At St Mary’s, we believe that every child can do Maths. The curriculum is taught through the Mastery approach which enables all children to explore and deepen their understanding using fluency, variation, representation and structure, and mathematical thinking which is underpinned by coherence making links across the curriculum. Children are encouraged to reason and problem solve in every lesson.​

Grace – “I find it challenging but enjoy being able to overcome those challenges”


Progression Calculation
Our new progression in calculation policy has been created to reflect the methods we use to teach for Maths Mastery. We follow a CPA approach:

Concrete – the children establish their understanding of mathematics through carefully chosen concrete materials which they can use to help them to ‘see’ the maths as they progress through the curriculum. These materials are available at all stages of learning from EYFS right through to Year 6.

Pictoral – Children are encouraged to begin to illustrate maths using images that represent the mathematics. This can be used at any stage of their learning and helps to secure and deepen understanding of the processes which underpin the mathematical concepts.

Abstract –
once children are secure with the use of concrete and pictorial approaches to their calculation, reasoning and problem solving, they move on to the abstract form of calculation. They are still able to use supporting materials or images if they want to but at this point they are able to show that their depth of fluency and understanding is more secure and they are able to work effectively with standard written methods.

Skye – “I really enjoy subtraction and multiplication; I find them really fun.”


New primary guidance – with ready to progress
In 2020 the government published the new Primary Mathematics Guidance which provides teachers with clear progression for Mathematics. The ‘Ready to Progress’ statements support teachers to ensure that the children have achieved expected outcomes for the year before they move on to new learning. It contains assessment guidance and reflects the Teaching for Mastery approach which we have embedded in our curriculum at St Mary’s.

Schemes which support planning, teaching and learning

At St Mary’s we have invested in high quality materials which provide teachers with clear planning guidance following the small steps approach. Power Maths is a government approved scheme which has been developed to work alongside the White Rose Maths block system and fully encompasses teaching for Mastery. The materials have been created to provide engaging activities with fluency and rich reasoning and problems solving opportunities.

Jay – “I enjoy working problems out, I also enjoy the flashback 4s – they’re fun and I enjoy daily arithmetic practise.”


White Rose Maths –
Alongside Power Maths Teachers plan lessons using the White Rose Maths Premium resources to support teaching and learning. The block system  allows the children to work through a topic to a greater depth following small incremental steps to Mastery of the concepts.

Year 3 teacher – ‘Children are more secure with new concepts; they can use their fluency skills to apply to reasoning and problem solving. They benefit hugely from the practical approach using concrete materials before moving to pictorial and abstract representations.’

Maths Lead – I really enjoy seeing how confident the children are to explain their reasoning and understanding since we have moved to teaching for Mastery. The in-depth small steps approach has enabled all children to be successful.’

Bringing Maths Alive

Bringing maths into the real world is an important part of securing children’s understanding and helping them to see how their learning applies outside of the classroom. We also try to make maths as varied and fun as possible which enhances the classroom activities and engages the children.

  • Maths outdoors – lessons are planned to use our excellent outdoor environment. Children are often seen measuring the playground or play equipment, finding angles in the environment, creating clocks out of children or materials found in the outside areas. In EYFS, the outdoor learning areas are themed to match the maths in the classroom.

  • Rolling Numbers: This is a fun way to learn tables and count together. The children create a class rap or song for each times table. They count in steps of the given number and use their fingers to relate to the ordinal placement within the table. Click here for rolling numbers video.

  • Mathletics: Every child at St Mary’s has a User ID for Mathletics. It is a vibrant and engaging online learning platform for Maths. Children can be assigned activities to consolidate learning, or they can earn Gems by choosing activities for themselves. There are rewards to be earnt for completing activities and the ultimate prize is a Gold certificate and a place on the Mathletics Wall of Fame at school.


  •  Primary Maths Challenge: Every year some of our Year 5 & 6 children take part in the Primary Maths Challenge. This is a nationwide challenge which schools can choose to take part in. The questions are all answered through reasoning and problem solving and gradually increase in challenge as the test progresses. Our children really enjoy taking part and the challenge it gives them.