to secure the models and representations for thinking that will form part of their Year 1 experience.


Things to look for in a Mathematics Mastery Lesson.

  • Teaching reinforces an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics.

  • Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.

  • Learning is supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep knowledge.

  • Carefully designed variation within practice builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts in tandem in a lesson.

  • Teachers use a range of questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge.

  • Assessment is central to teaching to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils keep up.

  • Those pupils who are not sufficiently fluent consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice and individual support.

  • All learners believe that by working hard they can achieve.

  • All children will be engaged in short tasks, explanations, demonstrations and discussion.

  • The structures and patterns are emphasised so that deep learning can be sustained.

  • Cognitive load is avoided by emphasising key facts and by providing sufficient opportunities to revisit previously learned knowledge, concepts and procedures.

  • Pupils’ mathematical knowledge is developed and used, where appropriate, across the curriculum.

  • Pupils who grasp concepts are challenged through rich and sophisticated problems.

St Monica Primary School

Bay Road Sholing, Southampton SO19 8EZ

023 8039 9870