Mathematics 2020 - 2021

Mr King

Mathematics at St James' CE Junior School

At St James' we adopt a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of maths. ‘Maths mastery’ means we aim for pupils of all ages to acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of maths. We aim to provide every child with a solid enough understanding of the subject to enable them to be  confident mathematicians who can continue to progress their understanding of the subject as they move through education. Above all, we want all children to enjoy learning maths and seek to activate children's love for maths by planning excellent and engaging lessons. To support this we use Whiterose Maths Hub planning materials supplimented with a range of  other materials.  This  ensures we deliver a well sequenced maths curriculum which is engaging and is tailored to the learning needs of the children. In maths lessons at St James', we seek to be continually responsive  to the needs of the children. Through well planned questioning within lessons, as well quiz apps such as Eedi and Maths Shed, we gather information to help us respond to what the children have understood and need next. We also have a daily session following every maths lesson known as: ‘Power up Maths’. This allows teachers to further support groups of children who need it by: providing immediate feedback; 'powering up' the children's understanding; tackling misconceptions; or preparing children for what is coming next. 

In order to implement a maths mastery approach at St James' Junior school, teaching and learning is underpinned by five key ideas.


Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that build upon each other and gradually unfold the concept. This means that:

1) All children can  access the learning

2) All children work to securely understand the mathematical concept and make generalisations about it. 

3) Children are able to apply the concept to a range of contexts.

Representation and Structure

A range of representations (maths equipment, pictures, diagrams and models) are used in maths lessons in order to show and better understand the mathematical structure being taught. This ensures that children have a strong visual foundation, which underpins a secure understanding of the structutre of the maths, before moving on to doing the maths without using the representation. 

Mathematical Thinking

In every maths lesson at St James' we plan opportunities for children to actively think about, reason  and discuss the maths about which they are learning. We scaffold good explanations by modelling good mathematical talk and practising the use of accurate mathematical vocabulary. In this way, children become effective and active learners with a  deeper understanding than if they were merely passive recipients of the learning. 


Children need quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures so that they can move flexibility between different contexts and representations of mathematics. At St James' all children have a 20 minute arithmetic session to practice this on a dailly basis. These sessions are planned by teachers to systematically cover the skills they need in each year group. Children then use these skills fluently, and in different contexts, in the main maths lesson. 


Teachers represent the concept being taught, often in more than one way. This  draws attention to key patterns and links between different areas of maths and  develops a deep and holistic understanding of the subject. Teachers ask questions such as: ‘What is the same, what is different?’; ‘Which is the odd one out?'; ‘How else could this be shown?’; in order to help children develop this depth. Teachers plan activities and exercises  that represent and visit concepts in different ways and that draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure. This enables children to connect the mathematical concepts they meet and understand the relationships for themselves. 


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Contact Us

Please direct all enquiries to Mrs H Maiden at the school office:

Telephone 01946 695311 or email

Headteacher: Mr Andrew Beattie

St James' Church of England Junior School. Wellington Row, Whitehaven, Cumbria CA28 7HG