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Fairford Academy Barnehurst

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Maths at Fairford

What does Maths teaching and learning at Fairford Academy Barnehurst look like?


A deep understanding is achieved by covering fewer topics in greater depth. Pupils master concepts rather than learning procedures by rote. Number sense and place value comes first and is of great importance as it underpins everything mathematical. We recognize that fluency is not just about remembering facts but being able to apply those facts to all areas of their mathematical learning.

There are 3 key features of the mastery approach which enable children to access a deep understanding of mathematics.


Objects and pictures

Children use concrete manipulatives (objects) and pictorial representations (pictures) before moving to abstract symbols (numbers and signs).

At Fairford resources such as Diennes, Place Value Counters and Numicon are used throughout the school to secure children’s knowledge and allow them to demonstrate their understanding. This is then transferred into pictorial representations which allows the children to create links between the concrete concepts. When using abstract symbols the prior learning is applied and children recogonise the connection between the three stages.


Language development

The way that children think, speak and write about Maths has been shown to have an impact on their success. The mastery approach uses a carefully sequenced structured approach to introduce and reinforce mathematical vocabulary.

At Fairford every lesson includes opportunities for children to explain or justify their mathematical reasoning. Stem sentences provide a structure for the children to develop a language for learning. Key vocabulary, specific for each year group and topic is used to enhance the depth of knowledge and understanding.


Problem solving

Mathematical problem solving is at the heart of the approach. It is both how and why they learn maths. By accumulating knowledge of mathematical concepts children can develop and test their knowledge.

At Fairford children are provided with opportunities to solve a range of problems with increasing difficulty showing a greater depth of understanding and a deep knowledge of mathematics. Children who have a high level of number sense are able to apply their knowledge to a range of contexts through fluency and reasoning. We encourage them to use efficient strategies or provide more than one way to solve a problem, discussing which was most efficient and why. The ultimate goal is for them to use their skills in their everyday lives.

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Fairford Academy Barnehurst,

Fairford Avenue, Bexleyheath, DA7 6QP

Telephone: 01322 333 998 Email: