Teaching for Mastery

Teaching For Mastery

We have been on an exciting teaching for Mastery journey since September 2017. At Grovelands, we are committed to providing pupils with the very best maths teaching so we can make a difference to every pupil. We value the importance of teaching approaches which provide pupils with the best chance of securing a deep understanding of mathematical concepts. Most importantly, we want children to have a love of maths!

Our Teaching for Mastery curriculum is influenced and inspired by leading maths researchers, White Rose Maths and the NCETM. Together, Grovelands are building a maths culture where “everyone can do maths.” We want to foster confidence and competence in maths and most of all we want pupils to feel inspired to try out their ideas and be resilient enough to relish a challenge! Our overall, long-term aim is to deliver a connected curriculum which is accessible to all pupils; keeping pupils together and working cooperatively.

Our Curriculum Intent

In summary, a mastery approach at Grovelands:

  • Puts numbers first because we believe confidence with numbers is the first step to competency in the curriculum as a whole.
  • Puts depth before breadth: we reinforce knowledge again and again through practice and retrieval.
  • Encourages collaboration: All children can progress through the schemes as a group, supporting each other as they learn.
  • Focuses on fluency, reasoning and problem solving because it gives children the skills they need to become competent mathematicians
  • Allows children to experience concrete, pictorial and abstract representations of a concept
  • Fosters a Growth Mindset attitude where effort and determination are rewarded, and cooperation and challenge are part of how children see themselves as mathematicians. Above all, we want to promote positive attitudes towards maths and an environment where mistakes are ‘good’ and seen as pathways to thinking in a different way and learning from them, whilst creatively trying new strategies.


Concrete Pictorial Abstract

At the heart of our mastery approach is the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach. Research shows that when children are introduced to a new concept, working with concrete physical resources and pictorial representations leads to a better understanding of abstract concepts.  

The NCETM says:

Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help   them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial – alongside this, children should use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.

Abstract – both concrete and pictorial representations should support children’s understanding of Abstract methods.


In order to gain confidence, pupils MUST be able to visualise the maths. This helps children to understand mathematical concepts and make links and connections with different representations of the same mathematical concept. Moving between these approaches enables pupils to connect abstract symbols with familiar contexts, which supports pupils in making sense of maths.

Connect with us

Grovelands School, Dunbar Drive,
Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 3UW.

Staff Contacts

  • Executive Headteacher: Mr Jon Goulding
  • Head of School: Miss Kathleen Swaine
  • School Business Manager: Mrs Helen Fingerneissl
  • School Secretary: Mrs Carol Welfare
  • Chair of Governors: Mr Paul Gietzen
  • Designated Safeguarding Lead: Mr Jon Goulding
  • Safeguarding Strategic Lead / Senior Mental Health Lead: Miss N Squires
  • Deputy DSLs: Miss K Swaine,  Miss S Coates, Mr R Williams
  • Inclusion Leader: Mrs Naomi Jn. Charles