Maths Mastery at Mabe Primary School

What is Maths Mastery?
Mastering Maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering Maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the Maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.

Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract
The Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach (known as CPA) is a crucial element of mastery. The CPA method involves using actual objects for children to add, subtract, multiply or divide. They then progress to using pictorial representations of the object, and ultimately, abstract symbols. Children often find maths difficult because it is abstract. The CPA approach helps children learn new ideas and build on their existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a more familiar and tangible way.
Whole Class Teaching!

The theory behind this approach is that pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time, as happens in Shanghai and several other regions that teach Maths successfully. This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence, allowing no pupil to be left behind. If a pupil fails to grasp a concept or procedure, this is identified quickly and early intervention ensures the pupil is ready to move forward with the whole class in the next lesson. More able pupils are challenged through carefully planned reasoning and problem-solving questions. The aim here is for breadth of understanding; they do not access content from the year group above.
What are we doing at Mabe Primary School?

At Mabe Primary School, we started our journey towards mastery in Spring 2018 when Maths lead Julia Pearce witnessed features of mastery in action at St. Merryn School. Since then, we have worked hard to develop our own practice, which has been greatly assisted by our partnership with the Maths Hub. Since September 2019, Julia and Year 5/6 teacher, Steve Cruse, have attended sessions to develop thinking, observed mastery expert Ross Barnes in action in his own classroom and formed valuable links with Mylor School. The Maths lead has held meetings with staff to ensure that they are up to date with mastery thinking. We are now in the third year of our partnership with the Maths Hub. The aim of this year is for us to sustain the teaching of mastery across the school (2021-2022).
An exciting new update for 2021-2022 is our acceptance on the NCETM Mastering Number programme which is aimed at developing calculation skills amongst children in Reception and Key Stage 1. We hope to disseminate strategies across the school once the programme is underway. 

It is important to note that the development of Maths mastery does not happen overnight; it is a process that takes many years and one that is in need of regular refinement. All good teachers should be reflective of their practice; always seeking new ways to make experiences even better for the children and Maths mastery is certainly no exception!

At Mabe School, our mission is to give your children the very best Maths experiences possible!
Key Features of our Practice
We are developing the use of the following to support our quest towards mastery:

*Daily rapid recall - Children answer a series of calculations at speed at the start of each lesson.

*Vocabulary check - The children discuss key Maths terminology that will be used in the lesson. This links to our wider school aim of developing vocabulary across the curriculum.

*Stem sentences - These provide a scaffold to help children communicate their understanding with precision and clarity. For example: There are two equal groups of 4. There are 4 in each group. There are two 4s.

*Manipulatives - Each class is well stocked with a range of manipulatives to help children get to grips with a concrete understanding.

*Visuals - Pictures help children see mathematical ideas, which aids understanding. For example, the following cupcake image is an array. Children can see 4 x 4 = 16.

Along with other schools in our Trust, we assess pupils using PUMA materials at the end of each term. PUMA tests assess pupil understanding across the Maths spectrum. In order for us to get a sense of children's understanding within each specific topic, such as Addition and Subtraction or Fractions, we use White Rose end of block assessments. We also formatively assess pupils on a daily basis, which is an essential feature of our practice across the entire curriculum. If pupils are not meeting objectives within a lesson, they will take part in interventions/pre-teach activities that afternoon.

Helping Your Child At Home
There are various websites listed at the bottom of this page that you will find useful in supporting your child.
At times, Mathematical vocabulary can appear rather challenging and the meaning of certain terms can confuse children (such as 'difference'), so you will find a useful glossary of terms below. For each word, there is a definition and an example of how it can be used within a sentence. You can see that the vocabulary is cumulative and builds on words the children should already know. In addition, the Maths Vocabulary Book offers useful tips on developing children's mathematical language. This is aimed at parents as well as teachers.
Knowledge Organisers:
For each year group, you will find knowledge organisers which summarise the key learning points that will be covered during the year. The children have these organisers at the front of their Maths books in school and they will also be a helpful prompt for learning at home. Please find your child's year group knowledge organiser at the bottom of the page. 
Times Tables Rock Stars/Numbots:
At the end of November 2020, we launched Times Tables Rock Stars (TTRS) and Numbots at Mabe Primary  School. This online resource is very popular both nationally and on a local level. The aim is for the children  to develop speed and accuracy when faced with the task of answering calculations. Numbots is used throughout Year 1 and towards the end of Reception, whilst TTRS is used from Years 2 - 6. Numbots focuses on addition and subtraction, whilst TTRS naturally focuses on tables recall. Please see the Parent Guide below for further information. 
Maths in Action at Mabe

Below you can see Maths displays from across the school. Each class has a wipeable gridded board, so that the display is interactive. At Mabe Primary School, we believe that our displays should not simply become 'wallpaper' but rather be a workable document that is ever changing as the learning progresses. There are opportunities for children to write on the board, answering a range of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving questions. Key vocabulary and stem sentences will also feature, acting as useful prompts for the children. We are aware of the importance of making cross curricular links, so our displays show how Maths is not taught in complete isolation. 


In our Choughs and Chicks Nursery Class and our Kittiwakes Reception Class, Maths is everywhere! There are always opportunities for childen to explore mathemactical concepts through play. We have taken this first class early years practice of using manipulatives to develop understanding right up through the school. Tens frames, beadstrings, Cuisenaire rods, Numicon, place value counters and Base 10 materials are all over the school. Using concrete materials helps lay the foundations for a deepened understanding. This quote from Hoong et al summarises why manipulatives are so important and why they should not be neglected in any year group: 


"Neglecting manipulatives and moving straight to the abstract often means that children have not had the opportunity to make sense of a concept for themselves, and therefore the child has not developed a deep and structural understanding of the mathematics." 


Number Day 2021
This year, we celebrated Number Day on Friday 7th May instead of our usual February date. This was as a result of Covid-related school closures and was in line with national celebrations. We chose to base our day around the wonderful picture book,  'How Many Jelly Beans?' by Andrea Menotti. A wealth of mathematical concepts can be explored throughout this book and all children from our youngest in the nursery to our Year 6s in Herons class were able to take part in a plethora of bean-related activities. A firm favourite had to be our 'Guess how many beans are in the jar' activity. Children put some careful thought into their estimations as the lure of winning said jar of jelly beans was a huge motivator! 
As always, the children were reminded of the importance of the NSPCC charity, which Number Day supports. The NSPCC work hard to keep children safe from abuse and neglect. This has been even more of a challenge during the pandemic, so the children's donations of £1 to come to school dressed in a bright jelly bean colour were greatly appreciated.  As a school, we managed to raise over £140 for this crucial cause. 
Below you will find a variety of photographs of children enjoying the day and the slides that we shared in our assembly. 
Useful Downloads
Knowledge Organisers
Please note that the Year 5 and 6 knowledge organiser is a combined document with UKS2 standing for Upper Key Stage 2.