St Mark’s is participating in the Mastery Readiness Programme, which is funded by National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM). This will provide us with the opportunity to collaborate with over 70 Primary Schools to further develop ‘Teaching for Mastery’ in maths throughout Sussex over a three year period.

Our Early Years team lead the Sussex Maths Hub Workgroup for Early Years Teachers. This workgroup investigates how excellent early years pedagogy can complement and scaffold maths mastery teaching and learning. This year our workgroup is focusing on effective continuation and transition of mathematical understanding between EYFS and Year 1. We also run EYFS subject knowledge enhancement opportunities and “learning in practice” hands-on sessions.

Mathematics equips pupils with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. …

Mathematics is a creative discipline. It can stimulate moments of pleasure and wonder when a pupil solves a problem for the first time, discovers a more elegant solution to that problem, or suddenly sees hidden connections.’

(The National Curriculum 1999) 

We use the statutory programme of study for mathematics from the Department for Education website. Please find the link below:

 We have adopted the Mastery Approach to Maths.  St Mark's is participating in the Readiness for Mastery Programme.


What does ‘Teaching for Mastery’ mean?

The National Curriculum for England and Wales is presented as a mastery curriculum. This curriculum is designed to provide all pupilswith access to age- related, quality teaching that could encourage greater participation in further mathematics.


The National Curriculum 2014 states:

"The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. When to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage."


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 reason and independently apply it in a range of unfamiliar situations.


What does Mastery look like in our Maths lessons?

Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract

Children are taught to use concrete resources e.g. counters, bead strings, Dienes Base-10, number lines, Numicon, Cuisenaire, to develop and enhance their learning of each mathematical concept. We believe that this concrete (action-based) approach is essential before moving onto pictorial representations (image-based) and finally abstract whereby children record their mathematics using symbols such as =, +, x. Once learned, children move between these stages with ease. 

Rich, challenging tasks

We provide rich mathematical learning tasks, often involving project-based or problems linked to the current topic. These real contexts help children to apply their mathematical skills whilst developing their problem-solving and reasoning skills. We encourage children to select their own resources when solving problems.

Helping Your Child With Maths


We have included a "Helping Your Child With Maths" guide below.  Thank you for helping your child.  Please let your class teacher know if you have enjoyed an activity.  There are many ways you can aid your child’s learning and development by helping them at home. Here are a few websites to explore together. 

Your child's teacher will give you a log in to Sum Dog, to allow your child to access free maths activities at home!


BBC Bitesize

Numeracy with BBC CBeebies

KS1 & KS2 Maths Puzzles by NRich, University of Cambridge

A website based on ‘Treasure Island’

Word and text for Years 3, 4 and 5

KS1 National Test Fun Prep


 If you would like to recommend any sites, please let us know. Thank you.




 ‘Direct teaching may be necessary, but effective early mathematics teaching strategies are playful, not formal, so that all children become cheerful, not fearful mathematicians.’ Gifford, S. (2018)


 At St Mark’s we believe that all children can be successful mathematicians provided they can explore mathematical ideas in ways that make personal sense to them and are fun and engaging. Through carefully planned opportunities and play we support and encourage our children to develop mathematical concepts and create understanding. We are interested in their thinking, their ideas and their feelings and value all of their contributions.    


Read more about Maths in the early years at St Mark's here.

You can have a go at these fluency games with your child.