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Why do we teach maths?

We teach Maths as a creative and inter-connected subject that’s provides solutions to many intriguing problems. We believe that Maths is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. We provide a high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the power of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


  • become fluent in the basics of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and showing perseverance in finding solutions.

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 are challenged through rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, through pre-teaching and additional support before moving on. (National Curriculum, 2014).

 Learning opportunities are adapted to meet the needs of children with learning difficulties. Targets that are set for individuals are taken into account in daily lesson planning. Pupils with learning difficulties in mathematics may receive further support in order to consolidate and reinforce basic skills. When appropriate, class teachers may access support from the SENco or specialist providers to support learning in class. All lessons involve challenges of non-routine problems to stretch and broaden the understanding of the more able pupils.

Early Years:  Teaching and learning in our Reception Class is guided by the requirements and recommendations set out in the Early Years Foundation Stage document. We provide children with opportunities to develop their problem solving, reasoning and numeracy skills to further develop an understanding of number, measurement,  as well as some aspects of pattern, shape and space through varied activities that allow them to enjoy, explore and talk confidently about mathematics.  A wide range of activities supports the teaching and learning of mathematics including:
• Observation of number and pattern in the environment and daily routines;
• Board games; – Large and small construction;
• Stories, songs, rhymes and finger games;
• Sand and water;
• Two- and three- dimensional work with a range of materials;
• Imaginative play; – Cooking and shopping;
• Outdoor play and ‘playground’ games. By the summer term we aim for the children to experience maths lessons in preparation for Year One.
Key Stage 1
Teaching in Key Stage 1 aims to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This involves working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources. At this stage, pupils develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching also involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Key Stage 2
Teaching in Lower Key Stage 2 aims to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Teaching in Upper Key Stage 2 aims to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.

How we plan for and teach mathematics KS1 &2
We use the principles of Hertfordshire ESSENTIAL Maths Scheme of work to ensure that our maths is broken down into small, progressive steps that are built upon daily. We feel it is essential that our children experience maths in a variety of situations and that they understand concepts using the concrete, pictorial and abstract model. The maths sequences have been design to carefully deliver planned progression that ensures consistency. The inbuilt examples of what children should be able to achieve through destination questions allows teachers to keep assessing and informing the children’s learning against age-related expectations.
Bar modelling is a used throughout the school from Early Years to Key Stage 2. Bar modelling is a way of representing problems pictorially: from simple addition, through to finding percentages of amounts, all the way to complex multi-step problems involving ratio and proportion. Bar models provide a structured way of working through a written word problem and can be used to pictorially represent arithmetic problems, as well as reasoning problems written with a context (examples of this can be found in the Calculation Policy).

“Maths may not teach me how to add love or subtract hate but it gives me hope that every problem has a solution!” quote unknown