Why do we teach maths?

We use maths in every aspect of our lives at work and in practical everyday activities at home and beyond. We use maths when we go shopping or plan a holiday, decide on a mortgage or decorate a room. Good numeracy is essential to us as parents helping our children learn, as patients understanding health information, as citizens making sense of statistics and economic news. Decisions in life are often so based on numerical information. By ensuring children acquire appropriate maths skills, can reason and problem solve we are increasing their future chances of employment, wealth, social and emotional & physical health.


What are our aims?

At Crowland Primary school, we foster positive can do attitudes and we promote the fact that ‘We can all do maths!’ We believe all children can achieve in mathematics and we teach for secure and deep understanding through small manageable steps. Our aims to the teaching and learning of mathematics at Crowland Primary School is influenced by the aims of the National Curriculum.

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


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Early Years Foundation Stage

In EYFS, children learn about counting and understand numbers to 10 in depth by learning how these numbers are related to one another and looking for patterns within them.  By mastering number, the children obtain a strong foundation on which their future mathematical knowledge can build.


Children will develop:


  • Counting skills beyond 20
  • A deep understanding of all numbers to 10
  • Automatic recall of pairs of numbers that make 5 and beyond to make 10
  • Vocabulary of greater than, less than and equal to by comparing quantities
  • Language linked to shape, length, weight, height, capacity, position, time and money

By developing this knowledge and these skills we aim to ensure that children have a solid foundation before beginning the Year 1 mathematics curriculum.


Key Stage One and Two

Children’s understanding of number develops significantly through KS1 so that by the time they reach the end of Year 2, children are confident and fluent with whole numbers, counting and place value.  This approach means they can confidently apply their understanding of number to other areas of mathematics.


Concepts in number are developed further through KS2 with a focus on the four operations using both written and mental methods which involve increasingly large whole numbers.  In time, they develop connections between multiplication and division with fractions and decimals, percentages and ratio so that they apply a deep understanding to a wide range of increasingly complex problems.


How will we achieve our aims?


Early Years Foundation Stage

In the Early Years, we use Development matters and the Early Learning Goals (ELG) to guide our long, medium and short term planning. We also refer to White Rose Maths Hub Scheme of Learning to support these. In Nursery and Reception, maths is integrated into the children’s everyday learning experiences through play. We make links with other curriculum subjects as much as possible so that children develop an appreciation of the importance of mathematics in their daily lives. Each day, children will take part in an adult guided maths focussed activity and twice weekly the teacher will lead whole class sessions.


Key Stage One and Two

Maths is taught daily using the White Rose Maths Hub Scheme of learning to ensure coverage and progression. This scheme was chosen as it clearly sets out for teachers how each objective can be taught through fluency, reasoning and problem solving. It clearly states how the objective links into prior learning and key questions that teachers will need to ask their children. This is supportive to teachers as a focal point for their lessons and models the expected outcomes. Within our school, we supplement the White Rose Maths Scheme of learning with ‘Morning challenges’ and discrete arithmetic sessions. Teachers use this as an opportunity to revise and review previous learning to ensure progress is made, recall is strong and understanding is secure. We use repetition in our teaching to help promote automaticity- that is being able to deliver a correct answer immediately from memory without conscious thought. The expectation is that the majority of the pupils will move through the learning at broadly the same pace.

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At Crowland, our teaching is shaped by our Key Drivers:


Active Learning:

  • Children will use a wide range of manipulatives, pictorial representations and diagrams to support all children in gaining conceptual understanding of ideas and internal structures of numbers and operations.
  • Children use concrete resources in order to expose the mathematical concepts.
  • To help with times table knowledge, every lesson starts with children ‘Rolling’ their times tables.

Excellent Communication

  • Teachers communicate clearly with the children, confidently using appropriate mathematical vocabulary.
  • Teachers will use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge.
  • Children are given the opportunity to explain their understanding of maths through reasoning.
  • We emphasise vocabulary and language to help children describe, explain and remember their mathematical understanding.
  • Frequent use of talk partners, enables children to discuss their understandings.
  • Children must talk in full sentences. They need to say the whole fact. For example, just saying 20 for 10+10 is not enough. They say ten plus ten is equal to twenty.

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How will this impact on the children?

We believe that every child should have a secure understanding of each mathematical concept before progressing to other areas of mathematics.  Teachers use assessment for learning strategies as well as engaging in conferencing activities to identify and to address any misconceptions immediately. One of the best ways to measure impact is if the children are enjoying their learning. Regular monitoring and evaluation of children’s learning shows us that children’s attitudes towards mathematics are highly positive.


Assessment in KS1 and KS2 includes immediate feedback from the teacher in green pen and, where relevant, children’s subsequence response in a purple pen. This formative assessment is used to plan subsequent teaching and learning. Children assessed as not grasping concepts quickly as others in the main maths lesson are specifically targeted by the class teacher in the following lesson. In addition, we run pre-teaching interventions for identified children to ensure that children keep up rather than have to catch up. The use of White Rose Maths Hubs Block Assessments and end of term assessments are used to support teachers’ summative judgements made during each term. Teachers use this to help inform their planning and ensure it is revisited in ‘Morning challenges’ and through arithmetic sessions.

What we expect to see?

  • Children who can recall facts and show they understand procedures.
  • Children who can recognise the relationships and connections within maths.
  • Children who can clearly use mathematical language to explain their ideas.
  • Children who can independently apply a skill to a new and unfamiliar context.
  • Children who are able to show answers in different representations and methods.

Additional Resources:


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