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Maths Overview

At St. John’s Primary Academy, Mathematics is a fundamental part of each day. We believe that Maths teaches us how to make sense of the world around us. We aim to provide children with the skills in order to develop the ability to calculate, to communicate, to reason and to solve problems.  This enables children to explore, understand, and appreciate relationships and patterns in both number and shape in their everyday life. Under our “Believe to Achieve” ethos, we believe all children can achieve in mathematics. We wish to promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, exploration, and discussion. We aim to promote confidence, resilience and competence with numbers and the number system through children working hard and pushing themselves to achieve.

Maths Intent

We deliver the programme of study that meet the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 using the White Rose Maths Program. We offer progression within fluency, reasoning and problem solving and in turn aim for children to become true masters of content, applying and being creative with new knowledge in multiple ways. We provide opportunities for children to challenge themselves, to develop communication skills, independence and co-operation when solving problems in order to take responsibility for their learning.  This in turn will equip children with learning behaviours that will support them into their adult life.

Key mathematical skills and knowledge are taught in the daily lesson. Mathematical possibilities are identified across the links between mathematics and real-life links are identified so children see that mathematics is not an isolated subject.

​Maths vocabulary is used in the correct way in order to develop children’s knowledge. Children are encouraged to use the correct mathematical language and terminology to discuss their mathematics and to explain their reasoning.

Maths Implementation

To provide adequate time for developing maths skills, each year group will provide a daily maths lesson.  Lessons are taught with a balance between whole class work, group teaching, practical tasks, and individual practice to encourage mathematical talk, support, and independence. Maths lessons are taught in order to teach for secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts. This is delivered in small, manageable steps. Pre-assessments are completed before the start of each unit. From this, staff will identify any gaps in learning identify any misconceptions or where extra support is needed fill gaps from previous learning. These ‘small steps’ are planned using the White Rose resources.

All children work within mixed ability class groups. Pupils are seated in mixed ability groups; however, teachers may group children by ability if they feel it best suits the needs of the children within that lesson. A typical lesson will include our DIRT time (Dedicated Independent Reflection Time) to allow children to refer back to the last lesson and improve on their learning; ‘Flashback Four’ – this is to allow the children to practise retrieval skills and test them on prior learning; whole class teaching using the White Rose PowerPoints to support teaching; small steps learning in books with support from the CPA approach to ensure that children have the correct support to make the necessary progress in each step. Each lesson should allow children to build on their confidence on key aspects of maths (fluency, problem solving and reasoning). Children also have another opportunity to reflect on their learning in their “Checking Time” to see if there’s anything that they can identify to change before the end of the lesson.

Concrete, pictorial, abstract

Objects, pictures, words, numbers, and symbols are everywhere. Our approach incorporates all of these to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience, and deepen understanding. Together, these elements help cement knowledge so pupils truly understand what they’ve learnt.

All pupils, when introduced to a key new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking this approach. Pupils are encouraged to physically represent mathematical concepts. Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.

Concrete – children use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.

Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.


Please refer to our calculation policy to see how this approach may be used to support and challenge children.


Maths Impact

By implementing the intent, children should be confident in the following areas:

  • being fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

  • solving problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios

  • reasoning mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language.

  • having an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently, and accurately to be successful in mathematics.


The assessment of maths is through a ‘pre and post assessments’ process for units of work to measure progress. White Rose Maths termly assessments are used for teachers to identify elements in children’s independent work judging them as working towards, expected and greater depth within their current year group.  Throughout the cycle the teacher will be responding to children’s work providing praise, support, encouragement, and future thinking points to move their work forward.

It is the role of the maths lead to ensure continuity and progression across the whole school. This is carried out through the following opportunities: book trawls, learning walks, pupil voice and staff voice. Pupils progress meetings are also held on a regular basis.  This information is used by the maths subject leader and SENDCo to amend any intervention groups and ensure that those children who are not working at age related expectations are provided with the support they need.

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