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Maths at Sacred Heart Primary School


At Sacred Heart we are part of the ‘Central Maths Hub’ in England, who support the continuous improvement of mathematics education. We are currently adopting a Mastery Approach to mathematics. 


What is Mastery Maths?


Inspired by teaching approaches developed in Singapore and Shanghai, mastery is an inclusive way of teaching that is grounded in the belief that all pupils can achieve in Maths. A concept is deemed mastered when learners can represent it in multiple ways, can communicate solutions using mathematical language and can independently apply the concept to new problems. For example, at Sacred Heart, we aim to teach children with concrete, pictorial and written/abstract examples of mathematical strategies. Teaching for mastery supports National Curriculum objectives, but spends more time reinforcing number and place value before progressing to more difficult areas of mathematics. 


As a school, we have decided to develop a mastery approach for children from EYFS to Year 6. To support our development we follow Power Maths/White Rose Maths scheme of work.


The Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach is a system of learning that uses physical and visual aids to build a child’s understanding of abstract topics.


Pupils are introduced to a new mathematical concept through the use of concrete resources (e.g. fruit, Dienes blocks etc). When they are comfortable solving problems with physical aids, they are given problems with pictures – usually pictorial representations of the concrete objects they were using.


Then they are asked to solve problems where they only have the abstract i.e. numbers or other symbols. Building these steps across a lesson can help pupils better understand the relationship between numbers and the real world, and therefore helps secure their understanding of the mathematical concept they are learning.


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


Pictorial - alongside this children should use the pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems


Abstract - both concrete and pictorial representations should support


What is Power Maths?


Power Maths is a resource that has been designed for UK schools based on research and extensive experience of teaching and learning around the world and here in the UK. It has been designed to support and challenge all pupils, and is built on the belief that EVERYONE can learn maths successfully.


How does this support our approach to teaching?


The philosophy behind Power Maths is that being successful in maths is not just about            rote-learning procedures and methods, but is instead about problem solving, thinking and discussing. Many people feel they were taught maths in a way that was about memorising formulas and calculation methods, then having to apply them without any real understanding of what or how these methods actually work. Power Maths includes practice questions to help children develop fluent recall and develop their conceptual understanding. Power Maths uses growth mindset characters to prompt, encourage and question children. They spark curiosity, engage reasoning, secure understanding and deepen learning for all.



How will the lessons work?


Each lesson has a progression, with a central flow that draws the main learning into focus. There are different elements, informed by research into best practice in maths teaching, that bring the lessons to life:


  • Discover – each lesson begins with a problem to solve, often a real-life example, sometimes a puzzle or a game. These are engaging and fun, and designed to get all children thinking.
  • Share – the class shares their ideas and compares different ways to solve the problem, explaining their reasoning with hands-on resources and drawings to make their ideas clear. Children are able to develop their understanding of the concept with input from the teacher.
  • Think together – the next part of the lesson is a journey through the concept, digging deeper and deeper so that each child builds on secure foundations while being challenged to apply their understanding in different ways and with increasing independence.
  • Practice – now children practice individually or in small groups, rehearsing and developing their skills to build fluency, understanding of the concept and confidence.
  • Reflect – finally, children are prompted to reflect on and record their learning from each session and show how they have grasped the concept explored in the lesson.


What if my child needs a confidence boost, or wants to be challenged further?


Power Maths is based on a ‘small-steps’ approach, sometimes called a mastery approach. This means that the concepts are broken down so that your child can master one idea without feeling over-whelmed. There are a range of fluency, reasoning and problem solving questions in each lesson that are designed to support the different needs and confidence levels within a class, while at the same time fostering a spirit of working and learning together. Each lesson includes a challenge question for those children who can delve deeper into a concept.



Maths Home Learning Support


Below are some useful websites to support educating at home. All websites are accessible for free however some, such as Twinkl, may require you to sign up using a code for free access. 


White Rose Maths

White Rose takes a mastery approach to learning maths and is what we have implemented in our school. White Rose Maths offers videos that children can watch and learn from for each year group from EYFS to Year 6. For each lesson they offer a work sheet that children can complete.


Classroom Secrets

Classroom Secrets also offers work sheets that match lessons to White Rose Maths. These are also differentiated three levels. Developing, Expected and Greater Depth. They also offer problem solving and reasoning tasks too. As well as maths, Classroom Secrets also provide vast resources for other curriculum areas such as spelling, punctuation and grammar, reading and ideas for practical tasks.


TT Rock Stars

Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice.

Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised every third week or so.

This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 14,000 schools - both primary and secondary - worldwide. 

Just use the school's postcode DY4 8UH to find our school. Your child's login will be be in their home learning packs. 



To sign up to Twinkl just follow the link 

Using the code CVDTWINKLHELPS this will grant you access to Twinkl's resources.

Twinkl offers a wide range of resources and most are differentiated to suit the ability of children. For more support and how to use Twinkl visit the Parents' hub




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