St Matthew's C of E

Primary School

Work TogetherAim HighShine Bright


’Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computation or algorithms; it is about understanding' 

William Paul Thurston

At St Matthew's, we follow the maths 'mastery' approach to teaching the subject, in the belief that deep and sustainable mathematical learning is achievable for all. This approach enables children to reason about concepts and to make connections while building on previous learning. 


We achieve this by

  • using active and involving teaching approaches;
  • actively encouraging reflection on learning;
  • using rich questioning and discussion;
  • taking time over each new concept;
  • focusing on using and applying skills in order to extend mathematical knowledge;
  • identifying misconceptions as starting places for concept building;
  • being responsive to the needs of each pupil and allowing additional time before moving on when required;
  • ensuring that children enjoy challenging maths;
  • encouraging pupils to use a range of independent learning strategies.

The maths mastery approach has a clear rationale. To be competent mathematicians, children need to develop the three forms of knowledge:


Factual - I know that...

Procedural - I know how...

Conceptual - I know why...


Our Calculation Policy reflects our CPA approach: concrete, pictorial and abstract.

Concrete - hands on using real objects

Pictorial - representations such as a diagram or picture of the problem

Abstract - the symbolic stage using mathematical notation


At the start of 2020, we introduced a new maths scheme of work: White Rose Maths. This scheme offers a mastery approach, which, evidence suggests, helps all pupils to improve their understanding of maths. The White Rose scheme follows a small step approach and is designed to ensure that students will come back to topics time and time again, both within the study of the same area of mathematics and in other areas so that they will continue to deepen their understanding through this revisiting and interleaving.

Mathematics Policy