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Our Maths Curriculum

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

The National Curriculum in England - July 2014

As a school, we agree with this definition but like to share a simplified, child-friendly definition with our pupils.  We tell them that:

Mathematics, or maths, is the study of numbers and how they relate to each other and the real world.  In maths, we learn to solve problems, explain our answers and to understand shapes. 

Links to our core abilities

We have identified seven core abilities that we hope to develop through our curriculum offer.  

  • Questioning and curiosity
  • Critical thinking and open-mindedness
  • Perseverance and resilience
  • Communication
  • Independence
  • Team work
  • Creativity 

We can develop many of these core abilities through effective maths teaching, but we particularly focus on developing critical thinking, perseverance and resilience and independence through our maths lessons. 

The maths leader at our school is Ian Marsh - who is also the head teacher.  For further information about the maths curriculum, or for other support, he can be contacted via email.

The subject leader's vision for maths is to provide maths lessons that every single child in school can access, enjoy and make progress in.  By the time every single child leaves our school, his vision is for them all to have mastered the Key Stage 2 curriculum for maths and for them to have a love of maths.  He wants children to feel confident in maths lessons to take a risk so they can make progress.  He also wants maths lessons to be interactive so children get the chance to explore concepts in a concrete, pictorial and abstract way.  He wants every child to leave fluent in maths, with an ability to solve problems and reason mathematically.   

Maths Curriculum Intent

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, 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 persevering in seeking solutions.

Therefore, at Scarcliffe Primary School, we aim to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving through our curriculum.

Maths in the Early Years

As stated in the Statutory framework for the EYFS, mathematics in the early years is about:

Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organizing counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

By the end of Reception, all children are assessed against the ELG for Mathematics:

ELG: Number

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Have a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number;
  • Subitise (recognise quantities without counting) up to 5;
  • Automatically recall (without reference to rhymes, counting or other aids) number bonds up to 5 (including subtraction facts) and some number bonds to 10, including double facts.

ELG: Numerical Patterns

Children at the expected level of development will:

  • Verbally count beyond 20, recognising the pattern of the counting system;
  • Compare quantities up to 10 in different contexts, recognising when one quantity is greater than, less than or the same as the other quantity;
  • Explore and represent patterns within numbers up to 10, including evens and odds, double facts and how quantities can be distributed equally.


How is Maths Implemented?

At Scarcliffe, we have decided to base our planning on the mixed age planning provided through White Rose Maths.  This provides a framework for our activities and planning, but we adapt it to meet the needs of our children.  

We teach in mixed age classes and plan maths learning journeys to cater for the needs of our classes.  For example, if our Year 5/6 class were learning about multiplication, we would look at what the children needed to learn in Year 5 and in Year 6 and would plan a learning journey to cover these aspects.  

We work hard to make sure children are fluent in maths.  Maths is often part of morning work routines and this gives children an opportunity to revisit aspects of maths they have learnt in order to become more efficient.  We regularly encourage children to complete activities on Timetables Rockstars and use this as a tool to develop rapid recall of multiplication facts. 

At the start of a unit every child completes a pre learning task.  This helps children and teachers to understand what pupils already know and what they need to learn.  As children move through our school, they become increasingly able to reflect on their learning needs and our older children often set themselves clear targets to achieve by the end of a unit of work. 

We understand that children need lots of opportunity to revisit prior learning so it is not forgotten.  We have designed 'Can you still?' activities which happen in every class very frequently.  These 'Can you still?' activities systematically revisit key learning points at carefully thought out intervals.  

In lessons, we adopt a mastery approach and work on the assumption that all children can achieve the expected outcome in a lesson.  Support is provided to children who need it to help them meet the learning objective.  Every class have extension tasks (or next step challenges) to extend the learning of those children who are ready to move on.  

We have interventions in place - including First Class at Number 1 and First class at Number 2 - to try to ensure no children are left behind and to make sure children have a sound grasp of the fundamentals in maths. We also aim to provide same day intervention to children who need it. 

At the end of a unit of work, children complete a post learning task.  Children (and staff) can then reflect on the progress they have made since the start of a unit. 

Each term, children complete a standardised assessment so class teachers (and senior leaders) can monitor levels of progress and attainment in all classes.   

