Curriculum - Maths


At St. Stephen’s CE Primary School, we embrace the mastery approach to the teaching and learning of Mathematics where children are taught to become competent and independent mathematicians. Our curriculum is designed to enable our pupils to develop a secure understanding of each area of mathematics, recognising the rich and varied connections between them.  It is our intention to ensure that all children are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics.  Children are encouraged to be flexible and adaptable, applying their learning to investigate, reason and solve increasing sophisticated problems.  Through mathematical talk, children will develop the ability to articulate, discuss and explain their thinking.   We aspire to develop a natural curiosity and love of Maths, where children are equipped with the confidence, resilience and resourcefulness needed to use Maths within all aspects of everyday life.  We aim to give children good oral/mental skills that they can use confidently in everyday life.


Meeting the needs of all pupils

We have high aspirations for all learners, rejecting the idea that some pupils ‘just can’t do Maths’.  As such pupils are taught through whole-class interactive teaching, where the focus is on all pupils working together on the same lesson content at the same time.  This ensures that all can master concepts before moving to the next part of the curriculum sequence.  Differentiation is through depth and not breadth.  Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through rich and sophisticated problems that encourage them to explore a concept in greater depth, reason about their learning or make new connections.  Early intervention is used to ensure that pupils struggling to grasp new concepts introduced are given more time to consolidate their learning before moving on.  Where relevant, SEN children will receive separate small group or 1:1 support.


Lessons are sequenced in small steps, following the guidance offered by the White Rose Maths hub.  Topics are taught in blocks to allow children to acquire a depth of understanding in each area of Maths before moving on.  Significant time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning. All topics are regularly revisited and applied to other areas of learning, making cross curricular links where relevant, to ensure the retention of knowledge over time.   Daily Flashbacks, weekly ‘what have we learned this week’  discussions, consolidation weeks are used to  support this. The structure and connections within the mathematics are emphasised, so that pupils develop deep learning that can be sustained.

Representation and structure

Concrete and pictorial resources are used regularly within learning to make the structure of the maths clear to children and help to develop their understanding of new concepts.


It is our intention to ensure that all children are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics.  Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding are developed in tandem because we recognise that each supports the development of the other.  Gaining fluency with key number facts and mathematical procedures forms an integral part of our daily Maths teaching.  This includes helping children to learn to recall key facts automatically.  A progressive oral/mental curriculum is part of every maths lesson throughout school. Children are encouraged to work flexibly, recognising that calculations can be solved in a variety of ways.


Teachers make use of textbooks and resources provided by the White Rose Maths hub to sequence learning in small steps and to teach with variation.  Teaching with variation involves presenting the same concept in different ways in order to encourage children to make connections and comparisons.  For example, they may be asked to consider ‘What’s the same?’ and ‘What’s different?’ about two different representations of the same concept.  This in turn helps to deepen children’s understanding of the mathematical concepts they are taught, so that they can be flexible in their thinking and adapt their learning to new contexts.

Mathematical thinking

Mathematical talk and discussion are used to provide opportunities for children to reason mathematically.  Children are encouraged to spot patterns, make connections and use mathematical language to justify their views.  Children are taught to apply their knowledge of mathematics to help them solve routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, and are encouraged to be both flexible and resilient when seeking solutions.


Children will become confident and independent mathematicians who can make sense of the world around them, recognising that maths is an essential part of everyone’s daily life, critical to science, technology, finance and engineering. Children will be fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics with a conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. They will have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of situations with increasing sophistication, including unfamiliar contexts and real-life scenarios. Children will be able to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.

To assess children’s progress in maths we carry out summative assessments at the end of each term, using standardised tests. Additionally, to formatively assess children throughout the term, teachers assess at the end of each unit and within arithmetic to identify if children are on track to meet age related expectations.  Daily questioning and marking of books are essential to assess children’s understanding in individual lessons, support and advice is given when needed, where misconceptions occur.

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