At Tewkesbury C of E Primary School, we take a Mastery approach to teaching and learning in Mathematics. We believe all pupils can be successful in learning Mathematics and can have a true enjoyment of the subject.

Mathematicians at Tewkesbury C of E Primary School are resilient and have the confidence to make mistakes and try again, understanding that learning occurs and progress is made when challenges are faced and overcome. Through an engaging curriculum we deliver the requirements of the National Curriculum enabling all children to master the full range of concepts and skills required at the Primary level.

National Curriculum (2014): Mathematics Programme of Study

Teaching Approaches & Strategies

What is Mastery?

  • The whole class moves through content at the same pace
  • Children are given time to think deeply about mathematical concepts and gain a real understanding, rather than a reliance on rote learning methods; this builds self-confidence in learners and results in greater progress
  • Differentiation is provided through depth rather than acceleration
  • This approach reflects the principles of the 2014 National Curriculum
  • Number sense is developed

At Tewkesbury C of E Primary School, it is important that all children should be able to:

  • Recall and use an increasing range of number facts, including times tables and number bonds
  • Apply mathematical skills and demonstrate logical thinking
  • Ask questions, take risks and learn from mistakes
  • Explain their methods, reasoning and workings
  • Solve problems and take part in investigations that deepen understanding

At Tewkesbury C of E Primary School, we enable pupils to achieve these aims by:

  • Developing pupils’ understanding of number and place value
  • Developing pupils’ understanding of calculation
  • Developing fluency of number facts
  • Using a pictorial-concrete-abstract approach: 
  • Encouraging pupils to develop independence
  • Supporting pupils in making mistakes
  • Encouraging pupils to select and use resources to support their learning

Development of children’s reasoning and problem solving skills forms an integral part of our mathematics teaching. Children are regularly engaged in mathematical investigations in which they can apply their own knowledge and understanding of mathematics.  We provide many opportunities for children to work collaboratively with their peers, and all children are actively encouraged to explain their mathematical thinking to others.  Activities are carefully planned to meet the needs of all children: appropriate support is provided where it is needed, and additional challenge is provided by exploring concepts in greater depth.

As a school, we are working closely with the GLOW Maths Hub to develop our approach to mastery in mathematics.

A Typical Maths Lesson @ Tewkesbury C of E Primary

Mathematics National Curriculum 2014

Purpose of Study

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


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

  • 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.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • 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.


  • Number: Number and Place Value; Addition and Subtraction; Multiplication and Division; Fractions, Decimals and Percentages
  • Measurement
  • Geometry: Properties of Shape; Position and Direction
  • Statistics
  • Ratio & Proportion
  • Algebra

Stages and Progression of Learning

Key Stage 1 - Year 1 & Year 2Lower Key Stage 2 - Year 3 & Year 4Upper Key Stage 2 - Year 5 & Year 6

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2)

  • The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources.
  • At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
  • By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.
  • Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.


Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4)

  • The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.
  • At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.
  • By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.
  • Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.

Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 & 6)

  • The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.
  • At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
  • By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.
  • Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.

How else do we support your children?

100 Club

All children in Key Stage 2 take part in the 100 Club challenge, enabling them to practice and consolidate fluency in their recall of times tables, related division facts and core number skills mentally.


To further support Maths learning in school and at home, we have invested in DoodleMaths. DoodleMaths is an inspiring, engaging and fun digital resource that uses activities and games to improve and reinforce Maths skills in line with the National Curriculum. . When used daily, DoodleMaths has been proven to improve children’s confidence, ability, attainment and progress in Maths. DoodleMaths is available to download for PC and Mac or as a free to download app for Apple and Android devices. Each child has access to DoodleMaths through a unique username and password. For more information, visit:


Click on the Problem of the Day to explore a series of mathematical problems that children in Key Stage 1 and 2 are expected to be able to solve using a range of key mathematical skills, including reasoning.