Implementing Maths in EYFS

  • Maths planning for Reception is based on the WhiteRose scheme of learning.
  • Staff take the guidance from the WhiteRose materials to plan lessons, group activities and continuous provision activities. (See curriculum overviews)
  • In a typical week, Reception children are taught four maths lessons (Tuesday – Friday). Lesson inputs are delivered on the carpet area for around 10 minutes.
  • In a typical week, two mornings per week, children have an adult-led, group activity based on the maths learning that week. These are normally completed at desks in class during the morning.  The group sessions are normally carried in small groups (between 1 and 3 children).  This provides staff with a good opportunity to see what each pupil is capable of and then support can be targeted.
  • Each week, there is one maths activity set up in the indoor continuous provision (CP) as well as a second activity in the outdoor provision. These are normally different activities. 
  • Adults guide children to complete the outdoor maths activity each week. Through questioning and interactions, staff are able to differentiate, support and challenge children as appropriate.  Staff often might encourage a child who struggled on the activity to have a go at completing it again later in the week.
  • The indoor maths CP activity is more of an optional challenge for children to engage in.
  • Where gifted and talented children are identified, the class teacher and maths leader will discuss the option of allowing a reception child to access elements of the Year 1 maths provision to provide an appropriate level of challenge.
  • There are many opportunities for children to develop their maths learning in most areas of the provision – for example: capacity is covered in the water area, counting and measuring comes in to construction, learning about shape can take place in the sand area, construction areas and small world.
  • Some aspects of the maths coverage is delivered in a cross curricular way – for example, drawing information from simple maps is taught when learning about the local area (in the Scarcliffe topic).
  • Maths games are regularly provided in the technology area – such as Mathletics or TopMarks. iPads are used to allow children to access Numbots through CP.
  • Children are encouraged to learn maths at home by completing Mathletics activities as well as using Numbots. The topic homework menu normally includes a maths option. 

Our Curriculum Overviews

As mentioned above, we use the White Rose long term overviews as a framework for our curriculum.  That said, the amount of time we spend on particular units (or areas within a unit) is dictated by the needs of each class.  For example, a class might need to spend an extra week on place value to ensure they have grasped it fully, but this might result in less time being spent on addition and subtraction later in the year. 

Maths Topic Titles

The link below (taken from WhiteRose Maths) shows a yearly overview of the maths topics titles covered in each class.  

SPS Maths Curriculum Overview (PDF)

EYFS Maths Coverage and Progression

The document below shows the maths content we plan to cover throughout the reception year.   

SPS Maths Progression in EYFS(PDF)

Progression in Maths - Year 1-6

The document below (taken from WhiteRose Maths), shows the progression within different aspects of maths across the school.  With mixed ages classes, teachers combine the learning objectives from two year groups to devise learning journeys for each unit of maths. 

SPS Maths Progression - Year 1 to 6 (PDF)



Knowledge Organisers and Learning Journeys

We do not use knowledge organisers in maths but learning journeys are a fundamental aspect of the way we teach at school.  Prior to teaching a unit, teachers consider what the children need to be taught.  They think about the aspects of maths children need to have a god understanding of before they move on to the year group specific objectives.  The list of objectives is then mapped out in a linear learning journeys.  This is shared with the children regularly and helps them to understand what comes next and how what they have already learnt will help them to understand the next step.  Pre and post learning tasks are designed to check how well a pupil understands each of the steps set out on the learning journey. 

An example of a learning journey in maths is below.  It is taken from a place value unit which was delivered to our mixed Year 4/5 class.  The related pre learning task is also below to demonstrate how it links to the learning journey.  

Below is an example of a pre learning task.  We use these to determine what the children know at the start of a unit.  They help children to see the purpose of learning and to celebrate the progress they make. 

SPS Maths Pre Learning Task (PDF)

Monitoring the impact of teaching in Maths

We understand the importance of teaching high quality maths lessons to all children and leaders monitor the impact of teaching in a variety of ways. 

Most importantly, they spend time in classes - regularly walking through classrooms and talking talking to staff and pupils about their learning.  Leaders spend time looking in books ensure a consistency of approach and to check that children are making good progress.  The subject leader completes book looks alongside pupils so they can explain their learning and views about maths in general.  A range of other strategies are used to monitor standards and all this information is collated and shared with staff. 

Data is also another tool we can use to monitor the impact of our teaching.  We have three data collection points each year.  Senior leaders meet with teaching staff to discuss the data and to agree some next steps.  

National Data

We are proud of the progress our children make in maths.  Our end of Key Stage 2 data shows the impact the improvements we have made to teaching and learning in maths have had on pupil outcomes.  The most recent data set shows that we were above the national average using any measure.  It also shows a clear upward trend in school which suggests that the changes we have made have been positive. 

The document below shows a summary of the headline data for maths. 

SPS School Maths Data (PDF)

Maths at home

We want to make sure that children continue to enjoy maths while they are at primary school and so don't make maths homework too onerous.  Instead, we set web-based activities that link closely to aspects of maths children have already covered.  

Children are set a weekly task on Mathletics and are expected to complete this.  Children may also choose to go on live Mathletics to compete against their friends.  When children move in to Year 3, we also expect them to go on Timestable Rockstars (TTR) regularly.  During a weekly celebration assembly, we reward the children who have completed a number of Mathletics tasks, those who have made the most progress on TTR and those who have answered the most questions on TTR. 

Occasionally, teachers might set additional work for children where they deem it appropriate.  Often, children opt to do additional maths work and this is rewarded by class teachers in relation to their attitude towards learning.