Mathematics Teaching at New Chapter Primary School

At New Chapter we aim to ensure that all pupils are taught the mathematical skills necessary to enable them to use mathematics fluently in everyday life and to apply those skills in problem solving and reasoning. We do this through using a mastery approach which is inclusive of all children and which focuses on small steps in order to develop both fluency and conceptual understanding.

Our Philosophy

We believe that:

  • Each child has the right to achieve their full potential and place no limit on their ability to achieve.
  • All children should be given the opportunity to access a lesson regardless of their previous attainment.
  • High expectations should be had of all pupils and this is made clear to all learners. Children are encouraged to believe that by working hard at maths they can succeed.
  • The focus of maths lessons should be depth of understanding before breadth of understanding.
  • Mistakes are an important part of learning.
  • The fostering of a growth mindset enables children to see the potential of the power of ‘yet’.
  • Questioning encourages children to explore their learning in greater depth.

How maths is taught

Daily maths Lessons

  • Daily maths lessons are 60 minutes in length and provide opportunities for children to practise their reasoning skills and develop a deeper understanding of the key ideas.
  • Each lesson focuses on one key conceptual idea, which is developed through problem solving.
  • Learning is broken down into small steps to enable children to master concepts before moving onto the next part of the curriculum so that children are not left behind. This enables children to build on prior learning and identify how new learning moves their understanding forward.
  • Lessons start with children exploring a short introductory problem with a real life context which links to the new learning that day.
  • During teacher input, children are encouraged to discuss their understanding using appropriate vocabulary in full sentences (using stem sentences) and by making links to previous learning. They are provided with opportunities to repeat ideas and practise skills being taught in different ways, so that they achieve a depth of understanding. Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding are developed alongside each other.
  • Independent practice enables children to then develop their reasoning and problem solving skills and take part in higher-order thinking activities.
  • All children are taught together regardless of their ability and are not labelled. Differentiation takes place by allowing children to work through problems at their own pace and depth of understanding, with appropriate support where necessary (such as concrete resources/adult support/challenge materials). Challenges are made available for those children who grasp concepts quickly to deepen their understanding.
  • Any children who do not grasp the concept being taught are identified quickly. Since new learning builds on previous learning, same day catch up interventions (20 minutes in the afternoon) take place to prevent children from falling behind and enabling them to access the next day’s learning.
  • Teachers consider at the planning stage what scaffolding might be needed to support any children who might struggle with the concept being taught and how those who grasp concepts more quickly can be challenged to deepen their understanding.
  • Key questions, which will develop understanding and challenge the thinking of all pupils, are identified at the planning stage. These link closely to the concept being taught and are used throughout the lesson. Certain common questions will be repeated in most lessons, such as ‘How do you know?’, ‘Can you prove/explain your answer?’, ‘Is there another way of approaching the problem?’
  • A combination of high quality materials (Power Maths) and supporting tasks (eg. White Rose, NRich, NCETM mastery materials) are used to support teaching and learning within lessons. Children are given a range of activities to enable them to explore and apply their learning in different ways.
  • The use of concrete, pictorial and abstract representations form part of the mathematics teaching in all year groups to support children’s deeper understanding of concepts being taught.
  • SEN children may be supported by additional adults, different resources and differentiated activities that meet their individual needs. They may also complete additional activities outside of the mathematics lesson.

Core Arithmetic Sessions

Core arithmetic sessions are held at least three times a week (20-30 minutes each) to develop children’s procedural fluency. Key facts (such as addition facts within 10 and 20, multiplication and division facts) are learnt so that children are able to recall them automatically and to enable them to focus on developing their conceptual understanding in daily mathematics lessons.


Marking informs the next lesson and enables the teacher to identify children who may need additional support or additional challenge (see school marking policy).


Children’s understanding of concepts is assessed at the end of each unit and attainment is recorded by teachers in line with whole school assessment policy. Data is used to identify gaps and inform planning.