St Mary's Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Catholic Primary School


Math's Mastery

What is Math’s Mastery?

What does it look like in our school?



Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in mathematics.

The large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content, at the same pace


All children are taught the same objective but at the required level for them. All children are expected to know the National Curriculum objectives but it is understood that some children will move through these objectives more slowly or quickly than others. 


Children sit in rows so it is easier to assess quickly and ensure each child is engaged and working at the correct pace. 




Differentiation (how we enable children to access the learning) is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.


Teaching is underpinned by curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge.


Teachers teach MMS at St Mary’s which is a teaching system based on a clear teaching sequence and core calculation policy based on teaching through concrete- representing- abstract representation. Children are taught:

‘Direct Instruction’ (children are taught the skills and knowledge distinctly and are assessed to see how readily they can recall and complete objectives)




‘Guided Practice’ (Where children are assisted in becoming more fluent and accurate with the mathematical concepts)



‘Partner Teach’ (Where children deepen and embed their knowledge and concepts by explaining them to their same ability partner).



‘Independent’ (Where children get the opportunity to master the concepts and skills through mastery questions (reasoning and problem solving) and then master them with greater depth).


Practice and consolidation play a central role. Teachers craft lessons to build fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts.


Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils keep up.  



Children in both Key Stages have 15 minutes daily of Daily Practice where children are taught and practise the key building blocks of maths (KPI statements). Key Stage 2 have intervention group during this time for ‘Closing’ and ‘Extending’ in smaller sized groups.

Teachers give their children D.I.R.T time to gain a better fluency and understanding through their marking feedback.

D - Designated

I - Independent

R - Response

T – Time


Teachers ask reasoning and mastery questions to assess children and to model the mastery model. These help children make connections in their learning and help to question their own mathematical concepts and knowledge further independently.

Children can see these question types around their MMS boards (which the teachers use within lessons) and are also given them as stickers during the lesson and at the end with added fluency/mastery questions.

Teachers assess children’s fluency and mastery throughout the lesson and then record it against the target statements at the front of the child’s book. The Daily Practice teachers also add to this sheet to record fluency and recall of knowledge.



How can I see examples of mastery questions?

Teachers use the following sites to give a wide depth and knowledge of mastery in maths:

White Rose

AET Maths