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At Boughton Leigh Infant School we aim to provide a mathematical curriculum that is planned and sequenced ensuring new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before and towards its clearly defined end points.  We adopt the Mathematics Mastery programme of learning.  Within this programme the Dimensions of Depth address the barriers that prevent pupils from achieving in maths and, likewise, the barriers that prevent the highest attaining pupils from excelling in more in-depth problem solving. Over time, pupils build up more than a shallow knowledge of objectives, but a richer set of skills that allow them to navigate through the mathematical world. These skills are developed cumulatively from Reception onwards, with some elements of the programme being introduced in Nursery to our youngest children, so that pupils can become increasingly fluent in making connections, thinking mathematically and communicating effectively.


The Mathematics Mastery curriculum is cumulative - each school year begins with a focus on the concepts and skills that have the most connections, and this concept is then applied and connected throughout the school year to consolidate learning. For example, in Years 1 and 2 the first unit is based around numbers within 10 and 100 respectively, this then leads into addition and subtraction for both year groups. This gives pupils the opportunity to ‘master maths’, by using previous learning throughout the school year. These skills are developed by applying the 3 Dimensions of Depth to teaching and learning:


1. Conceptual understanding

2. Language and communication

3. Mathematical thinking


With Problem solving being at the heart of all Mathematics teaching and learning.

These underpin the Mathematics Mastery approach because together they enable pupils to develop a deep understanding in Mathematics. If a pupil has a meaningful understanding of the maths they are learning, they will be able to represent it in different ways, use mathematical language to communicate related ideas and think mathematically with the concept. This will enable them to apply their understanding to a new problem in an unfamiliar situation.

Mathematics Mastery lessons can feel livelier with more conversation going on than usual, because pupils are actively encouraged to articulate, justify and explain their thinking, both as individuals and in groups. There will be opportunities to explore, investigate and debate ideas using objects and images, and through all of this pupils make meaningful connections in Mathematics.

We help children to develop their Mathematical Language and communication skills by encouraging all pupils to answer mathematical questions in full sentences with a focus on the correct mathematical vocabulary and through the use of sentence stems for mathematical reasoning. Mathematical vocabulary is shared at the start of each lesson with an expectation that this is used during ‘Talk Tasks’ with their peers and throughout the lesson. One of the reasons we explicitly teach mathematical language and insist on all pupils using it in sentences is because of the complexity of the language required to be a competent and confident mathematician. Mathematics has a precise formal language, which is distinct from everyday language.

Maths Meetings are a vital part of the Mathematics Mastery programme and are used to consolidate key learning outside of the maths lesson. Maths Meetings provide an opportunity to teach and revise ‘general knowledge maths’ which may not explicitly be covered during the maths lesson. This enables pupils to practise applying concepts and skills on a regular basis, meaning they are continually building on their mastery of these concepts. Maths Meetings are taught daily in all classes (including Nursery) for 15 minutes.

At the centre of the mastery approach to the teaching of Mathematics is the belief that all pupils have the potential to succeed. They should have access to the same curriculum content and, rather than being extended with new learning, they should deepen their conceptual understanding by tackling challenging and varied problems. Similarly, with calculation strategies, pupils must not simply rote learn procedures but demonstrate their understanding of these procedures through the use of concrete materials and pictorial representations.

Each Mathematics Mastery lesson, is provided in a six-part lesson structure. The Dimensions of Depth underpin the six-part lesson. Each part provides opportunities to focus on conceptual understanding, language and communication and mathematical thinking for the mathematical concept being covered. The six-part lesson consists of:

  • Do Now: This is a quick five-minute task that all pupils can access without any teacher input as an introduction to the mathematics lesson.
  • New Learning: The New Learning segment introduces the lesson’s main mathematical concepts.
  • Talk Task or Let’s Explore: The Talk Task or Let’s Explore is a chance for all pupils to practise using mathematical vocabulary related to the lesson’s concept.
  • Develop Learning: This segment builds on the New Learning and develops a deeper understanding of the maths concepts of that lesson. It also addresses misconceptions or inaccuracies discovered during the preceding segment.
  • Independent Task: The Independent Task provides pupils with the opportunity to practise the learning from that lesson. This may be independently and/or in pairs/small groups.
  • Plenary: The Plenary segment recaps on the lesson, checking understanding and celebrating success

The use of multiple representations is central to the Mathematics Mastery programme. Concrete manipulatives are readily available for all children in each lesson, baskets full of practical objects that are specific to enabling the children achieve the particular learning outcome for that lesson.  These are changed or adapted daily depending on what the objective of the lesson is.  Schools have a variety of manipulatives (e.g. Unifix cubes, Dienes blocks) for pupils to use in each unit, from Reception to Year 2.

Teachers differentiate lessons by using constraints and scaffolds which are produced by Maths Mastery for each independent task within each lesson.  Teachers use their own judgement based on their knowledge of their class to choose which activities are best suited for individuals and groups.  These are all based around the same learning intention of that lesson.




The Maths Mastery programme helps children feel more at ease with maths by developing knowledge of underlying concepts. This approach is improving children’s progress.  The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) found that students in schools adopting the Maths Mastery programme made more progress than those at a similar level in other schools.

The impact of the teaching of Mathematics at Boughton Leigh Infant School is that our children,

  • Develop a love of Maths
  • Are competent in their age-related basic skills.
  • Are confident resilient learners.
  • Can use appropriate mathematical vocabulary to explain their reasoning in solving problems.
  • Understand the importance of Maths in other subjects and that it is an important skill for life.
  • Pupils enjoy and are being challenged in lessons.

The quality of teaching and learning in Maths is assessed in a variety of ways.  These include learning walks, lesson drop-ins and book trawls.  Within KS1 children are assessed using both the Maths Mastery half termly assessments and the NTS Rising Stars Assessments.


Supporting children at home with Maths

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Here is a helpful video on how to support your child's learning of Maths at home.