Our Approach

At Woodfield, we have adopted a mastery approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Fundamentally, this rests on the belief that all children can – and, indeed, must – be successful in the study of mathematics. At Woodfield, we do not accept that ‘some people cannot do maths’ or that prior attainment should limit what a child is capable of learning. Mathematics is for everyone at Woodfield.


We plan our learning by designing coherent extended units of work in the medium term which take into account the relevant mathematical progression. This allows our children to master the area of mathematics being studied before moving on to new learning. To support us in our long and medium term planning, we currently use Mathematics Mastery plans from Year 1 to Year 4 and White Rose Maths Hub plans in Years 5 and 6. However, we adapt these plans to suit the needs of our children. We break our medium-term plans down into small steps which become our individual lessons. Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage are exposed to a wide range of mathematical experiences which form the basis of our approach to mastery teaching and learning.


Mixed Ability Grouping

We do not set or stream by ability at Woodfield. Similarly, we do not group children by their prior attainment, except for where significant gaps in learning exist. Instead, we utilise mixed ability groupings, reflecting our belief that children may struggle with one area of mathematics initially, but with sufficient time and effective instruction, they can be successful. (This also allows us to apply the use of KAGAN structures within our everyday teaching.) We never pre-decide the children who will excel at or struggle with a particular objective – our expectation is that through quality first teaching, all our children will successfully access the learning.

Meeting Children’s Needs

At Woodfield, we aim to ensure that all children move together through the learning in order to avoid gaps in understanding from forming. Therefore, we do not differentiate by activity; we believe that this creates gaps in learning and sends a message that not all children need to learn the content of each lesson therefore representing a cap on expectations. All children are given the same work initially. Children who do not demonstrate an understanding of the teaching are provided with additional scaffolding, which could be adult support, concrete resources or adapted work in some cases. Those successfully accessing the objectives are given the opportunity to deepen their understanding through targeted questioning and tasks planned for this specific purpose.


At Woodfield, we believe in providing children with an opportunity to succeed in all lessons. For this reason, using on-going assessment, teachers identify children who require pre-teaching. Pre-teaching involves working in a small group with an adult prior to the lesson, looking at the maths they are going to cover in the main lesson. This is to enable the children to feel more confident in accessing the learning and allows them to move along at the same pace as the rest of the class. Children who do not meet the learning objective for a lesson are quickly identified and given an in-lesson or same-day intervention where possible to ensure that they are ready to move on to the next day’s learning. If the majority of the class have struggled, our teachers would seek to identify if there was a step in the progression that had been missed, if a pre-requisite from earlier learning was not understood fully by the children, or if the learning objective of the lesson needed further teaching. After a professional discussion with their year group colleagues, our teachers would then respond appropriately the next day. This fluidity in the short term allows us to respond precisely to the needs of our children.

Times Tables

At Woodfield, we believe that when it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts children remember, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations. Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help pupils master the times tables. To be a Times Table Rock Star you need to answer any multiplication fact up to 12×12 in less than 3 seconds!

To begin with, if you need more than 10 seconds to answer questions correctly, you are a rock ‘wannabe’. You will climb up the ladder of rock stardom as you get quicker at answering questions accurately – so 6 seconds or less you will become a ‘breakthrough artist’ and at 4 seconds or less you will become a ‘headliner’. Your aim is to become a ‘rock star’ – you will achieve this when you can answer times tables questions correctly in 3 seconds or less. If your recall becomes even quicker you can become a ‘rock hero’ and, finally, a ‘rock god’!

A link to the Times Table Rock Stars website can be found here.

See downloadable files at the bottom of the page to access the Parent's How to Guide.

Multiplication Table Check

The Multiplication Table Check (MTC) is a Key Stage 2 assessment that is taken by pupils at the end of Year 4 in June. The purpose of this check is to ensure that pupils are at the expected level. The MTC is an online test where pupils are asked 25 questions on times tables 2 to 12. For each question, pupils will have 6 seconds to answer and in between each question there is a 3 second rest. Questions about the 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 times tables come up more often.

We suggest pupils in Year 3 and 4 in particular access TTRS daily to help learning their tables. This regular practice will support them in transferring their knowledge to their long term memory.

Maths Calculation Strategies

The teaching of maths and calculation methods has changed over the years and we want to ensure you can support your child with their homework. Please find attached, at the base of the page, our calculation strategies for the 4 operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). On each document it will guide you through the objectives from the national curriculum as well as how to help your child using the correct methods. If you would prefer a hard copy please ask at the main office. 

Mathematics Policy

To view the school’s mathematics policy see downloadable files at the bottom of the page.

Files to Download


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