At Shaftesbury Park Primary School we have taken on board the Mathematics Mastery approach to teaching, exploring and understanding maths.

What is Maths Mastery?

The ‘mastery approach’ to teaching maths is the underlying principle of Mathematics Mastery. Instead of learning mathematical procedures by rote, pupils are encouraged to build a deep conceptual understanding of concepts which will enable them to apply their learning in different situations.

The curriculum is designed to make sure that the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum for England are fully met. Each year’s curriculum includes all of the National Curriculum objectives for that year. Mathematics Mastery uses three key principles to deepen pupils’ understanding:

1. Pupils’ conceptual understanding is developed through the use of multiple concrete and pictorial representations. Indeed a key part of a ‘deep understanding’ in maths is being able to represent ideas in lots of different ways.

2. Depth of understanding is also developed through pupils’ communication about maths using the correct mathematical language. When pupils are asked to explain, justify and prove their ideas they are deepening their understanding of a concept.

3. Another way of developing a depth of understanding is by encouraging pupils to think mathematically. This is done by providing lots of opportunities for pupils to investigate planned open questions that require them to sort and compare, seek patterns and look for rules.

Problem solving is at the heart of the mastery approach, sufficient time is dedicated to each new concept or skill, so every pupil can gain the reasoning they need to solve new problems in unfamiliar contexts. All pupils are expected to solve the same investigations by the end of the lesson, meaning the key concepts and objectives are met by all pupils. Instead of accelerating higher attainers onto new content, lessons are differentiate through depth, to develop pupils’ conceptual understanding.


Year 1 – Programme of study

Year 2 – Programme of study

Year 3 – Programme of study

Year 4 – Programme of study

Year 5 – Programme of study

Year 6 – Programme of study

Click on the following link for a glossary of terms – Mathematics Mastery glossary