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Beckington and Mells

Church Schools Federation

“The best we can be”


Within our Federation we teach the National Curriculum for maths following the ‘Mastery approach’. We want to promote maths as a positive life skill which can be fun and challenging. Maths is taught as a discreet subject on a daily basis but will also feature in links to our topic work when this is possible.

The Mastery approach allows all children to develop a deeper understanding of the key mathematical concepts. By having a good basic level of understanding we hope to produce young mathematicians who have confidence and flexibility in problem solving and reasoning. Mastery teaching breaks down concepts into small steps and scaffolds learning to help secure understanding. This knowledge is then used in a range of activities to foster the development of flexible reasoning skills. Teaching uses concrete, pictorial and abstract techniques at different stages to promote understanding of fluency, problem solving and reasoning within the subject. This method involves using actual objects for children to add, subtract, multiply or divideThey then progress to using pictorial representations of the object, and ultimately, abstract symbols.

Opportunities are given to explore and make connections with real life situations.

Our curriculum follows the ‘White Rose’ scheme developed by the White Rose maths hub. This will often be supplemented by other resources and materials based upon supporting the assessed needs of our pupils.


Key ideas in more detail:

Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage, using concrete objects to solve problems. It brings concepts to life by allowing children to handle physical objects themselves. Every new abstract concept is learned first with a ‘concrete’ or physical experience. 

Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage, using representations of the objects involved in maths problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding, by drawing or looking at pictures, circles, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.


Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model and solve maths problems.

Once a child has demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the ‘concrete’ and ‘pictorial’ representations of the problem, the teacher can introduce the more ‘abstract’ concept, such as mathematical symbols

Fluency The first aim of the mathematics national curriculum in England is that all pupils will: ‘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.’

Reasoning: The second aim of the mathematics national curriculum in England  is that all pupils will: ‘reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

Problem solving: The third aim of the mathematics national curriculum in England is that all pupils: ‘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.’


Together using these approaches to learning maths we hope to develop confident and resouceful young mathematicians who are able to use their skills appropriately in familiar and unfamiliar contexts.