Maths Mastery

The key thing about helping your child with maths is to be positive!

  • Never say things like “I can’t do maths” or “I hated maths at school”… your child might start to think like that themselves…
  • Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving maths such as using money, cooking and travelling.
  • Praise your child for effort rather than talent – this shows them that by working hard they can always improve.

What is Maths Mastery @ Malmesbury?

Mastery of Maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject of Maths.  This way of learning is something that we want pupils to acquire, so a ‘mastery Maths curriculum’ aims to help pupils, over time, acquire mastery of the subject. There are a number of elements which will help children develop mastery of Maths:

  • Fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts).
  • A growing confidence to reason mathematically.
  • The ability to apply Maths to solve problems and to test hypotheses

Mastery of Maths, which will build gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short-term ability to answer questions in tests or exams. We will take longer over each mathematical topic (shape, measure, addition etc.) so that early understanding is cemented deeply within each child.  In order to maintain a consistent approach at school and to ensure that all objectives meet the National Curriculum we follow The White Rose Curriculum.

The National Curriculum objectives and when they are taught can be found here:

Some Key features of this approach

There will be a significant amount of time devoted to developing basic number concepts. This is to build up children’s fluency as number awareness will affect their success in other areas of mathematics. Children who are successful with number are much more confident mathematicians.

Teaching for Mastery

A mastery approach to teaching and learning has been designed to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum.

A mastery approach:

  • Has number at its heart. A large proportion of time is spent reinforcing number to build competency.
  • Ensures students have the opportunity to stay together as they work through the curriculum as a whole group.
  • Sets challenges to extend pupils, ensuring that a depth and breadth of each key concept is gained.
  • Provides plenty of time to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum.

Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract

All students, when introduced to a key new concept within Maths, will have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking the approach Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract, described below.


Children will have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.


Children will then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.


With the foundations firmly laid, children will be able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.

Main Goal – Everyone Can Succeed

As a school we believe that all students can succeed in Mathematics. We do not believe that there are children who can do Maths and those that can’t.  A positive mindset for mathematics and strong subject knowledge are key to children’s success in mathematics. Our calculation policy has also been updated to explain the language used and approaches used which is below and can be viewed below.

Take a closer look at our school’s calculation policy for your child’s age group by clicking the buttons below.

The Government published a new primary maths curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2  in September 2013. The times tables expectations are listed below, and you can follow the link to the website by clicking the button  to read the detailed document.