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Freshfield Primary School

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Freshfield Primary School

‘Committed to Excellence: we inspire, grow and thrive together.’



MATHEMATICS:     A high-quality mathematics education provides a

foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. (National Curriculum)


“Mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.” Albert Einstein


Our vision


At Freshfield, we believe in the power of maths to change our children’s lives. Being a confident mathematician enables children to solve real-life problems. We are committed to equipping our pupils with the necessary knowledge and understanding to succeed in the next phase of their Mathematics education and beyond.


As teachers who are passionate about maths, we want our children to know that the maths they learn inside and outside of the classroom has the potential to unlock doors in their futures as scientists, engineers and designers. We also believe that, like a love of literature, a love of maths – its patterns and its power –  is a fundamental right for all children.


When children leave us to take their next steps as mathematicians, we ensure that they are confident and proficient in the three strands of fluency, reasoning and problem solving.


How we teach maths


At Freshfield, we follow a mastery approach to teaching Maths, meaning that we believe that all children can be successful mathematicians. We are adaptive and responsive to the needs of our children and therefore ensure that all children receive the support that they need to succeed and all children experience meaningful challenges to further develop their mathematical understanding.


In our Early Years, Maths experiences are implemented through planned purposeful play and through a mix of child-led and adult-initiated activities. As children grow over time and their development allows, the balance gradually shifts towards more adult-led activities to prepare them for more formal learning. Assessment of Maths is guided by the use of the Development Matters curriculum. 


We follow the National Curriculum and use high-quality resources predominantly from White Rose, the National Centre for Excellence in the Training of Mathematics (NCETM) and Primary Stars to sequence lessons so that learning builds logically and progressively from starting points in EYFS to ambitious end goals at the end of Key Stage 2. Each strand of learning follows a clear and coherent sequence of small steps to secure mastery. 


At each stage of our Maths curriculum children use are exposed to concrete, pictorial and abstract representations of maths and use manipulatives like rekenreks, diennes, ten frames and place value counters to gain a deep understanding of the value of numbers, whilst learning how to represent them pictorially and calculate with them in ways that are more abstract. In all year groups, teachers use carefully-selected visual representations to ensure that children develop deep and flexible conceptual understanding. We place a high emphasis on high-quality talk and articulation in our Maths curriculum. Precise mathematical vocabulary is taught explicitly and children are scaffolded to think and reason using high-quality sentence stems. 


Teachers plan for children to have opportunities to consolidate their understanding by offering Maths in real contexts, regular deliberate practice and by challenging them to work independently either through practical or online resources (e.g. Times Table Rock Stars). 


The National Curriculum sets out three areas of maths for children to master:


  1. Fluency
  2. Reasoning
  3. Problem solving



Our curriculum design also ensures children develop fluency and automaticity in important number facts. Having key learning like bonds to 10 and times tables at their fingertips helps our children to work efficiently. Where less thinking time has to be given to calculating these basics, pupils are more able to reason and solve problems. Fluency practice is varied and engaging. For example, children may complete timed challenges to recall key facts or use mini-white boards to answer questions.



Alongside learning key number facts, children learn to reason about their maths. This involves partner talk and having to justify answers using mathematical vocabulary. Being able to say why an answer or method is correct or incorrect shows mastery of an area of maths. It also enables children to better notice and self-correct when they are not on track. Reasoning also involves pattern spotting and looking for rules and connections. Children are encouraged to look for patterns and links, find mistakes and solve questions in more than one way. Questions and conjectures are celebrated and explored together to work towards a shared understanding. 


Problem Solving

Problem solving is an element in all units of maths. Children are given opportunities to apply calculation strategies to real-life problems. Discussion is a key element of problem solving; tackling a problem in different ways is celebrated. Children learn to think creatively and know that there is no ‘one correct way’ to represent or solve a problem. As mathematicians they must draw on all of their knowledge and skills to decide how best to get started and what to do if their first try does not work. Through problem solving children therefore develop flexible thinking and resilience: the problems are not supposed to feel easy to solve but they certainly feel satisfying when a solution is finally reached.



Opportunities for deliberate practice and retrieval of previous steps of learning is built into our Mathematics curriculum. In Years 1-6, the children complete daily retrieval questions to review prior learning. This enables teachers to assess and identify key areas that the children are secure with and those that may need additional explanation or practice. All new learning taught is explicitly linked to previous steps so that the children are able to make meaningful connections and develop a secure understanding.



Assessment is woven into maths lessons so that teachers have a clear idea of what has been mastered and what each child’s next steps are. Planning is responsive – teachers plan to meet children’s gaps on a daily, weekly and termly basis. Children may complete a task to assess their fluency in a key skill (for example to be able to multiply and divide by 10). Consolidation activities are used to revisit learning from previous weeks or terms to ensure that learning is embedded over time.  End of block assessments are used to assess for mastery of a skill. All assessments are low-stakes and take place as a normal part of the maths lesson routine. As well as formative assessments, termly summative assessments inform planning and enable teachers to analyse and respond to emerging trends. 


Some of the assessment resources that we use across the school are:

  • Development Matters
  • B Squared
  • White Rose End of Block Assessments
  • NFER Assessments
  • End of Key Stage Assessments


How to help your child at home

Seeing maths as part of everyday life is a great way for children to see the relevance of their maths lessons. Some key ways to support your child are listed below:



Encouraging your child to learn to tell the time (on both digital and analogue clocks) provides them with an invaluable life skill. Discussing journey details and looking at bus and train timetables helps children to see the value of good time-keeping. Which train must they catch to be on time.



With the increase in contactless payment devices, our children are handling less and less real money. Knowing the values of coins and how much change they should expect when paying with cash will empower your child to feel confident budgeting and spending money. Estimating how much several items will cost by rounding their values will help children to stay in budget. If I only have £5.00 I can only buy five 99p lollies as 99p is nearly £1.00.



Cooking and baking is a hugely enjoyable way to get children confident estimating mass and volume. Feeling the mass of flour in a bag will give children a sense of what a kilogram means and make a connection between 500g and 0.5kg being half of this amount. Reading the volume of milk from a jug will help children to read scales. Mixing ingredients together is the beginning of understanding ratio and proportion in Upper KS2: if I need 200g of flour for 4 cupcakes, then I will need 400g for 8 cupcakes as both amounts have been doubled.


Shape, patterns and designs (geometry)

Shapes surround us and sometimes we don’t even notice. Spotting squares, triangles, rectangles and other polygons in real life can help to strengthen your child’s ability to identify shapes. Counting or calculating how many tiles are on a bathroom wall shows them how area is applied to real life. Measuring their own height in metres and centimetres and comparing it with your height will have them calculating the difference in a meaningful and motivating context: only 1.5m until I’m your height mum!


Number fluency

Underlying a real love of maths is a confidence in calculating fluently. When children are freed up by knowing their times tables or number bonds, they can spend more time spotting patterns and exploring. Some key areas of number fluency are:


  • knowing one more and one less than a number
    knowing times tables to 12×12 (by the end of Y4) including related facts e.g.
  • 4×6=24 6×4=24    24÷6=4     24÷4 =6
  • knowing number bonds to 10 (0-10, 1-9, 2-8, 3-7, 4-6, 5-5)
  • knowing time conversions: 1h = 60 minutes, ½ hour = 30 minutes, ¼ hour = 15 minutes, ¾ hour = 45 mins, 1 year = 365 days, 1 year = 12 months, 1 day = 24 hours, 1 hour = 60 minutes, 1 minute = 60 seconds
  • knowing measure conversions: 1kg = 1000g, 1l = 1000ml, 1m = 100cm, 1cm = 10mm
  • knowing equivalence in key fractions, decimals and percentages e.g. ½ = 0.5 = 50%, ¼ = 0.25 = 25%


Helping your child - year group links


To see how you can help too, please click on the documents under 'Maths Fundamentals' below.

For children in the Early Years, staff provide regular updates and a ‘stay and play’ to support your child’s Maths learning at home, for more information about this please see your child’s latest termly overview.


For children accessing the National Curriculum, teachers provide a ‘Calculation Workshop’ to demonstrate the methods that your child will be learning to enable you to support their learning at home.


The Primary National Curriculum for Mathematics


Please click here for more detailed information about Maths learning in each year group.


Progression of Skills EYFS


For further information in relation to Nursery’s progression of skills, please click here:


For further information in relation to Reception’s progression of skills, please click here:


Progression of Skills (Y1-Y6)


For further information in relation to coverage in Years 1-6, please click here:

White Rose Maths Yearly Overview Y1-6


For further information in relation to progression of skills in Years 1-6, please click here:

White Rose Maths Progression of Skills