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A high quality Mathematical curriculum develops pupils’ numeracy and mathematical reasoning in all subjects so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics. “Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of histories intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology, engineering and necessary for most forms of employment”

- NC England 18 July 2018.


Lowbrook has adopted and developed a Mastery Approach. The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that:

  • Future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught; progression of skills is sequential in each year group and planned progression is identified and tracked in detailed curriculum maps across both Key Stages  
  • There is no need for separate catch-up programmes due to some children falling behind.
  • Children who, under other teaching approaches, can often fall a long way behind, are better able to keep up with their peers, so that gaps in attainment are narrowed whilst the attainment of all is raised.

A mastery approach: a set of principles and beliefs. This includes a belief that all pupils are capable of understanding and doing mathematics, given sufficient time. Pupils are neither ‘born with the maths gene’ nor ‘just no good at maths. With good teaching, appropriate resources, effort and a ‘can do’ attitude all children can achieve in and enjoy mathematics.

A mastery curriculum: one set of mathematical concepts and big ideas for all. All pupils need access to these concepts and ideas and to the rich connections between them. There is no such thing as ‘special needs mathematics’ or ‘gifted and talented Mathematics’. Mathematics is mathematics and the key ideas and building blocks are important for everyone.

Teaching for mastery: a set of pedagogic practices that keep the class working together on the same topic, whilst at the same time addressing the need for all pupils to master the curriculum and for some to gain greater depth of proficiency

and understanding. Challenge is provided by going deeper rather than accelerating into new mathematical content. Teaching is focused, rigorous and thorough, to ensure that learning is sufficiently embedded and sustainable over time. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through speedy teacher intervention. More time is spent on teaching topics to allow for the development of depth and sufficient practice to embed learning. Carefully crafted lesson design provides a scaffolded, conceptual journey through the mathematics, engaging pupils in reasoning and the development of mathematical thinking.

Achieving mastery of particular topics and areas of mathematics.

Mastery is not just being able to memorise key facts and procedures and answer test questions accurately and quickly. It involves knowing ‘why’ as well as knowing ‘that’ and knowing ‘how’. It means being able to use one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations. The materials provided seek to exemplify the types of skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for pupils to make good and sustainable progress in mastering the primary mathematics curriculum. NCETM Teaching for Mastery 2015.

It is our intent that pupils will be inspired by mathematics and make rich connections across ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.

“Fluency comes from deep knowledge and practice. Pupils work hard and are productive. At early stages, explicit learning of multiplication tables is important in the journey towards fluency and contributes to quick and efficient calculation. Practice leads to other number facts becoming second nature. The ability to recall facts from long term memory and manipulate them to work out other facts is important.”

- NICE October 2014’.

It is our intent that pupils should be taught to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and use measures, make estimates and sense check their work. Pupils should apply their geometric and algebraic understanding and relate their understanding of probability to the notions of risk and uncertainty. They should also understand the cycle of collecting, presenting and analysing data. They should be taught to apply their mathematics to both routine and non-routine problems, including breaking down more complex problems into a series of simpler steps.

To this end mathematical competencies are introduced early as is the rote learning of times tables. These are seen as a procedure tool to quicken problem solving at a later stage. This complements the rigorous approach to mental fluency arithmetic throughout the school.

The principles of the Cambridge Primary Review for the domain of Mathematics includes both numeracy and the wider aspects of maths, as well as financial literacy. It is our intent that our robust and coherent approach to using research surrounding the teaching of mathematics will undoubtedly increase progress and attainment across our school; as will our use of precise questioning (Blooms Taxonomy) to test conceptual and procedural knowledge; this will also allow us to assess pupils regularly and identify those needing intervention and support.

It is our intent this year to develop further our teaching of mathematics and consolidate good practice by re focussing on the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) eight recommendations to improve outcomes in mathematics for 7 – 14-year-olds:

All teaching will:

  • Use manipulatives and representations
  • Teach pupils strategies for solving problems
  • Use assessment to build on pupils existing knowledge and understanding
  • Enable pupils to develop a rich network of mathematical knowledge
  • Develop pupils’ independence and motivation
  • Use tasks and resources to challenge and support pupil’s mathematics
  • Use structured interventions to provide additional support
  • Support pupils to make successful transition between primary and secondary school.


The allocation of time set out below is the starting point for planning, however the art in teaching is not determined by time and it is expected that teachers will act professionally within these guidelines to allocate appropriate and effective amounts of time to each area as they feel fit. 

Some subjects or units of work may be taught in blocks; or more frequently during themed weeks, therefore the weekly figure is nominal only. In these weeks Maths is directly entwined in cross curricular work with an emphasis on real life learning where Maths is used in everyday activities. An example being bar charts, pictograms and rounding to 3 decimal places in Sports day activities and results analysis.

