The National Curriculum emphasises the importance of all pupils mastering the content taught each year and discourages the acceleration of pupils into content from subsequent years. The current National Curriculum document says:
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace.
However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
Progress in mathematics learning each year should be assessed according to the extent to which pupils are gaining a deep understanding of the content taught for that year, resulting in sustainable knowledge and skills. Key measures of this are the abilities to reason mathematically and to solve increasingly complex problems, doing so with fluency, as described in the aims of the National curriculum:
The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils: