St Joseph'sCatholic Primary School


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Subject Leader: Mrs Austin

Link Governor: Mrs Jarvie


The mathematics curriculum is well planned and sequenced from the early years through to Year 6. Across the school, teachers explain new learning clearly. They use their good subject knowledge to present information in simple ways that pupils can understand. Over time, pupils are achieving well and building their knowledge securely. (Ofsted, 2021)





We believe that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning so that future mathematical learning is built on solid foundations.  Mathematics is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.  Our intent is to provide a high-quality mathematics education that provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


We recognise that our children need to build a conceptual understanding of maths before applying their knowledge to everyday problems and challenges. We believe that if children can manipulate numbers confidently, accurately and efficiently, they will be able to develop their reasoning and problem solving skills successfully. We recognise that the recent pandemic has had a huge impact on children across the country so we as a school address the gaps in the children’s knowledge and understanding through rigorous and continuous assessment of the children’s learning. We recognise that our children need exposure to the high level mathematical vocabulary and our children are encouraged to answer maths questions in full sentences constantly drawing on the vocabulary that they require (substantive Knowledge). We recognise that our children need regular exposure to concepts in order to be able to find the maths needed to solve a problem. We will use skilled questioning to ensure pupil engagement and to guide and develop their understanding of maths(disciplinary Knowledge). 


The National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) aims for pupils to:


  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics(substantive Knowledge), including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils have conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language(disciplinary Knowledge)
  • 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.(disciplinary Knowledge)



In line with the New National Curriculum (2014) each year group have particular mathematics skills that must be embedded by the end of the academic year.  Children are continuously challenged in their learning and problem solving is at the heart of our teaching, broadening children's knowledge and encouraging them to relate their learning to real life situations.  A good knowledge of numbers or development of 'number sense' is the product of structured practice and repetition(substantive Knowledge).  It requires an understanding of number patterns and relationships developed through directed enquiry, use of models and images and the application of acquired number knowledge and skills(disciplinary Knowledge.


Our long-term plan follows that of White Rose Maths, although there is scope for class teachers to flex the curriculum to best support the needs of their class. Examples of this include spending longer on a topic where children need to consolidate their learning or require more opportunities to ‘dive deeper’. NCTEM resources and projects such as Mastery in Number are also implemented to support the needs of the children. 


In order to support the children at St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in the best possible way teachers use the small steps from White Rose to inform their planning. Teachers understand that one small step could involve a number of lessons and that it is important that the children have a solid conceptual understanding of the teaching before they move on as the next step will build on what they have been learning. The consistent use of the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach helps children develop mastery across all the operations in an efficient and reliable way.


Each lesson will start with a recap from previous learning from the day before, the week before, the month and the term(s) before. This is to ensure that children are regularly exposed to concepts and to further embed their understanding. Following that teachers will ensure each lesson contains a combination of the following: teacher modelling, peer discussion, whole class discussion, group work and independent work. This is facilitated through a “ping-pong” approach where our children are guided, supported and challenged throughout a lesson and are given a range of opportunities to discuss maths with their peers, work independently and share their practice with their teacher. This approach enables instant feedback for the children to act upon and to make changes in their learning to support their understanding of the concept. It also helps to foster a positive maths mind-set and support our children to believe that all can achieve in maths.



At St. Joseph's, we intend that all pupils will be able to:


  • Use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures appropriately, flexibly and fluently;
  • Recall key number facts with speed and accuracy and use them to calculate and work out unknown facts;
  • Have sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and procedures and use them to solve a variety of problems;
  • Solve problems of greater complexity (i.e. where the approach is not immediately obvious), demonstrating creativity and imagination;
  • Independently explore and investigate mathematical contexts and structures and communicate results clearly.
  • Analysis of end of key stage data, including attainment and progress
  • In school progress and attainment data, analysing individuals and key groups
  • Formative assessment by class teachers and subsequent whole class feedback
  • Pupil progress meetings to establish reasons for differing rates of progress and putting in measures to address these
  • Diagnostic tests on previously taught content to ensure new learning builds on strong foundations
  • Summative assessments of learning at a distance
  • 'Book looks' with a key mathematical curriculum or pedagogy focus by the maths lead and SLT
  • Pupil conferencing by maths leads and senior leaders
  • Lesson observations and feedback based on the outcomes, by maths lead and SLT
  • Work is moderated internally and externally through collaboration with other KCSP schools and other local schools. 



In the EYFS there is a strong focus on counting and understanding of numbers to ten. Our continuous provision areas are carefully planned to give children frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding whilst enjoying themselves. Children also have rich opportunities to explore shape, space and measure and develop their reasoning skills. Our skilled staff interact effectively with the children to encourage them to look for patterns, spot connections and talk about what they noticeThis strong grounding in number gives children the necessary building blocks to excel in maths as they move into Key Stage 1 and beyond. 




Equal Opportunities:

  • We plan our classroom activities to challenge and involve all pupils appropriately, according to age and capability, ethnic diversity, gender and language background
  • We are aware of different learning styles and the need to allow pupils to be able to work in their preferred learning styles for some of the time
  • We use materials for teaching which avoid stereo-typing, and bias, towards race, gender, role or disability
  • We deal with such issues clearly and sensitively when they arise



Skills progression

Our children's learning is assessed from our teacher's assessment and knowing and understanding the children that we teach. In order to track progress across the school, we are using the Cornerstones skills progression tool. This ensures that we are able to individually track progression of skills and learning. 


White Rose Maths Year Overview

Calculation Policy

The '5 principles of mastery' model exemplifies our aims in relation to the teaching and learning of mathematics.

Progression in Mathematics