Subject Lead: Mrs Richards            Email:


Mathematics helps us to make sense of our world. It is a powerful, universal language used to explain, predict and represent events and tackle everyday problems. Mathematics is of central importance to our modern society. It is an essential part of everyone’s daily life and critical to science, technology, finance, and engineering. Mathematics is necessary for any employment or independent life.


Blacko Primary School follows a “teaching for depth” approach to mathematics, which is sometimes termed “mastery”.This approach gives all children the opportunity to master the mathematics curriculum. It draws heavily upon research conducted by the EEF (Education Endowment Fund) and their recommendations. All children should develop an understanding of number and an ability to use  knowledge to reason and problem solve. All children should be able to manipulate numbers to enable them to calculate effectively.  This should be taught systematically across school to build up childrens understanding of number. All children, regardless of ability, should be exposed to reasoning and problem solving. All children should be able to recall tables facts quickly to support arithmetic, reasoning and problem solving.


The intention is to ensure depth of conceptual understanding through progressive acquisition of mathematical fluency, problem-solving and reasoning skills. This helps our children to know and remember more.  The mathematics curriculum is planned and sequenced utilising small step progression through concepts as well as a concrete -pictoral- abstract approach.


All year groups are taught in mixed attainment classes, where scaffolding, timely intervention and directed support. 


Collaborative learning allows children support each other’s progress. Children understand that problem solving will allow them to construct and apply their learning.


Questions structured with a “greater depth” of complexity will also be provided allowing some children to work towards a fuller understanding through deeper exploration and investigation of content and context.


Our Year 1 Mathematics curriculum builds upon the skills and knowledge the children have gained during their time in our EYFS.  The children will have developed a strong grounding in number so that they have the building blocks to excel mathematically and a strong base from which the mastery of maths is built. They will have gained a deep understanding of number to 10, including the composition of each number, be able to subitize and know number bonds to 5 and 10.  They will have looked at patterns within numbers to 10, including evens and odds and double facts and the pattern of the counting system to 20 and beyond.  They will also have looked at quantities up to 10 in different contexts and be able to say when one quantity is greater or less than or the same.  They will have been given frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply their understanding through the use of manipulatives, to spot connections, look for patterns and relationships and to develop a ‘have a go’ attitude.


Whilst teaching the National Curriculum, we do not follow a particular scheme of work in terms of materials and rate of coverage. The NCETM “spine” documents under-pin our pedagogical approach and offer guidance so that teachers can plan and write lessons that meet the needs of each class. Small steps for both conceptual and procedural understanding are planned for, giving due consideration to common misconceptions that are likely to occur. Additional quality materials may be used to supplement these. Teachers teach topics until they feel that an appropriate depth of understanding has been achieved by the vast majority of the group. Gaps in learning are identified in a timely manner by teachers and addressed through “same day intervention”. We expect all topics within the National Curriculum to have been covered to some degree over the year Children use concrete, pictorial and abstract models for each topic as appropriate to the learning context. Research conducted by the EEF underpins our expectation that a variety of manipulatives and representations will be used in all year groups and with children at all levels of attainment to support learning before procedural methods are used. This allows children to select from a range of strategies for both efficiency and to support success. Procedural methods for calculation are taught alongside mental and structural methods for fluency and variation.


Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas.  Pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects’   

 Mistakes are valued and celebrated. Unpicking misconceptions so that children evaluate their thinking is vital in scaffolding children towards greater independent evaluation and learning.


Marking is completed during the session or on the same day. Children who make no mistakes are not being sufficiently challenged and we expect all children to respond to marking challenge/next steps. Sometimes this may be more or less frequent, but should not be a barrier to motivation and enjoyment. The aim of this is not simply for correction, but for recall, reflection and self-monitoring.


On a regular basis children will be given routine arithmetic questions or problems as a low stakes recall of previous teaching on a range of topics. Depending on the outcome, more or less time in that lesson will be devoted to reviewing and correcting errors ,but it does not take the place of quality teaching in that lesson based on the topic planned for. This is an example of well -timed repetition and leads to greater fluency. Repeated exposure and consideration of key concepts over and over again in different contexts leads to better understanding.


When teachers can, they offer timely, sometimes same day, intervention to ensure gaps and misconceptions are addressed before moving on. Sometimes this is after school and may review previous topics or pre-teach new ones. This type of feedback relates to and should produce improvement in the child’s learning. It may focus on an activity, a process, or the child’s thinking and self-regulations strategies.


For 2021 to 2022, Blacko Primary School will be following the Curriculum Prioritisation Overview as designed by the NCETM. A link to coverage and progression can be found on the following link.


     Mathematics Progression Map



     Mathematics Policy