We follow a mastery approach to the teaching of the objectives laid out in the National Curriculum. Mastery teaching fits with the belief that all pupils can achieve and succeed in maths - we want our pupils, including those with SEND or in vulnerable groups,  to become competent and confident mathematicians. 

In a mastery teaching model, pupils will develop conceptual understanding, number fluency, and the ability to apply their understanding within reasoning and problem-solving contexts. In doing this, learning is broken into small steps and scaffolded to support cognition, with difficulty increasing as pupils move towards independence and deeper levels of understanding. 


The 5 big ideas of teaching for mastery underpins all mathematics teaching in Dovedale. Teachers plan from the NCETM Curriculum Prioritisation materials to ensure a coherently sequenced curriculum which is rooted in pedagogical understanding and builds on relevant prior learning.


We have an NCETM ‘mastery specialist’ teacher on our staff team who provides training and support across the school. We work in close liaison with the North West 3 Maths Hub to ensure that our practice is continually reviewed, improved and reflects the evidence-based research underpinning all NCETM work.

A key feature of the mastery approach is the belief that pupils should not be labelled or have their learning capped. Instead, the CP materials offer a finely-tuned breakdown of learning through small steps, with teachers being responsive to pupils’ needs so that all get the chance to work at their optimum level in any given mathematical topic. Teachers will provide appropriate support (e.g. worked examples, concrete resources, visual images, adult intervention) while challenge comes in the form of activities to deepen understanding.

Our teaching is structured to support pupils in having rapid recall of key facts in order to reduce cognitive load. Crucial to this success is the strong development of number sense, therefore pupils (where appropriate) have daily sessions in mastering number additional to their timetabled maths lesson.


We consistently review previous learning to secure clear progression in knowledge, skills and understanding. Our teachers and Inclusion team communicate regularly to ensure a ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up’ approach with quality first teaching forming the basis for all mathematical development.

We measure impact and monitor standards through learning walks, book scrutiny, analysis of assessment data and pupil/parent/teacher voice. Children are assessed against end of year expectations using standardised PUMA tests with progress tracked in relation to their starting point.  


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