Mathematics Mastery – a depth before breadth approach

All Ark schools specialise in mathematics. Children have daily maths lessons and 5 maths meetings per week where they focus on specific knowledge and skills. We believe that children from all backgrounds can succeed in mathematics. Our focus is on raising standards – working together to show what pupils are capable of and finding effective ways to enable every child to succeed.

The key features of the approach have been demonstrated by education research to be most effective for pupils’ understanding of mathematics. They draw significantly on the curriculum and pedagogy of the highest performers in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Trends in International Mathematics and science study (TIMSS).

What is special about Mathematics Mastery is that in brings these approaches and techniques together in a rigorous and systematics structure.

  • High expectations for every child
  • More time to spend on fewer topics
  • Problem solving at the heart

The programme emphasises cumulative mastery of the essential knowledge and skills of mathematics. It embeds a deep understanding of maths by employing a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach – using objects and pictures before numbers and symbols so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.

This approach is currently used from Reception to Year 4. Years 5 & 6 have adapted their practice to follow the principles of Mathematics Mastery. An emphasis on following the CPS (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach has been adopted so that children gain a deeper understanding of the mathematics covered through the national Curriculum.