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Northbourne ce
Primary School

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Why do we teach this? Why do we teach it in the way we do?

At Northbourne CEP School, we believe that Mathematics is essential for everyday life. It introduces children to strategies and skills to help them make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes which they encounter in the world around them. Through Maths, all our children have the opportunity to develop their sense of curiosity and creativity and that it equips them with the skills they need for life. We are developing a mastery approach to teaching Maths. This enables the children to gain a deep understanding of the Maths they are learning, giving them a solid foundation which they can build upon as they progress through the school.

We aim for all pupils to achieve the aims of the 2014 National Curriculum:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can 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



What do we teach? What does this look like?

We teach Mathematics daily, using the White Rose Maths Mixed Age Scheme of Learning (see note* below and further details which can be accessed using the links below). Lessons are taught in a progression of small steps which gradually unfold a mathematical concept, helping all children develop their understanding and apply what they are learning to a range of contexts.

In Early Years and Key Stage 1, we have introduced the NCETM Mastering Number programme. This is taught daily in short, 10 – 15 minute sessions with the aim of developing confidence in all children, giving them a firm foundation in the development of good number sense.

We encourage all children to think carefully about their reasoning and problem solving in Maths, giving them the opportunity to discuss their ideas and prove them in different ways, such as: using different manipulatives and representations, drawing or writing explanations and always using the correct mathematical language. This is an important part of them becoming secure in their understanding of a mathematical concept and developing their fluency and mathematical thinking.

Differentiated questioning and active marking (as the work is completed in class) helps us to identify children who may need additional support, extra time for consolidation, pre-teaching of mathematical concepts or those children who need  to be challenged to deepen their understanding.

Applying Maths practically to learning and building on our school values is a key part of how we teach Maths at Northbourne. The mastery approach to teaching maths encourages this as the children draw on all the values when they are reasoning and problem solving together. They are also inquisitive using our resources inside and outside school in our Maths learning – like this:

Creating symmetrical pictures and shapes outside



Making and spotting patterns using Numicon



Working on a human number line outside……


…… and creating a human place value chart!




What will this look like? By the time children leave our school they will:


At key transition points, pupils should be able to demonstrate the mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding to ensure competence in their engagement with the next stage of their mathematical learning.

By the end of Key Stage 2, our aim is that the children will be fluent in the key mathematical concepts, with a conceptual understanding and ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. The children should be able to use their reasoning skills to discuss their learning, justifying and proving their ideas. They should have the skills to solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge to a variety of situations with increasing confidence, including real-life scenarios and unfamiliar contexts. Our aim is to enable them to leave Northbourne feeling confident and prepared to use mathematics during the next stage of their learning journey – and beyond.


*White Rose Maths is currently updating the mixed year group schemes of learning. In the meantime, we are using a combination of the original schemes of learning (see links below) and the new materials as they are published by White Rose.

Northbourne CEP School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all Governors, staff, volunteers, parents and carers to share this commitment.