Coldfair Green Primary School Mastery Approach to Mathematics

At Coldfair Green Primary School this is our definition of mastery, with regards to the teaching and learning of mathematics skills:

Mastery is … “A focus on achieving a deeper understanding of fewer topics through problem solving, questioning and encouragement of deeper mathematical thinking.”
We will know we have mastered a skill when we can

  • Explain how we got an answer and why it is right
  • Use and apply our knowledge in real life contexts
  • Convince others why our answer is right
  • Transfer skills from one context to another
  • Apply our maths knowledge in any situation
  • Solve maths problems
  • Note connections and patterns between things
  • Explain our thinking
  • Persevere and know that understanding our mistakes helps us learn
  • Answer questions in context
In the classroom

  • We are helped to master each unit of learning before moving on to the next
In the curriculum

  • We use a range of concrete apparatus and move from the concrete and conceptual to the abstract as we progress
  • We use our maths skills to solve problems in new situations
Objects and pictures:
Children use concrete manipulatives (objects) and pictorial representations (pictures), before moving to abstract symbols (numbers and signs).
Language development:
The way that children speak and write about mathematics has been shown to have an impact on their success. We use a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. Every lesson includes opportunities for children to explain or justify their mathematical reasoning.
Problem solving:
Mathematical problem solving is at the heart of our approach – it is both how children learn maths, and the reason why they learn maths. By accumulating knowledge of mathematics concepts, children can develop and test their problem solving in every lesson.
Coldfair Green Primary School Mathematics Policy

The document above explains our approach to teaching Mathematics at Coldfair Green. It explains our philosophy towards the learning and teaching of maths and links to our calculation policy.
Please click on the title above for a link to the policy, which can also be found on our policies page.

Coldfair Green Primary School Calculation Policy

The document above explains our approach to teaching Mathematics at Coldfair Green. It explains the methods we use at school to teach each type of calculation and will enable you to support your child with their homework, using methods that may be different to how you were taught at school yourself.
Please click on the title above for a link to the policy, which can also be found on our policies page.

Multiplication / Times Tables

We cannot stress enough how important times tables are to understanding maths. They underpin so many types of calculations the children need to be able to make and secure knowledge of the multiplication tables is essential.
From next academic year Year 4 will be externally tested on their tables as part of the KS2 SATS testing programme. (This is not why we stress their importance.)
In this school we are teaching times tables in a range of ways designed to enable the children to learn them effectively in a fun way that will help them stay in their long term memory. We use an app called Maths Rocks (Which can be purchased in ipad or android devices) and Times Tables Rockstar is also used to support in singing our times tables and learning them to rock songs. Times tables songs are also practised as a whole school in singing assembly. All of these things help as regular repetition supports children in moving things from their short term memory into long term memory where knowledge becomes more secure.

Mathematics National Curriculum

The Mathematics National Curriculum can be found by clicking on the link above in the title. This is the statutory content that we must teach in each year group by law. The level of challenge is significantly improved since September 2014 when the new curriculum was introduced.

Key Stage One and Two Assessment in Mathematics

There are links here to the Key Stage One and Two Maths SATS papers that the children took in 2016 and 2017. These clearly demonstrate the high standards expected in maths.

Key Stage One 2016 Mathematics
Key Stage One 2017 Mathematics

Key Stage Two 2016  Mathematics
Key Stage Two 2017  Mathematics

Assessment in Mathematics in 2018 Key Stage One
Assessment in Mathematics in 2018 Key Stage Two



Maths homework is set every other week in Key Stage One and every week in Key Stage Two. In addition to this children are expected to learn their times tables each week as set by their class teacher. These are tested in a range of ways and in a random order. They are tested out of sequence to ensure children know the multiplication facts in any order and are not simply counting in multiples.

Additional Maths booster sessions and support for Maths Homework if offered on a weekly basis for an hour after school at Maths Homework Club on a Monday night. This is a chance for your child to work in a small group or singly with teaching staff to support their progress in maths.

56 and 56+ Club

Once the children are secure in their times tables knowledge they are able to audition for 56 Club. To become a member they need to be able to orally answer sixteen multiplication questions correctly in seventy seconds. They can then set themselves the challenge of becoming a member of 56+ Club.

56+ Club members have achieved their status by being able to answer orally a mixture of multiplication and division questions at speed, answering sixteen questions in seventy seconds.

Our goal is for all Key Stage Two children to be members of 56 Club and for Upper Key Stage Two children, Years 5 and 6 to aspire to being members of 56+ Club. There are weekly opportunities for children to be assessed regarding their readiness to join.

Learning Cafés

We hold regular Maths Learning cafés which will focus on a particular area of Mathematics. These are opportunities for family members to come into school and find out about how we teach specific areas of maths and to them work with their own children in classrooms to support them with that specific area of maths and help them get to grips with it. Feedback we have had from parents over the last two years suggests that this is found to be a useful experience that enables them to help children with their homework more effectively.

The presentations given to parents can be accessed via the links below:

Maths Café Addition and Subtraction

Maths Café Place Value

Maths Café Multiplication

Maths Café Division

Maths Café Problem Solving

‘Big Maths’ Maths Café

Maths Café Feedback from Parents

“Very helpful, Many thanks! Learning Cafés are a brilliant idea and really help you to get involved with your children’s schoolwork.” SS

“The workshop was really useful and I think I can use the information shared with my daughter. Thank you.” GC

“Really informative and useful. Lots of tips to help my daughter with her maths.” CS

“Great event. All clear now why R works things out the way she does and not the old fashioned way I do. Thank you.” DM.

“It’s useful to know the methods being used in class. It’s so different to the methods I was taught  – but I can see now that there are advantages – especially using tools  / equipment to help them.” SK

“The information you are given is helpful to help your children. Just a shame more parents don’t come.” CC

Mathematics Pupil Perception Survey November 2017

The children have been survey to establish their perception of how hard maths is and how they feel about their maths lessons and learning. This is what we found out :

Pupil Perception Survey Statistics Document