Our Approach to Teaching for Maths Mastery

St Thomas More Catholic Primary School is committed to the engaging and purposeful delivery of mathematics across all Key Stages. Our teaching is delivered to ensure our children acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding. We follow the principles of Teaching for Maths Mastery across KS1 and KS2 with elements embedded into EYFS. The Head Teacher and Maths Lead have designed and implemented this approach to tailor it to best fit the needs of our pupils.

Since 2018 we have been a member of the London South East Plus Maths Hub Teacher Research Group working with other schools across the region to ensure we are at the forefront of research and best practice. Through collaborative research we have developed, embedded and are now sustaining our mastery practice.

Our teaching draws together the "Five Big Ideas" of mastery:

    • Coherence - planning a sequence of small step lessons gradually unfolding a concept

    • Representation and Structure - the use of manipulatives, pictorial representations and language

    • Fluency - rapid recall of known number facts

    • Variation - drawing attention to critical aspects of a concept using examples and non-examples; careful sequencing of questions to draw attention to key features

    • Mathematical Thinking - deep reasoning and thinking

In lessons we build in opportunities for "Talk for Maths" which focus on verbal reasoning skills. This gives pupils the opportunities to articulate their reasoning through talk partner work. They are then further challenged to “explain to the class” or “teach your partner”.

During a lesson there will be five steps that are always followed;

  1. Pupil response to previous lesson through a set task. This task is designed to improve (address a misconception), consolidate or challenge

  2. Modelled teaching - through teacher input and partner work children will develop their fluency in a concept or will apply their understanding to a word problem

  3. Independent work with verbal and written reasoning

  4. Greater Depth Challenge

  5. Plenary

The children will have a range of support through modelled examples, concrete resources, a variety of representations and adult support throughout the lesson where and if necessary.

Calculation Guidance is available on our Policies page setting out formal and information calculation methods and key vocabulary for each year group and Key Stage, showing the progression as the children get older and more skilled in their mathematical thinking.

Times Tables

Having joined the Whole School Approach to Teaching Times Tables Teacher Research Group in 2019/2020 we follow a planned and structured approach to times tables across the school, starting in EYFS

  • EYFS - Starting with the four prerequisites for multiplication (Unitizing, Bringing together more than one unit, equal and unequal groups, the relationship between repeated addition and multiplication

  • Year 1 – counting in 1s, 2s, 5s, 10s

  • Year 2 - multiplication and related facts of 1x, 2x, 5x, 10x, 0x

  • Year 3 – multiplication and related facts of 4x, 8x, 3x, 6x, 12x

  • Year 4 –multiplication and related facts of 9x, 7x, 11x

  • Year 5 – Prime numbers to 100, Square roots to 144

  • Year 6 – Reasoning and making connections, Real world applications

Our children prepare for the Multiplication Tables Check carried out in the June of Year 4.

In addition to the day-to-day mathematical principles that underpin our curriculum we also offer the children different ways to engage in maths for home learning in the form of Sumdog, Numbots and Times Tables Rockstars.

Addressing the impact of COVID

Teachers plan their lessons drawing on high quality resources and building on their children's prior learning and current level of understanding.

In September 2020, we adopted the Department for Education guidance for teaching maths at Key Stage 1 and 2 to support progression, post COVID, through the National Curriculum. With the start of the 2021/2022 school year we have modelled our Long Term Plans on the Curriculum Prioritisation framework developed by the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, drawing on the DfE guidance.

We continue to use this framework as the foundation and building blocks for our maths curriculum across the school as well as using a range of high quaility resouces such as: White Rose Maths, I See Reasoning, Teaching for Mastery and Test Base.

Maths in action at STM

World Maths Day 2022

World Maths Day 2022

World Maths Day 2022

World Maths Day 2022

Morning Maths on the drive

Outstanding maths work

Morning Maths on the drive

Number hunt

Time Tables Rock Stars

Time Tables Rock Stars

CRIBS CAP Money Kids Course

CRIBS CAP Money Kids Course

Bexley Maths Fluency Resources

Bexley Education Support Services have created some rather nice leaflets to support parents and carers to help their child with fluency in maths at home.

The leaflets cover a short explanation about fluency and NC aims then cover suggestions for maths in an age appropriate book, maths in the world around them and games.

Supporting Maths at Home

Maths is all around us and part of our every day lives. It does not start and stop at the school gates. As your child's/children's primary educator there may be ways that you want to support further at home in addition to TTRS, Numbots and Sumdog. Below are some links to websites you may find useful. - this has some great videos and explanations for both children and adults

You can also:

  • Start each day by asking your child about what they did in the lesson the day before.

  • Where possible try and identify opportunities for children to use maths in real life (finding the total when shopping, reading a bus timetable, the daily temperature, setting a budget and telling the time).

  • When completing maths questions not tell the child the answer but try and support their working out to get to the correct answer. Methods have now changed and we want the children to use the methods taught in school.