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Our mastery approach




The Mastery-learning model forms the basis of our approach to traditional teaching.

This means spending greater time going into depth about a subject as opposed to racing through the things that all children should know. As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have an absolutely solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient for secondary school.

Now, we have the confidence to take learning at a steadier and deeper pace, ensuring that no child is left behind, as well as providing deeper and richer experiences for children who are above the national expectation for their age.

We focus on all children achieving what is expected of their age group and not going beyond this. Evidence shows that children need to be able to understand a concept, apply it in a range of situations and then be creative to really understand it. Simply going beyond their age group does not guarantee they understand something, it just means they have heard it.

At our school no child will be taught content from the year group above them, they will spend time becoming true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge and skills in multiple ways.



The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:


  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.


  • Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language


  • Can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.


It is clear that the successful learning in Mathematics is not simply the acquisition of knowledge, but also the ability to reason and solve problems utilizing the fluent core Mathematics skills.


In short, this means working towards:


  • Less teacher talk and more evidencing learning and progress
  • Space and time to experience and apply, with all children entitled to additional support to ensure they do not fall behind or to go deeper
  • Understanding real life applications wherever possible to make learning relevant and not abstract; nothing should be taught without a purpose.




From Year 1, children who show mastery of writing will have a clear authorial voice with evident purpose and audience. Their writing will show control and restraint both of word choices and structures. They will often draw on models from reading, and manipulate them for their own purposes. They will also have the stamina to write for extended periods.

Mastery of Writing is about effective not formulaic writing. Children are beginning to understand that they need to make choices about the sentences and words in their writing. Children must be able to understand how to improve their work, using proofreading to check for accuracy – spelling, punctuation and correct grammar. These children will be given time to explore words, develop phrases, play with sentences and paragraphs means that children always consider impact on the reader when they write. Teachers will look for opportunities for children to write for real purposes e.g sports journalism -reporting on school competitions; writing to local businesses to request information or to support fund raising.

Throughout the year children have the chance to show mastery in oracy skills in Christmas productions and special assemblies. To master English and achieve beyond the expectations for their age, children must be able to independently apply their Reading, Writing and Speaking skills in a range of contexts across all curriculum subjects.


Steps we have taken to demonstrate a Mastery teaching approach:


  • Teaching all children in class, together, most of the time.
  • The use of practical equipment/ apparatus to support children with a less secure understanding
  • Verbal feedback during lesson
  • Higher level questioning
  • Pupil and Teacher Assessment daily in the form of ‘I can statements’
  • Use of AFL strategies (eg. Traffic light systems) to constantly assess where children are in terms of their learning
  • Spending longer on one idea, to ensure children’s knowledge is secure (e.g., less text types and more in-depth focus on the carefully selected ones)
  • Giving children who need it, additional support over shorter, more intense periods eg. a day or week intervention on a skill they are not achieving.
  • Regular completion of Pupil Progress Trackers
  • Opportunities for children to further and deepen their learning during dedicated times. In this time children will have the chance to make corrections. Also the children who have achieved the learning objectives will be set a ‘Mastery Task’ to deepen their learning. An example of this may be the completion of a ‘Can you convince me card’ in maths. The teaching staff may also use this time to teach gap groups- those children who may need additional input and practice on a concept. During these times, every child in the class will have the opportunity to extend and deepen their learning.



This approach is seen as good practice. It is promoted by the government and seen as the best way to deliver the new national curriculum.