What is the Mathematics Mastery approach?

Our approach

Mathematics Mastery is an engaging and accessible style of mathematics teaching, inspired by Singapore and Shanghai. Our approach is designed to enhance understanding and enjoyment, as well as raise attainment for every child.

Our approach

Our programme pulls together many established ideas and methods into one rigorous teaching approach.

Children are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.

Mathematical concepts are explored in a variety of representations and problem-solving contexts to give pupils a richer and deeper learning experience.

What is mastery?

A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a person can represent it in multiple ways, has the mathematical language to communicate related ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.

Mastery is a journey and long-term goal, achieved through exploration, clarification, practice and application over time.

Mastery may also be demonstrated through:
  • Identifying which mathematical approach is most effective in different scenarios
  • Combining different concepts to solve complex problems
  • Ability to apply knowledge to real-life situations

Key principles

Problem solving

Mathematical problem-solving is at the heart of our approach. Pupils are encouraged to identify, understand and apply relevant mathematical principles and make connections between different ideas. This builds the skills needed to tackle new problems, rather than simply repeating routines without grasping the principles.

High expectations

We believe no child should be left behind. We focus on pupils ‘keeping up over catching up’. By making high expectations clear – and emphasising the high value of mathematics education – learners are encouraged to build confidence and resilience.

Concrete, pictorial, abstract

Objects, pictures, words, numbers and symbols are everywhere. Our approach incorporates all of these to help pupils explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they’ve learnt.

Depth before breadth

All learners benefit from deepening their conceptual understanding of mathematics, regardless of whether they've previously struggled or excelled. We believe pupils must be given time to fully understand, explore and apply ideas - rather than accelerate through new topics. This approach enables learners to truly grasp a concept, and the challenge comes from investigating it in new, alternative and more complex ways.

Growth mindset

We believe our ‘abilities’ are neither fixed nor innate, but can be developed through practice, support, dedication and hard work. ‘Natural talent’ is just a starting point and does not determine who has more or less potential to achieve. This belief encourages a love of learning and resilience that enables everyone to achieve.

Mathematical language

The way pupils speak and write about mathematics transforms their learning. We use a carefully sequenced, structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary. We always ask pupils to explain the mathematics in full sentences (not just what the answer is, but how they know it’s the right answer). This is key to building mathematical language and reasoning skills.

What difference does the Mathematics Mastery approach make?

Our programmeOur impact

Why is mathematics education so important?

Why are we needed?
Are you ready to transform mathematics teaching in your school?

Are you ready to transform mathematics teaching in your school?

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