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At Carr, we want our children to relish maths and succeed. We aim to foster the values of curiosity and determination and provide all children in school with the tools required to successfully unlock the maths curriculum. The key, in order to do this, is to develop a Mastery approach. Mastery teaching addresses the needs of all pupils on a daily basis. We are aspirational – believing that everyone is capable of achieving high standards and, with very minimal exceptions, all children are taught the same age-related objective at the same time. As challenge is essential for children’s self-belief and resilience, we make sure it is part of everyday maths for all pupils; provided through depth of both planned activities and higher order questioning for those for whom concepts were well understood.

  • Embed basic skills
  • To provide a clear sequence, building on children’s prior knowledge and skill
  • Develop fluency in number
  • To be resilient when solving unfamiliar complex problems and to reason successfully.
  • Prepare pupils for the next stage in their learning and to see Maths as a tool in adult life

To make sure we are able to deliver our intention, we have analysed every aspect of maths in school, joined Teacher Research Groups (TRG) focusing on Mastery and liaised with colleagues in our MAT/LA over the past three years. The maths leads regularly disseminate knowledge taken from TRG to all staff. This has helped us to create a structure – across the whole school – which leads to excellent results and understanding:

Progression and Resources

Teachers use structured schemes of work that provide a coherently sequenced curriculum, pedagogical guidance and lesson resources.  Teachers have all received training on the mastery approach, with this including an understanding of the ‘5 Big Ideas’ and the concepts of ‘keep-up’ and ‘catch-up’ interventions.

Early Bird Maths

Early Bird Maths is used across KS2. This focuses purely on calculations and arithmetic strategies.  Children are exposed to this daily.  Misconceptions are addressed during these sessions, to ensure the children are becoming fluent and confident with a range of calculations.

Arithmetic Clinic

This is a focused fortnightly session, which focuses on identifying a variety of strategies to answer arithmetic style questions.  Through this session, children are provided with the opportunity to develop their mathematical strategies and to become more efficient.


We aim to ensure that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through the use of varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. Through the Mastery approach, we provide all children with the opportunity to develop procedural and conceptual fluency. Fluency is practised daily during our Time Challenge and Early bird maths.


All children are expected to respond using mathematical vocabulary in full sentences, explaining their thinking. Children are required to reason and make connections between calculations. The connections made improve their fluency. 

Problem Solving

Children are given the opportunity to apply 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. Planning ensures that problems are designed to deepen children’s understanding of essential concepts through ‘intelligent practice’ or ‘variation’. 


Support is provided, when appropriate, through daily ‘keep-up’ intervention for those who did not grasp concepts during lessons. It takes place during Assembly time. This ensures that children are at the same point at the start of each day.

For those working outside of their year group we use Number Sense, Ready to Progress and PKF resources.

Times Tables

A lot of maths is about multiplicative relationships and these are hard to fully grasp without fluent recall of the tables. For that reason, learning the tables is fundamental and as a school we make sure it is a focal point. We have a whole school approach to learning tables:

  • Systematic, whole class approach to learning the times tables.
  • Aims to break down the learning of the times tables into manageable chunks by learning a times table at a time (see overview document).
  • Importance of the commutative law and the relationship with division facts.
  • Rote learning in which children learn the number facts AND a sound pattern (this is important). 
  • Little and often – A two minute times table test, once a day.
  • 40 questions in each test. The children have two minutes to complete the test. An average of 3 seconds per question.  

As a school we use Times Table Rock Stars (TTRS) to help students master the times tables at school and at home.  This is celebrated by children in Friday’s Celebration Assembly.   

  • Children have a genuine love for Maths and challenge one another in a safe environment
  • Children have excellent arithmetic strategies and determine the most efficient strategies to suit them.
  • Children reason and problem solve with confidence 

Impact is also measured through outcomes, nationally reported at End of KS2 data. Maths outcomes are internally recorded on a termly basis: Autumn 2, Spring 2, Summer 2  We are constantly checking the impact and looking for gaps through lesson drop ins/observations, learning walks, book and planning scrutinies, pupil voice, pupil progress meetings.  


Maths progression of skills

Maths progression overview 

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