Maths Mastery at Bishop Bronescombe


At Bishop Bronescombe School, we take a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics where we want children to know more and remember more. Our aim is for all children to enjoy mathematics and have a secure and deep understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts and procedures when they leave us to go to secondary school. We want children to see the mathematics that surrounds them every day and enjoy developing vital life skills in this subject. We aim to inspire all of our pupils, irrespective of their ability, to reach their full academic potential. We recognise that mathematics is a critical area of skill and knowledge that impacts on the quality and value of the lives we lead.

We aim to deliver an inspiring and engaging mathematics curriculum through high quality teaching. Children are encouraged to be brave and push the boundaries, deepening their understanding further. In order to improve our mastery approach and improve the quality of our maths teaching, we have implemented the White Rose scheme of learning as our core resource. In addition to this, we have our Maths Lead and one of our Year 2 teachers currently working with the Cornwall Maths Mastery Hub to further develop their understanding and to further support and embed the mastery approach into our school.


At the heart of the delivery of our core resource ‘White Rose’, is a clearly structured and well-sequenced teaching and learning process that helps us make certain that every child masters each maths concept securely and deeply. For each year group, the curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps – lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built. Where possible, it sees all children learning the same concept, each finding and mastering challenge at their own level within their year group. Our curriculum builds on the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach (CPA). By using all three, the children can explore and demonstrate their mathematical learning. Together, these elements help to cement knowledge so children truly understand what they have learnt. High quality resources are used in conjunction with White Rose, such as NRICH and NCETM to support, stretch and challenge all children within the classroom providing them with opportunities to reason and problem-solve.  In addition, the school’s calculation policy is used to ensure a coherent approach to teaching the operations across our school.

One of the key underlying elements of White Rose is its practical approach, allowing teachers to make maths real and relevant to the children, no matter their age or ability. Manipulatives are essential resources for both key stages and White Rose encourages children to use these at every opportunity; continuing the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract approach right through from EYFS to Year 6.

This maths teaching is enhanced by daily arithmetic practice – ‘Flashback 4’ providing children with the opportunity to recap and ensure essential skills are regularly revisited and retrieved to strengthen retention.

In instances where children have not understood a concept, we employ a ‘Same Day Intervention’ model. This model is designed to enable pupils to “keep up” not “catch up”.  Teachers mark pupils' work during the lesson or soon after so that pupils who need extra support get it the same day, enabling them to keep up. For those children that have more significant gaps in their learning, we use the 'Hands On Maths' intervention materials in small, adult-led groups.  This approach utilises concrete resources and short, progressive sessions to enable children to understand key concepts.


Summative assessment takes place at the end of each unit and NFER standardised tests are administered termly to assess progress for years 1-6. In addition to this, National Curriculum tests are used at the end of KS1 and 2; teachers use past and sample papers to inform their assessments as they prepare pupils for these end of year assessments. Teachers use the results of ongoing summative assessments to identify common errors/ misconceptions to inform next steps in teaching and learning. Children’s progress and attainment are discussed by teachers and SLT termly as part of Pupil Progress meetings. 

Formative assessment takes place on a daily basis and teachers adjust planning accordingly to meet the needs of all pupils in their class. In addition, we place a strong emphasis on the power of questioning: this enables us both to explore topics together as a class as well as verbally develop reasoning skills during our lessons. Children are encouraged to take ownership of their learning through self- and peer- assessment and learning coach activities.  Leaders monitor the effectiveness of teaching frequently through lesson observations, book scrutinies and pupil conferencing.