In line with the recommendations outlined within the Cambridge Review each class works towards 30% of the curriculum being designed around our own distinctive locality. Examples of this include creating Maths Trails around our school grounds and compiling travel surveys, incorporating the use of pie charts in Excel on how children in our locality travel to school, comparing KS1 and KS2 and drawing conclusions. This also creates cross-curricular links to sustainability within the Citizenship & Ethics Domain. In Place and Time in all years there is a direct link between mapping and navigation of the local area using mathematical skills of using grid references and lines of latitude and longitude. All children use compasses (positional maths skills) and can use and follow bearings.

The curriculum will be planned and delivered by the class teachers, specialist teachers, higher level teaching assistants, teaching assistants and where appropriate mathematicians. The curriculum leader will monitor progression of skills and knowledge that clearly define end points that are mapped in each year group via the comprehensive overview of mathematics document and by scrutinising planning, to ensure links to key vocabulary and concepts including ICT opportunities and key resources are embedded. The emphasis being placed on finding high quality resources to use to support the teaching of the lessons rather than the recording of each finite detail of a lesson. A wide selection of ICT programmes and resources are available to facilitate high quality teaching which include White Rose Maths, My Maths, Purple Mash, Hamilton Trust, Scholastic textbooks, and Busy Ants textbooks in Key Stage 2. All teachers add their own resources they like to use when and where required. Progression of knowledge and skills in each year group and across each Key Stage will be closely monitored to ensure that skills have been repeated to maximise the likelihood that children will remember and connect the steps they’ve been taught. The curriculum leader will continue to provide ongoing Inset on curriculum content, NC objectives and consolidate a comprehensive understanding of Mastery and Mastery with Greater Depth for all staff which will be monitored in lesson observations in all year groups.

In the Foundation Stage the overlap of Areas of Learning makes hourly time allocation inappropriate. Pupils at Key Stage 1 have opportunities for child-initiated or directed play. Mathematics is taught daily as a discreet subject and is interwoven throughout other the curriculum areas. It is taught for at least 1 hour per day throughout the school (except for Foundation stage).

The Academy teaches through the distinct domains – Number, Measurement, Geometry and Statistics and will ensure all children make rich connections across the mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. Through progression of topics, building blocks are linked and progression planned for. Also, we will enable each child to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other domains.

ICT is used widely across all year groups throughout the mathematics domain. Pupils in KS2 are confident in using Excel to create pie charts, scatter diagrams and to calculate formulas (e.g. in Profit/Loss charts in Financial Literacy). The use of Purple is hugely successful in both key stages, providing children a fun and rewarding way to rehearse and consolidate their times tables knowledge, focussing on accuracy and speed.

Homework in KS2 is My Maths and the tasks are differentiated according to individual needs. This homework supplements and extends work in lessons and is also used as an assessment tool to ensure mastery.

It is our belief that consolidation of learning and knowledge is fundamental; and therefore creating ‘Awe and Wonder’ within our Mathematics curriculum is key to this. The development of the mathematics week has been hugely influential with our pupils in achieving this. Bi-annually we design a whole week of maths where age-appropriate activities and lessons are designed into our curriculum. Experts from the world outside school are planned for and invited in to work with the children. Maths Specialists come to school to work with the children; equipment beyond the school’s means is used; each class has created and designed a unit on data relevant to their daily lives. They have analysed their results and presented them to all classes as part of a carousel on the last day of Maths Week. Also in this week, each class has been taught Financial Literacy and understood Profit and Loss through participating in class Enterprise Projects. This has led to all children being involved in decision making on how to spend their profits and researching, pricing and purchasing new Maths games for each class.

Financial literacy is also taught across this domain; it is sometimes referred to as enterprise learning. Financial literacy is more than just learning about monetary computation, it extends into science and technology to include human and environmental impact. Throughout the school we provide all children with full access to the curriculum, enabling them to achieve confidence and competence – ‘mastery’ in mathematics. We aim to equip the children with the mathematical skills, understanding and knowledge which will be of use to them in everyday life now and in the future. We want them to have fun and enjoy mathematics. We employ strategies that ensure mathematics lessons reflect real life situations and extend the teaching of Financial Literacy. In Year 6 this will include banking, particularly interest and profit and loss. Through high quality teaching we ensure all other years include monetary value in lessons and how knowledge of economics is fundamental to everyday life.

It is our intent that the majority of lessons reflect how mathematics is used in the world daily and how research in mathematics is involved in other areas such as Science and Design Technology. The work of Ada Lovelace (accredited as the first computer programmer) is taught in year 5 and understanding of the importance of, and her influence on, STEM subjects being promoted in all schools analysed. Links to Literacy are made and children in this year group created a Fact File on Ada Lovelace and her importance to computing.  

Mathematics Lead - Margaret Brown