Broadway, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN7 4HX


Dunsville Primary School

Working as one to achieve excellence through enjoyment

Headteacher - Mrs V Wilson

A Maths Mastery Approach to Learning

At Dunsville Primary, we teach mathematics using the White Rose Maths Mastery scheme. This approach to learning promotes a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts by taking smaller steps in learning, allowing mathematical concepts to be taught in depth. It encompasses the belief that all children can succeed and learn as one. Any children who grasp concepts quickly are then given the opportunity to deepen their understanding through reasoning, problem solving and open-ended investigations, truly mastering all areas of the concept, rather than just moving on. As part of our teaching, we encourage children to initially explore concepts practically using concrete resources. This allows children to explore concepts for themselves and test out their understanding. After the practical stage of learning, we then expose children to a variety of visual representations, where children can spot patterns and make links between their learning and understand that their learning can be presented in a multitude of different ways. After children have become fluent in their understanding of mathematical concepts, we then move on to develop their understanding of reasoning and problem solving. Reasoning tasks enable children to prove their understanding by justifying and explaining their ideas. Problem solving tasks are often open-ended and require children to investigate statements or complete multiple steps in a variety of different contexts where their understanding of the concept is stretched and challenged. We believe that the mastery approach to learning allows children to be more flexible in their mathematical thinking and enables them to have a deeper understanding of what they have learnt.


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The use of concrete manipulatives

Our school has invested heavily this year on improving the quality of practical manipulatives available to all children in every year group. Each class has a variety of different resources that can be used to support the teaching and learning of mathematics. We have developed the use of ‘maths baskets’ which are updated regularly to suit the current concept being taught. Initially, the selected resources are used and modelled to children, providing an example of how they can be used to support their learning and understanding. Afterwards, maths baskets are given to children at their tables and children are encouraged to independently select the resources they require to support them in their learning. We have found that the manipulative resources are a fantastic tool for all children to use and allow children to work collaboratively in their learning, discussing and explaining their understanding whilst being able to learn through their first-hand experiences.

Here are some examples of how practical manipulatives have been used to support the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Times Table Rock Stars

Our whole school is invested in the fantastic resource ‘Times table Rock Stars’. This is a fun, interactive programme which encourages children to develop their accuracy and fluency with the recall of times table facts. Children are rewarded for answering questions correctly and given coins to spend on the Rock Stars store. At Dunsville, we enjoy a challenge and have had lots of fun running times table competitions with year groups and sometimes against the teachers! We have a school leader board which celebrates the children who have tried the hardest and have scored the most points or have achieved the fastest speed. All Key Stage 2 classes have Times Table Rockstar displays which promote the use of Times Tables Rock Stars and encourage children to improve their speed and score. Times Table Rock Stars can be made accessible to all, as each teacher can individually select the times table given to your child.

This programme is particularly helpful for year 3 and year 4 children as the ‘Sound Check’ feature is a realistic example of the year 4 times table test, which is taken at the end of year 4.

Here are some of the brilliant Times Table Rock Stars displays around school.

Mathematical Language and Vocabulary

A key area we are promoting in school this year is the use of mathematical language and vocabulary. At the start of each lesson, key vocabulary is shared with children and discussed together in order to understand its meaning. We are encouraging the use of full sentences for children’s responses, allowing them to clearly explain themselves and make use of the new vocabulary they have learnt. This is then reinforced through the use of vocabulary lists on maths learning walls and is used within lessons through questioning and activities. We also have a bank of key question stems which are displayed in each class and provide children with a structure to help support their verbal responses.


Maths Displays and Learning Walls

In addition to vocabulary lists, maths learning walls are used as a supportive tool for children to use during lessons. In each classroom, the maths learning wall provides current worked examples of learning with clear models and supportive resources to help children succeed. These are regularly updated by teaching staff to link with the current units being taught.
We also have a bright and colourful maths display in our school corridor, which demonstrates the different examples and uses of maths in everyday life and is regularly updated with examples of the fantastic work completed by children in each year group.

Ways to help your child 

Help us to support your child's understanding of mathematics at home by exploring the following together at home: 


For Foundation Stage and Key Stage One 

  • Counting objects together
  • Watching mathematical songs and videos on Youtube 
  • Showing your child coins and using money in a real life environment 
  • Weighing and measuring things together 
  • Telling the time (O' clock and half past) 
  • Year 2: Begin to explore Times Table Rock Stars 

Key Stage Two

  • Times Table Rock Stars 
  • Telling the time (analogue and digital) with your child 
  • Reading and understanding times tables 
  • Using money and calculating change 


Key Documents 

Intent Statement


Maths Policy

Maths Calculation Policy

Long Term Plan 

Updated Plan for Year 6 (Spring 2022)