Mathematics Mastery – a depth before breadth approach

Ark Castledown Primary is a mastery school, using the Mathematics Mastery programme to support CPD and lesson planning.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 it brings these approaches and techniques together in a rigorous and systematic 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 alongsidenumbers and symbols so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, we want pupils to build a deep conceptual understanding of concepts which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations.

This approach is used in all year groups throughout the school.

Curriculum map

Here you can see the Whole School Mathematics Mastery Curriculum Map