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Mathematics - Subject Leader: Mrs Cat Young

Maths is everywhere; we use it in numerous areas of our everyday life and our confidence and fluency with it can impact us socially, financially and professionally, and impact our health and well-being. It is a creative and inter-connected discipline that provides us with a way of understanding the world, the ability to reason and problem solve, and creates a sense of enjoyment and fascination.

At St Mark's therefore, we aim to ensure that mathematics is a high profile subject which children view positively and with a ‘Can do’ attitude, and we are committed to ensuring children develop the mathematical knowledge to succeed in life. Our long-term curriculum planning supports our vision and shows clear progression across the Key Stages. Children explore new concepts in depth and gain a secure understanding before moving on to new content. The fundamentals of maths are embedded throughout the school using a Concrete, Pictoral, Abstract approach. This means that children experience hands-on practical activities which they can visually represent through a range of models and images, and are able to connect these to abstract representations such as written calculations. These skills are practised consistently so that children are able to demonstrate mastery and deep understanding of the relationships between numbers in a variety of different ways.

Curriculum Overview

Our year group and whole-school curriculum maps are based on the White Rose overviews which allow children to learn the different areas of maths over extended periods of time; however, teachers are free to adapt these to suit the needs of their cohort and to take account of identified gaps. Alongside the White Rose materials, we supplement with other resources such as MathShed, Primary Stars and NRich across KS1 and KS2, allowing children to be exposed to a variety of question styles and to ensure coverage of fluency, problem solving and reasoning in different formats. Teachers also implement the school’s calculation policy for progression in written and mental calculations.

Correct mathematical vocabulary is used by all teachers and is referred to in every lesson and children are then encouraged to use it independently when talking about their own maths. Fluency is developed through repeating, reinforcing and revising key facts, skills, models and images. Children are given time to practice and perfect their calculation strategies by applying their skills to a range of question and problem styles. Feedback is given in a variety of ways to ensure pupils are well informed and understand how to improve. Discussion is essential to learning and children are encouraged to discuss their thoughts, ideas and methods with a partner, group or the teacher. Task types are varied to suit different pupils and their learning preferences but follow the Concrete, Pictoral, Abstract approach, and developing mastery through reasoning is regularly woven into lessons. Investigative tasks are designed to allow pupils to follow lines of enquiry and develop their own ideas, justifying and proving their answers. Children work both collaboratively and independently when solving problems which require them to persevere and develop resilience.


Progression of Skills

We have developed policies to show clear progression in how each of the four operations is taught. We also refer to reasoning progression maps in each year group.


Formative maths assessment happens daily and can take the form of questioning, modelling using equipment, games or reasoning and problem solving activities. Plans may be adapted to address any misconceptions or difficulties, or individual pupils may be given extra support for a short period of time. Pre- and post-unit assessments are used when appropriate throughout the year.

Formal assessment takes place at set times throughout the year (at the end of the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms).  This data is collated and used to identify children in need of extra support, and to look for trends over time. Groupings and lessons are adapted as a result.

What happens if children do not meet Age Related Expectations?

Maths is a critical skill for success in adulthood and therefore we ensure that children are given the support they need to maintain a good level of progress and attainment. Children identified as in need of catch-up or reinforcement work are included in small group targeted interventions that work on specific skills or concept to close a gap. For children with SEND, or for those who continue to struggle, their maths lessons may be tailored to specific individual need. This includes ensuring that they take place daily and are practical, motivating and engaging, and take full account of the child’s individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and understanding, and profile of needs. Assessment of children with SEND takes place regularly and may be adapted if necessary.

Impact of our Maths Curriculum

The vast majority of children at St Mark's approach maths with a ‘can do’ attitude show resilience, perseverance and positivity to all aspect of the maths curriculum. The result of this is that our children are fluent in the core fundamentals of maths, have secure conceptual understanding, are able to recall and apply knowledge accurately, and are able to solve problems and reason mathematically in a range of real-life situations.

In school, this will be demonstrated through children learning in an environment where maths is promoted and children are encouraged to ask questions, investigate problems and seek answers for themselves. They know that a mistake is an opportunity for further learning and enjoy sharing what they know with others. Children from across the school are proficient in demonstrating their knowledge in a range of different ways, including using concrete equipment and models and images, and will know which strategies are best suited to different situations and why.

Our maths books show evidence of a range of activities, with a focus on number fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Books are moderated regularly with teachers and leaders working together to ensure consistency across year groups.

The majority of children achieve at or above the national average and are well prepared for life after they leave our school. Children receiving individualised curricula make good progress from their starting points and are supported to achieve their best.

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