Salusbury Primary School


 The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately

Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language

Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

At Salusbury we have adopted a Teaching for Mastery approach which you can find out more about below.

Here are the topic overviews for Years 1-6

What does Teaching for Mastery mean?

  • Since mastery is what we want pupils to acquire (or go on acquiring), rather than teachers to demonstrate, we use the phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ to describe the range of elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering mathematics.
  • Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that has been taught to enable them to move on to more advanced material.


What are the steps to achieving mastery?

  •  I know how to do it
  •  It becomes automatic, I don’t need to think about it e.g driving a car
  •  I’m really good at doing it
  •  I can show someone else how to do it


What are the benefits?

  •  All children achieve
  • Deep sustainable learning
  •  Building on the foundations of something that has already been sufficiently mastered
  • Conceptual reasoning and making connections
  • Conceptual and procedural fluency

 The 5 big ideas of Teaching for Mastery


Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.




Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation.


Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics. Quite often maths is represented in the abstract, using symbols which can have little meaning to children. So that children are able to attach meaning, initially they are exposed to the concepts using concrete resources, then pictorial representations (which support them in creating a mental image) and finally in the abstract form



If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others.

Here in this example, children are provided with the opportunity discuss the mathematical relationship and how they could solve this without using long multiplication.



Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught (CONCEPTUAL VARIATION), often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding.

  It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes (PROCEDURAL VARIATION), to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure. 

Here in this example, a child can carry out the procedural operation of multiplication, but through connected calculations has the opportunity to think about key concepts involving multiplication and place value too.