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Maths at Downs Junior School and how you can help

There is a strong emphasis on problem solving in our maths curriculum – we want children to become fluent mathematicians and to be able to use numbers flexibly. In addition to children needing to truly understand the maths they do, it is essential they have quick recall of number facts. It would be beneficial if children practise these facts at home (adding and subtracting mentally; times tables; finding pairs of numbers that total 10, 100, 1000; doubling and halving etc.) Other ways of helping at home include playing card games, allowing children to work out how much money they will need to buy something, reading train timetables, and just having those real conversations where maths is needed in everyday life!

Our mental strategies and calculation policy can be found and downloaded at the bottom of this page  If you are unsure of how to support your child or what they are working on in class, please speak to your child's teacher.

Maths at DJS


What we are doing

The maths coordinator is part of the NCETM mastery specialist programme, is an SLE and part of the Sussex Coast Teaching Alliance Improvement Initiative.

We are developing the Mastery approach to teaching in our school through:

  • CPD (all staff)
  • Planning support.
  • Slowing down.
  • Using careful lesson design to take small steps and focus on one key concept at a time.
  • Teaching conceptual understanding and procedural fluency in tandem.
  • Focusing on learning number facts in the lower years.


Why we are doing it

  • Laying foundations so that we can build higher.
  • To deepen children’s understanding.
  • Learning facts and strategies to avoid cognitive overload so that children can focus on new concepts.
  • To avoid the gaps that we see in upper KS2.
  • So that children acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject.



What it looks like

  • Whole class interactive teaching.
  • Whole class working on the same content. Differentiation through support and challenge but not new content.
  • Children exploring methods and concepts.
  • CPA approach.
  • Intelligent practice.
  • Immediate intervention. This means children keep up, rather than having to catch up.
  • Live marking in lessons, often through talk. This is more effective that writing extensive comments in children’s books after the lesson when the child isn’t present.


This is in line with all of the principles of mastery teaching. Please see the maths policy for detailed information.


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