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Maths at Forest & Sandridge CE Primary School - The Mastery Model of Learning


At Forest & Sandridge CE Primary School, we follow the 'Mastery Model of Learning' when teaching maths. This means spending greater time going in to depth on each subject. Children will first become fluent in their mathematical skills before cementing these skills through reasoning and problem solving.  As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have an absolutely solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient for the next year of their education.


Our intention is take learning at a measured pace. This will better ensure no child is left behind as well as providing deeper and richer experiences for children who are grasping ideas quickly. We focus on the majority of children achieving what is expected of their age group and not going beyond this. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a range of situations and then be creative with it to really understand (or master) it. Simply going beyond the requirements of their age group does not guarantee they have fully understood something – just that they have heard it. So that our children are given the best possible chance to master their age group's expectations, we have taken the decision to split our children into single-age classes in 2017-18 (See Yearly Overviews below for content). They will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways.


In essence, this means working towards:

  • Teach less, learn more – focussed content, evidencing learning and progress.
  • No child being left behind – the majority of children are enabled to keep up every day. Afternoon interventions will be put in place for children who require extra support to meet the day's maths learning objective.
  • Space and time – to experience and apply, with all children entitled to additional support to ensure they do not fall behind or to be challenged in their learning and go deeper with their understanding.
  • Understanding real life applications – wherever possible for learning to be relevant and not abstract, to teach with a clear purpose.


We aim for all pupils to:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • to be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios
  • to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.
  • to have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.

To assist our planning of the maths 'Mastery Learning Model', we will be using White Rose Maths to inform our planning and teaching. White Rose’s philosophy matches ours stating that all children should progress from fluency to reasoning and problem solving in each lesson. Consequently, there will be great emphasis on reasoning and problem solving in each mathematics lesson. As such, our lessons will follow a clear structure which is detailed below:


Do It - 'What it is'. Children are introduced to new concepts and become fluent with new methods. They practise through well-crafted standard and non-standard questions.

Twist It - 'What it isn't'. Children use reasoning and problem solving skills as they tackle misconceptions head on. They secure their understanding by knowing not only how to become fluent, but also how to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions.

DYU (Deepen Your Understanding) - Children are subjected to a range of mathematical problems in different contexts to deepen their understanding.


Teachers will continue to plan exciting maths lessons to meet the individual needs of each pupil in their class and will draw upon resources from White Rose to assist with their planning. You can learn more about what the children will be learning by clicking on the Yearly Overviews below.

Alongside White Rose Maths, teachers will use CanDoMaths, Kangaroo Maths and NCETM to help plan engaging maths lessons. To learn more about them, please follow the links below:

Mathematics is all around us. There are a number of things you can do to support the children with their mathematical learning at home. Firstly, you can view our Calculation Policy below to see the methods we use to teach our children. Please also click on the links below to take you to some ideas and websites.