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A Mastery Approach + Resilience (x our wings to fly) = Mathematicians who can.

At St Mark’s, we aim to ensure that all children:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of Mathematics
  • Are able to reason mathematically
  • Can solve problems by applying their Mathematics

These skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts.

We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics.

The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at St Mark’s reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented:

  • Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.
  • The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace; significant time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind.
  • The structure and connections within the mathematics are emphasised, so that pupils develop deep learning that can be sustained. Lesson design identifies the new mathematics that is to be taught, the key points, the difficult points and a carefully sequenced journey through the learning. In a typical lesson pupils sit facing the teacher and the teacher leads back and forth interaction, including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration, and discussion.
  • Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.
  • Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up.
  • Children’s explanations and their proficiency in articulating mathematical reasoning, with the precise use of mathematical vocabulary, are supported through the use of stem sentences and generalisations provided by the teacher. These help the children to make connections and expose the structure of the maths.

Stem sentence example:

Greater or Smaller?

  • The greater the numerator is in a set of fractions with the same denominator, the _____ the fraction.
  • The higher the denominator of a unit fraction, the ______ the fraction.

Generalisation example:

 The length of one side of the square can be found by dividing its perimeter by 4.

  • Key facts, such as multiplication tables and addition facts within 10, are learnt to automaticity to avoid cognitive overload in the working memory and enable pupils to focus on new concepts.

To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the nationally recognised White Rose Maths scheme.   The White Rose curriculum is a cumulative curriculum, so that once a topic is covered, it is met many times again in other contexts.  For example, place value is revisited in addition and subtraction and multiplication and division.  The curriculum recognises the importance of children’s conceptual understanding of number.  It is therefore designed to ensure that time is invested in reinforcing this to build competency.


Lessons are planned to provide plenty of opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum.  When introduced to a new concept, children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing. Alongside this, children are encouraged to use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.  Both concrete and pictorial representations support children’s understanding of abstract methods.

Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time.  These teaching blocks are broken down into smaller steps, to help children understand concepts better.  This approach means that children do not cover too many concepts at once which can lead to cognitive overload.

Each lesson phase provides the means for children to achieve greater depth, with children who are quick to grasp new content, being offered rich and sophisticated problems, within the lesson as appropriate.

The school is part of the mastery specialist programme. We’re currently in our fourth year of the programme known as ‘sustaining.’ This means our staff have access to high quality continuous training through the Maths Hubs.

By the end of KS2 we aim for children to be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics with a conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They should have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. Children will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language

Progression Document

Supporting your Child at Home

In line with the Department for Education’s Maths Guidance for KS1 and KS2 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1017683/Maths_guidance_KS_1_and_2.pdf, the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) have identified the most important conceptual knowledge and understanding that pupils need as they progress from year 1 to year 6. These important concepts are referred to as ready-to-progress criteria and they are organised under the following strands:

  • Place Value
  • Number Facts
  • Addition and Subtraction
  • Multiplication & Division
  • Geometry
  • Fractions (In KS2)

In line with the White Rose Maths Scheme, we have collated the WRM ‘Parent Workbooks’ for each year group which include the majority of the key content for your child’s year group.  These can be used for any additional support in maths that you might like to do at home with your child. Please find the documents below. A printed copy of the above resources are available on request.

St Mark's Church of England Primary School – Fresh2o

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