At Thornaby C of E Academy, We follow the Maths Mastery approach, which has a clear curriculum design, a considered sequence of content and shows clear progression.


The key principles of Mathematics Mastery are:


  • Mathematical thinking
  • Conceptual understanding
  • Mathematical language


We address these principles in all maths lessons to ensure our pupils are given time participate in fluency, reasoning and problem solving tasks. We aim to encourage the deepest of learning in all mathematical concepts therefore we uphold a concrete-pictorial- abstract approach towards lessons. Concrete manipulatives are used by all pupils to embed the foundations of concepts before pupils move onto using pictorial representations to show understanding and finally abstract representations to record mathematical thinking. Pupils are encouraged to move between the three representations to allow solid links to be formed between concepts.

The curriculum is cumulative, focusing at the beginning of each school year on concepts that have the most connections. During the rest of the year, children are expected to apply their previous learning in other units. The ability to make connections is essential in everyday life.



Within maths lessons and Maths Meetings, our children are encouraged to develop:


  • Mathematical power
  • Inquisitiveness
  • The confidence to question
  • The ability to make connections



To allow knowledge of key mathematical skills and concepts, every year group participates in daily Maths meetings. These sessions are around 15-20 minutes long and consist of singing, chants and actions that embed key mathematical knowledge such as number bonds, counting, days of the week, one more and one less, sequences, part-part-whole etc.


All maths sessions are structured in the following way:


  • Do Now (practise basic facts/ consolidate previous learning)
  • New Learning
  • Talk Task
  • Develop Learning
  • Independent Task
  • Plenary

Mathematics lessons are structured in such as to allow two short teaching inputs split with a ‘talk task’. Talk tasks are key to mathematics sessions as they allow the pupils time to work with a partner to complete a task usually similar/linked to the independent task they will complete later in the session. The talk tasks in each session focusses on the pupils using the key mathematical language to embed conceptual understanding and express mathematical thinking. This part of the session allows for misconceptions to be addressed. ‘Mathematics Mastery’ really promotes problem solving and reasoning. Giving children the opportunity to problem solve and reason in sessions allows our pupils to make rich connections, see patterns, justify opinions, describe and explain what they know, show how they have solved it, prove they are correct or incorrect and find all possibilities. 

The approach promotes a ‘Growth mindset’ in children so that they understand that, with dedication, hard work and perseverance, they can develop their mathematical ability over time. They are taught to enjoy challenges as they understand that, with effort, setbacks can be overcome. 


Maths Policy

Maths Progression Document