We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm


We CARE • Curiosity - Aspiration - Respect - Enthusiasm

Maths at Cholsey


At Cholsey Primary school, we endeavour to equip all pupils for a life-long love enthusiasm and curiosity for mathematics.  By the time our children leave our setting it is our aim that they are confident problem solvers, use facts they are fluent in in a flexible and adaptable way and can reason using understanding and logic. We believe that these tools will not only enable them to use mathematics specifically but are transferable skills that will increase life chances and opportunities for all.


At Cholsey Primary, we follow the ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach when delivering the statutory mathematics programme from the National Curriculum (2014).  Our curriculum is designed, developed and delivered using the Curriculum Prioritisation materials form NCETM which allows us to plan units in a Covid recovery context.

Teaching for Mastery is an approach that has been developed by lengthy research into the elements for maths teaching that is so very successful in places such as Shanghai. In 2014, the government began investing heavily in the training and development of teachers across the country; a project that we at Cholsey School have been involved in for the last 5 years.

Mathematics teaching for mastery rejects the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths.’ It encourages the attitude that we all learn through hard work and that making mistakes is a crucial part of learning, not evidence of failure. All children are encouraged to learn from their own or others’ mistakes and that it is right to ‘respectfully challenge’ each other so that we all benefit from exposing the thinking behind solving a problem.

A particular focus is placed on moving all the children forward together. Differentiation looks very different to before. You are less likely to see children working on different tasks, but more subtle forms, such as resourcing, reasoning and careful use of questioning, allow children to be supported or stretched. This allows access for all and for no child to be limited in their aspirations.

More time is spent on each area of mathematics, with a focus on making connections and thinking mathematically. Fluency with number facts is hugely important; the children are encouraged to gain this though a deeper understanding of the underlying concepts of the number system, rather than learning by rote. Reasoning and problem solving form part of our everyday maths teaching and the children are encouraged to ‘journal’ to display their deep and thorough understanding.

Mathematics is fundamentally an abstract concept and part of the TfM approach is to build understanding of this using concrete resources and pictorial models. These help children to make sense of the number system from recognising the symbols we called numbers in Foundation stage, to multiplying fractions in Year 6.

Mathematics Mastery

We have been given permission to show the following video from St Bede’s Primary School which summarises the mastery approach that we also follow here at Cholsey:


Impact is measured carefully through ongoing formative and summative assessment, interviews with pupils, observations and review of pupils’ journaling in order to ensure pupils are ready to move on and have mastered key concepts.