In St Matthew’s RC Primary School, we want all children in our school to enjoy mathematics!  We want children to be independent learners and to have the skills they need in maths for their current and future learning as well as their real lives. Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, organised into distinct domains, but we want our pupils to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. Pupils should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other curriculum subjects.

In St Matthew’s RC Primary School, we follow a mastery approach to maths and use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) and the White Rose small steps approach to fluency, reasoning and problem solving as the basis of our mathematics programme, following the 5 big ideas of mastery.

The national curriculum for mathematics intends to ensure that all pupils: 

  1. Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. 
  2. Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. 
  3. Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 


At St Matthew’s RC Primary School, every class from EYFS to Y6 follows the White Rose scheme of learning which is based on the National Curriculum. Lessons may be personalised to address the individual needs and requirements for a class but coverage is maintained. Our children learn through a mastery approach which is based on having a true understanding of a mathematical concepts by adopting a small steps approach. This breaks down mathematical concepts and provides deeper understanding. There are three phases they need to master: concrete, pictorial and abstract. Children may begin their learning and understanding of new concepts by using practical equipment and apparatus such as base 10, multi-link blocks, place value counters or Numicon. We also use a range of planning resources including those provided by the NCETM and NRICH to enrich our children’s maths diet.

After securing the learning with concrete apparatus, they then move on to a pictorial representation of the concrete and finally completely abstract methods using only numerals. When children are able to apply a concept and are reliably consistent with their outcome every time, they have mastered it.

Children expand their knowledge by applying the principles with problem solving and investigations. Children also apply their knowledge across foundation subjects such as: tables and graphs in Science, coordinates in geography and time in history.

We are in our third year of being part of a local Maths Hub which is supporting staff in the delivery of the mastery approach to teaching. 

We support the learning of fluency skills with direct teaching and repetition of previous skills using methods such as Number of the Day/Week, Fluent in Five, Flashback Four, Rapid Reasoning.

We further support this learning with apps such as Times table Rockstars, Mathletics,, Numberbots, Numberblocks, Mathsframe to provide opportunities for regular skills practice.

Through our teaching we continuously monitor pupils’ progress against expected attainment for their age, making formative assessment notes where appropriate and using these to inform our teaching. Summative assessments are completed at the end of each term; their results form discussions in termly Pupil Progress Meetings and update our online school tracker. The main purpose of all assessment is to always ensure that we are providing excellent provision for every child.

In EYFS, we ensure there is a strong focus on the Number domain, ensuring children have a solid, conceptual understanding of the numbers 1-10. Number is covered in all terms of the year in the order of appropriate mathematical progression. The Shape, Space and Measure elements of the curriculum are planned in line with the half term topics in Reception e.g. children learn about traditional tales and measurement and positional language at the same time as it supports children understanding the context of these concepts. EYFS Mathematics is addressed through a combination of adult led activities, small group activities, independent group activities and child-initiated play.


Through discussion, feedback and pupil voice, children talk enthusiastically about their maths lessons and speak about how they love learning about maths. Children show confidence and believe they can learn about a new maths area and apply the knowledge and skills they already have. Children know what they can do to help support their learning in maths. 

Mathematical concepts or skills are mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations. Children demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures. This includes the recollection of the times table. Pupils use acquired vocabulary in maths lessons. They have the skills to use methods independently.

At the end of each year we expect the children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) or above for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention.

The White Rose Mastery programme for mathematics is supporting teachers in planning and delivering lessons that focus on pupils practising age-appropriate number skills. Pupils are productive in lessons and respond well to the structure this new strategy brings.

Action Plan:


Please see below for our Maths Progression of Skills documents:

Please see below for our Maths Policy and Calculation Policy:

Please see below for our Scheme of Learning documents:

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