What is the Teaching for Maths Mastery approach?

Maths mastery is a teaching and learning approach that aims for pupils to develop deep understanding of maths rather than being able to memorise key procedures or resort to rote learning.

The end goal and expectation is for all pupils (with very limited exceptions) to have acquired the fundamental facts and concepts of maths for their year or key stage such that by the end of it they have achieved mastery in the maths they have been taught. At this point they are ready to move confidently on to their next stage of maths.

Mastery of a mathematical concept means a child can use their knowledge of the concept to solve unfamiliar word problems, and undertake complex reasoning, using the appropriate mathematical vocabulary.

The core principles of conceptual understanding, language and communication and mathematical thinking underpin all aspects of the curriculum with problem solving at its heart and embedded in the planning and teaching of all units so that every child can enjoy and succeed in mathematics.

Maths Statement of Intent

Teaching for Maths Mastery Approach Specific Facts and Methods Progression

Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRF’S)

To develop children’s fluency and mental maths skills, we are introducing KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) throughout school. KIRFS are a way of helping our children to learn by heart, key facts and information which they need to have instant recall of.

KIRFs are designed to support the development of mental maths skills that underpin much of the maths work in our school. They are particularly useful when calculating, adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. They contain number facts such as number bonds and times tables that need constant practise and rehearsal, so children can recall them quickly and accurately.

Instant recall of facts helps enormously with mental agility in maths lessons. When children move onto written calculations, knowing these key facts is very beneficial. For a child to become more efficient in recalling them easily, they need to be practised frequently and for short periods of time.

Each half term, children will focus on a Key Instant Recall Fact (KIRF) to practise and learn at home for the half term.

Throughout the half term, the KIRFs will also be practised in school and your child’s teacher will assess whether they have been retained.

The KIRFs for each year group can be accessed below:

Mathematics in EYFSYear 1 – Year 5 Key Maths RepresentationsMathematical Vocabulary Taught – EYFS to Year 6Teaching for Maths Mastery Approach Curriculum Planning Unit Overview

Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check

The multiplication tables check (MTC) is a statutory assessment for eligible primary school pupils and takes place in June.

The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It helps schools identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided.

Click on the links below to play games that support your child to learn and remember times tables facts up to 12 x 12.


Hit the button


Canon Popham’s Times Table Challenge!


Times Tables Rockstars

When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations. Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help pupils master the times tables. To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!

The goal is for all participating rockers to be Times Table Rock Stars after 20 weeks!


Our Key Stage 2 Times Table Rock Stars for Year Group Leaders for June 2022


Numbots is an on-line programme to boost addition and subtraction skills. It is about every child achieving the “triple win” of understanding, recall and fluency in mental addition and subtraction. Playing little and often will significantly improve a child’s recall and understanding of number bonds and addition and subtraction facts which are critical foundations in maths. In order to get the best out of NumBots children should regularly play for short bursts of time over the week.

Our EYFS/ Key Stage 1 NUMBOTS Year Group Leaders for June 2022


Improving Working Memory and Arithmetic Project

Some of our Year 3 pupils were part of a working group developing new memory strategies to support their learning. Working memory is the ability to remember and manipulate information over short time-frames. The project was funded by The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the University of Oxford and was delivered during our Autumn and Spring terms. All children involved were very enthusiastic and engaged throughout. Well done to all of you! You should be very proud of yourselves.



Our Maths Magic!

Enjoy watching the powerpoint to see all our wonderful Maths learning.

Our Maths Adventures at Canon Popham