Access Keys:

Davyhulme Primary School, Davyhulme

Mathematics at Davyhulme


Over the last two years at Davyhulme Primary School, we have been developing a Teaching for Mastery approach to maths. Working with Mastery Specialists and in collaboration with the Turing Maths Hub, we have been able to observe lessons delivered by specialist teachers, as well as developing our subject knowledge, which has led to a deep and sustainable understanding of maths, which has then been passed on to pupils. Below is some information about this approach.

The mastery approach is largely based on the way maths has been successfully taught in East Asia. This is building a whole new culture of deep understanding, confidence and competence in maths – a culture that produces strong, secure learning and real progress. Research has shown that children’s chances of success are maximised if they develop deep and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts. 

The mastery approach places an emphasis on fluency of essential skills and the whole class having a deep understanding of a concept before moving on to the next small step.

The key features of mastery

  • The classwork together on the same topic. This does not mean that some children will be left behind or others not challenged. Differentiation is now achieved through intervention and deeper understanding;
  • Teacher intervention to prevent gaps - Those children that have not met the expected outcomes or have gaps in their understanding, will be helped by receiving short, immediate extra time on maths later in the day. This is a positive opportunity to consolidate their understanding;
  • Challenge provided by going deeper not accelerating. For those children that have mastered the skill, concept or procedure they will be presented with higher-order thinking activities, rather than accelerating through the curriculum;
  • Focused, rigorous and thorough teaching. The idea is to focus on one small step at a time in a lesson, with an emphasis on the mathematical structures involved and the best way to represent these through models and images. Each small step is important as it builds towards deep understanding of a concept;
  • More time on teaching topics – depth and practice. The same topic is likely to have the same focus until the class has mastered the concept, skill or procedure being taught. This is particularly the case for number and calculations. Although the focus areas are being taught over a longer time, there are smaller steps of progress and the extra time is for practice and depth, making the learning effective.

For our long term and medium-term planning we use White Rose Maths. Our short term, daily planning is based upon the mastery concepts from White Rose and we use Power Maths, a mastery programme perfectly aligned to the White Rose Maths progressions and schemes of learning. Each lesson follows a small steps plan, and always has an element of greater depth challenge.


The Mastery approach is based upon the belief that all children can achieve. At Davyhulme Primary differentiation is provided through the support of the less able, with fluency taught through essential practice and consolidation tasks, teaching conceptual understanding through multiple representations and dealing with misconceptions immediately.

Those pupils who have achieved fluency can move on to the application of skills in different contexts. More able learners are challenged through higher-order questioning and rich tasks that develop problem-solving and reasoning skills. No one moves onto a higher year groups objectives, everyone is working on the same concept, and it is possible to provide whole class lessons but with different levels of support and challenge.

For example, when learning about multiplication having a competent knowledge of multiplication is just the beginning as children are challenged by representing multiplication in different ways – using concrete, pictorial and then moving to symbolic representations. Pupils are then encouraged to be able to make connections to repeated addition, use arrays, link to division and use accurate vocabulary to explain and reason about their work. Real-life word problems are used to provide context and purpose for learning. Similarly is the application to puzzles, problems and investigations to promote deeper mathematical thinking.


Curriculum Overview