Manor Wood Primary School

Maths and Mastery

 Why has Manor Wood chosen to teach mathematics through the Singapore Mastery approach?

Singapore consistently top the international bench marking studies for mathematics teaching

• It is a highly effective approach to teaching mathematics based on research and evidence

• It builds students’ mathematical fluency without the need for rote learning

• Introduces new concepts using Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach

• Pupils learn to think mathematically as opposed to reciting formulas they don’t understand

• Teaches mental strategies to solve problems such as drawing a bar model

• Is a way of teaching that allows students to develop a greater sense of number and how to use and manipulate to solve a variety of problems


Our aim is for students to gain a deeper sense of learning without quickly rushing them on to the next topic. Students are asked to explore a concept. This means you are likely to hear lots of different mathematics vocabulary that supports this mastery approach. Here  is a rundown to help you support your child.


Fluency / MasteryBeing able to recall facts and solve calculations with speed. This also relates to solving simple word problems.
Reasoning This is the WHY.' Being able to explain the steps in a process, how an answer was found, or explaining mistakes or misconceptions in a process.
Problem Solving This is the 'HOW.' Students are able to solve complex problems that require recall of facts, reasoning, and logical thinking.  Students are also required to think about representing questions in different ways to help solve them.




Mastery benefits from adopting a concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of mathematics. The CPA approach is the mainstay of mathematics teaching in Singapore. Children have an opportunity to explore problems physically with resources and pictorially before tackling the more traditional abstract written questions.



Right from the start in our EYFS we are mindful of developing the children’s number sense. This means knowing what numbers mean by themselves and in relation to one another, the ability to partition (break apart numbers) into a variety of ways, and being able to manipulate numbers for different purposes.

Bar modelling is a pictorial way of representing a problem or calculation that needs to be solved and really helps to tackle challenging problems. This technique enables our children to work with part – part – whole models, finding the difference, multiplication and division or fractions…

Using mastery techniques helps to break the cycle of rote learning. Furthermore, it provides children with the opportunity to grasp ‘real’ Maths, empowering them with problem solving skills and – perhaps more importantly – a sense of achievement. Most importantly the feedback we have received from the pupils tells us they love this change of approach.

Carr Manor host a series of maths meetings for parents throughout the year but if you would like to know more, please ask your child's teacher who will be pleased to help.     


Useful websites:

We have also put together some great maths games in our kids zone.