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Newtown School

We care about our learning, each other and our world.


At Newtown we believe that all pupils can achieve in mathematics. At each stage of learning, children should be able to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of a topic and build on this over time. We want children to be able to not only recall and use the maths taught but to also be able to transfer and apply it in different contexts, being able to reason and problem-solve. This deep learning is what we are aiming for by teaching maths using the mastery approach.


Our maths curriculum is split into year group specific units that are taught in a sequence where previous learning can be used to support new learning. This sequence supports the teaching of, and the children’s ability to create links between different concepts and therefore deepen their understanding.

Each unit is then designed in small, carefully sequenced steps that pupils should aim to master before moving on to the next stage. When designing these small steps, the concepts of mastery underpin the lesson planning to ensure children have a deep conceptual understanding of what is being taught. The objective is explored using a range of representations and structures; fluency is developed as well as the flexibility to move between different contexts; variation is used to develop deep and holistic understanding and children are encouraged to think mathematically throughout.


Lessons are designed using NCETM small steps and Primary Stars. A typical maths lesson at Newtown may begin by activating prior knowledge that children may need to access from their long-term memory to help them to learn the new concept of the day. The lesson will then progress through a number of small steps to develop an understanding of what is being taught. These small steps may introduce the concept using a range of representations, may use conceptual and procedural variation to explore the concept further, and will encourage the children to respond in complete sentences using the correct mathematical vocabulary. As we believe that all children can achieve in maths, you will not see ‘typical differentiation’. Instead, you will see support and scaffolding put in place to ensure all children can access the lesson and that challenges are put in place to ensure children can deepen their understanding.


You will also see daily 15 minute ‘Number Sense’ sessions delivered in school. Number sense is the ability to play with numbers meaning students can visualise problem-solving, perform calculations quickly, and are flexible in their mathematical strategy. These are all skills that we feel are incredibly important in ensuring children are successful in their understanding of mathematics.


Teaching staff and support staff use a wide range of formative assessment tools during the lesson to judge the impact that the teaching is having on the children’s learning. This is then used to support planning. To further measure the impact of maths teaching and learning we also deliver summative assessments at the end of each term. This is a helpful tool to measure how deeply the children have learned a concept when it is assessed out of context and at a later date to the initial teacher input. Question-level analysis is then completed of these tests to measure this impact and help inform planning for the next term.