Acing the Ofsted Deep Dive: a case study with Exning Primary School

We spoke to the Maths lead at Exning Primary, Katrina White, about how Mathematics Mastery helped the school in the lead up to their Ofsted inspection, which resulted in them receiving Outstanding. 

‘We were Ofsteded last January, just before schools closed for the first lockdown. It was tough but we’re now an outstanding school!’ 

Katrina identified the following strengths in the Mastery approach.

Tracking a strand of work


The main area, of the inspection that Maths Mastery helped us with was in the deep dive. The inspector asked me to track a strand of maths through all the year groups. With Maths Mastery, you’ve got all the programmes of study readily available. You’ve also got the long-term plans, ready made and you can see where it all fits together, like a jigsaw puzzle.’


Pupils’ work


‘I was asked to look at a book and explain what the pupil had been learning on any chosen page. I was also asked what I would expect them to know before, and after, this chosen point in the learning sequence. I gave my answers and was asked how I would know this information as maths lead, and how other teachers would know what was being taught in the year groups prior to, and after, their own. I referred to the Maths Mastery documents that highlight the rationale for the prerequisite knowledge and the future learning. This enabled me to talk in depth, about the learning across all year groups. I was able to pull all of the Maths Mastery documents up to share with the Ofsted inspector and they could see that everyone had this available to them. That was really helpful.’

Knowing that everything is being taught and covered well

'I explained that we use the Maths Mastery programme, and talked about the Ready to Progress content that was coming into effect the following July. I explained that everyone knew what they were teaching, and how to adapt it, because it’s available in black and white with the Maths Mastery package. I also explained that everyone, in my school, had had the whole day training through Maths Mastery before taking it on, and that there are e-learning modules available for further CPD.'

Reasons for choosing Maths Mastery

‘Maths Mastery was adopted at my school the year that I joined, I took over as Maths Lead when it reached Year Four in its roll out. I believe that, at the time of our school adopting the Maths Mastery approach, there was a lack of high-quality maths CPD available in the local area. Once we adopted the Maths Mastery programme, we noticed good progress being made across all year groups, teachers were more confident in their planning and delivery and the children were confidently using mathematical vocabulary in the correct context. We also really liked the year-by-year roll out system to ensure consistency across the school in mathematical understanding.'

Overall, the benefits of using the Mastery approach were evidenced in the feedback provided by Ofsted:


‘Mathematics is well planned and sequenced, leaders have thought very carefully about what should be taught and when and the same approach to teaching mathematics is used consistently throughout the school.’