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Maths in the Classroom


The concept of Maths Mastery was introduced in the 2014 Curriculum, influenced heavily by the Singapore approach.  At Penwortham, children are taught Maths in a way that encourages them to understand and describe mathematical concepts in addition to learning formal and mental strategies for all four operations.




At the heart of teaching at Penwortham is the goal of making Maths ‘make sense’.  To support learning a new abstract concept, children are given concrete representations and taught how to represent these in a drawing or diagram.  These tools deepen their understanding of key concepts such as fractions or decimals.  As they learn to reason about their work, they gain the confidence to approach different problems and apply their learning to everyday situations.


This approach begins in Early Years, where children use concrete objects to explore what each number looks like and talk about simple problems using mathematical language.  Vocabulary is regularly introduced through daily, carpet sessions with the whole class, called Maths Meetings. These sessions teach maths through songs, visual images and key questions.

From Years 1-6, all year groups follow the White Rose Planning Framework, developed  to support a mastery approach to teaching and learning .This framework ensures  teachers plan plenty of opportunities to build reasoning and problem solving elements into the curriculum as well as a large proportion of time being spent reinforcing number to build competency.


At Penwortham, we believe that all children, when introduced to a new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency by taking the CPA approach (concrete-pictorial-abstract).

Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial– alongside these children should use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.

Abstract – both concrete and pictorial representations should support children’s understanding of abstract methods.