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 At St John Henry Newman Catholic Primary School, we want to create confident, skilful mathematicians who have a life-long love of mathematics and can expertly apply their knowledge and understanding. Our Mathematics curriculum is designed with our children at the heart of the process to support and challenge their thinking and reasoning through opportunities to explore and discover for themselves. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that we nurture children who are engaged, motivated and curious learners who are interested and invested in their future.

We intend to:

  • Develop well-rounded and successful mathematicians, informed by the National Curriculum, and exposed to carefully designed lessons with opportunities to explore and challenge, taught with a clear mathematics objective
  • Deliver a mathematics curriculum which is based on small steps teaching, allowing most children to progress together, and building in opportunities for strengthening and deepening understanding
  • Deliver a curriculum that develops mastery of mathematical concepts through acquiring a deep, long-term, secure, and adaptable understanding
  • Provide opportunities to develop fluency and to be able to apply this knowledge through reasoning and problem-solving
  • Provide and make explicit, the opportunities to build year-on-year on their prior mathematical understanding
  • Use a concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach to develop secure understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • Ensure there is continuity between year groups and phases


We follow the Early Years Statutory Framework and the National Curriculum and structure mathematics lessons to help develop a deeper understanding of mathematics through fun practical activities, exploration, discussion, problem-solving and reasoning.  We teach 5 lessons a week for a total of approximately 5 hours.



Each unit of work recaps and then builds on prior learning so that all pupils can secure and embed their mathematical knowledge as they move up the school.

  1. Number and place value
  2. Number – addition and subtraction
  3. Number – multiplication and division
  4. Number – fractions (including decimals and percentages)
  5. Measurement
  6. Geometry – properties of shape
  7. Geometry – position and direction
  8. Statistics
  9. Ratio and proportion
  10. Algebra


Mastery Approach

We aim to develop a mastery approach to mathematics through acquiring a deep, long-term, secure, and adaptable understanding of the subject. There are certain principles and characteristics which characterise this approach. They are:

  • An expectation that all pupils can achieve high standards in mathematics. The mastery approach rejects the idea that a large proportion of people ‘just can’t do maths’. Instead, all pupils are encouraged by the belief that by working hard at maths they can succeed.
  • Most of the pupil’s progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Challenge is through extending children’s thinking with rich and sophisticated problems rather than moving onto new content. Individualised support and interventions help to support those who need consolidation.
  • Practice is a vital part of learning, but it is with carefully designed variation (varying the way the concept or question is presented) to build fluency and understanding of mathematical concepts.

Children are exposed to and are encouraged to use a range of representations (the way in which the maths is shown) to show deep understanding of a concept.



Pupils will be exposed to, and become confident in the use of, mathematical vocabulary.  Mathematical vocabulary is explicitly shared, clarified, and modelled within each unit.  Pupils are then actively encouraged to use the vocabulary accurately in their verbal and written work.



Questioning and discussion play a vital role. Children are encouraged to think deeply about mathematics, identifying patterns and connections. This ensures deeper understanding than just memorising written methods. An integral part of every maths lesson is the discussion around the knowledge, skills and approach that is needed. Every lesson begins with a recap of prior learning and then the children from Y1 are given a daily discovery task where they can, in pairs, explore the focus for the day and demonstrate their understanding; drawing on their use of concrete, pictorial or abstract methods. These different approaches are then shared with the class, alongside high-quality modelling from the teacher.


Where children are exposed to a new concept, concrete materials will be used. Children will be encouraged to transition through using concrete manipulatives, pictorial representations to the abstract. There will be no stigma attached to using manipulatives.



The Maths curriculum is adapted to meet the needs and styles of all learners.  A variety of teaching and learning strategies are used to ensure that all pupils can achieve, including:

  • Use of manipulatives to support the CPA approach,
  • Small step learning,
  • Targets from APDR are used to support the planning and adaptation within each unit’s journey


Overall, we intend that the impact of our Mathematics curriculum is that children will: -

  • Have developed the mathematical knowledge and skills to help them explore, navigate, and understand the world around them and their place in it.
  • Have knowledge and skills will develop progressively as they move through the school, not only to enable them to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum but to inspire them to develop a curiosity and a deeper understanding about the world they live in.
  • Be excited and enthused about sharing their learning with others.
  • Meet the end of Key Stage expectations outlines in the National Curriculum for Mathematics