How do we teach mathematics at Shibden Head?

All pupils should become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems. (National Curriculum, 2014)

Mastery Approach

At the centre of the Shibden Head’s mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics is the belief that all pupils have the potential to succeed.  Developing a ‘Mathematical Mindset’ in every child enables them to proactively self-regulate and take ownership of their learning through metacognition. They should have access to the same curriculum content and, rather than being extended with new learning, they should deepen their conceptual understanding by tackling varied and challenging problems. Similarly with calculation strategies, pupils must not simply rote learn procedures but demonstrate their understanding of these procedures through the use of concrete materials and pictorial representations to ensure fluency and depth of understanding.

The principle of the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach is that for pupils to have a true understanding of a mathematical concept, they need to master all three phases. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those pupils who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.

 Making connections in mathematics deepens knowledge of concepts and procedures, ensures what is learnt is sustained over time, and cuts down the time required to assimilate and master later concepts and techniques.

At Shibden Head Primary Academy we are committed to a mastery approach to teaching maths. We do not follow a set scheme; instead we utilise the best resources available including NCETM resources, NRICH, White Rose Maths and Power Maths.  Please refer to the attached documents below for examples of our long-term plans.

Long Term Plan

Each year group covers a number of National Curriculum objectives in each domain over the course of the school year. Please refer to the DFE’s National Curriculum for KS1 and KS2 for an overview of each domain covered in each year group to help give you an idea of how to help support your child at home.

**Please note that sometimes this overview will change slightly to ensure pupils access all areas of the curriculum and are confident and secure in their key skills. Please use Year Group Notice boards to double check domains being covered in each year group.**

 Shibden Head are TT Rockstars

TT Rockstars has been designed to support the development of rapid recall of multiplication facts and the corresponding division facts for all pupils across KS1 and KS2.

  • Maths teachers recognise how fundamental times table recall speed is to later success in maths lessons; yet it’s not always easy finding engaging ways to do daily practice. TT Rock Stars (the paper version) has been used in many schools across the UK since 2010 and the feedback is that pupils and teachers love it. I’m confident everyone will enjoy the online version even more!
  • Incorrect answers are always immediately corrected in front of the pupil so that they start to associate the correct answer to every question.

More than that, the clever code behind the scenes works out which times tables facts each pupil is consistently taking longer to answer and then it gradually starts to present these facts more frequently until pupils have mastered them.

It will also ask related division questions 20% of the time in order to reinforce division facts.

  • Lesson time isn’t wasted – TT Rock Stars is lightning fast. Once pupils are logged in, they can begin a game in one click.

How it works in class:

  • Worksheets are printed out for the half-term and stapled into a booklet for each student.
  • The teacher will then start the onscreen stopwatch and the music and the children start completing the sheet.
  • Each day there’s a time limit of 3mins.
  • When the time is up, teachers nominate students to read out a column of answers. They self-mark in green pen.
  • Once they have their score and time for the day, they file the booklet away.
  • On Friday, after they’ve marked the sheet, they work out their total score and their total time and call it out to me as it is entered straight on to the website.
  • The website automatically calculates their average time per question and converts it to a rock status.


Use the link below to help support your child at home, using the calculation strategies and language used in school. The link will lead you to a page of videos, linked to the many different domains we cover, and will enable you to see how your child has learned to calculate answers and solve problems.




Videos of methods used in school: