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Maths at East Dene


At East Dene Primary School, we aim to equip all pupils with the skills and confidence to solve arange of problems through fluency with numbers and mathematical reasoning. Using a mastery
approach, we hope our children develop a long lasting understanding of maths, which enables them to be able to problem solve and question, not only in maths but across the curriculum.
We started our journey to improve the teaching and learning of mathematics for every child in September 2018. There are several elements which have influenced improvements in attainment
and progress in mathematics for our children. Mathematics is led by Mrs Y Spafford in support and guidance offered from Mrs J Shaw, Coleridge Primary who is a maths mastery specialist.
The three aims of the NC are addressed throughout the week (not just in the maths lesson): Fluency Reasoning Problem Solving.


Mathematics Planning Whole class together we teach mathematics to whole classes and do not label children. Lessons are planned based on formative assessment of what students already know and we include all children in learning mathematical concepts. Therefore, children are taught in mixed ability groups and are supported in moving along at the same pace. Children are then further supported through concrete resources or consolidation tasks whilst quick graspers move onto more challenging problem solving and reasoning. At the planning stage, teachers consider the scaffolding that may be required for children struggling to grasp concepts in the lesson and suitable challenge questions for those who may grasp the concepts rapidly. Staff have been heavily supported in planning in small steps using the White Rose planning support tools and spine materials for DFE Long term plans have been tailored for our mixed aged classes. Teachers follow a sixpart lesson structure which is as

Most lessons will incorporate concrete resources at the beginning of each session and these are made readily available to the children in all lessons.

Longer but deeper – in order to ensure children, have a secure and deep understanding of the content taught, our plans have been adjusted to allow longer on topics and we move more slowly through the curriculum. We use the White Rose Hub small steps planning and the NCETM spine materials to support this progression within each maths lesson.  Teachers adapt each lesson to meet the needs of their children and add extra questioning / tasks which will allow children to learn the content more deeply.  The learning will focus on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics.  To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced.

Questions will probe pupil understanding throughout, taking some children’s learning deeper. Responses are expected in full sentences, using precise mathematical vocabulary, talk frames and sentence stems. Teachers use questioning throughout every lesson to check understanding – a variety of questions are used, but you will hear the same ones being repeated: How do you know? Can you prove it? Are you sure? Can you represent it another way? What’s the value? What’s the same/different about? Can you explain that? What does your partner think? Can you imagine? Listen out for more common questions you hear.

Rapid intervention – in mathematics new learning is built upon previous understanding, so in order for learning to progress and to keep the class together pupils need to be supported to keep up and areas of difficulty must be dealt with as and when they occur. Ideally this would happen on the same day but this is not always possible so it may be the following morning but will be before new learning is introduced.

Discussion and feedback – pupils have opportunities to talk to their partners and explain/clarify their thinking. They use sentence stems and talk frames on the board to support them in their discussion.

Recording the learning – not just pages of similar calculations – Maths books are used across the school. In books you will see a range of activities including those requiring written explanations of the children’s understanding. Often orange pen will be used to show a child needs further explanation or blue pen will be used to show a misconception.

Marking – A next step is given when necessary to give the child a chance to either consolidate their learning or a challenge is given to move their learning forward. Children respond to these next steps in green pen in reflection time.

Basic skills

Maths Mash Ups – As we are teaching in longer blocks, we wanted to ensure children still have consolidation of key skills to ensure they were embedded over time. This rapid recall and practise of these fluency skills are vital so that we can address gaps in learning and ensure that key objectives are embedded.

Maths Mash Ups incorporate 4 main strands: Addressing key skills, mental maths strategies, arithmetic and Pre-learning. The Key skills that are addressed are:  Calendar Maths, Statistics, Number, Fractions, Decimals and Percentages (Year Group dependent), Geometry, Measure and Time. Within these key skills there are non-negotiables. For example, in Year 6 Roman Numerals are a non-negotiable as this has been determined as a particular area of weakness. They are fun engaging sessions and children are encouraged to all participate and pace is kept at all times.

Maths Mash Ups are a vital part of our Maths Mastery approach to teaching. They are used to ensure key objectives are covered continuously to make sure they are retained; this means gaps in learning are addressed throughout any block of learning.

Number facts

Children use a range of resources to help them improve their multiplication knowledge as this is the basis of much of their learning for their further education and life skills. Using TT Rockstars, maths frame and mash ups children are continuously supported with their knowledge of times tables.

Starting in October 2022, we are focusing number facts around multiplication. Children will have opportunities to recall a times table fact each session. Children will spend up to 10 sessions on a times table. In Year 3/4 the children will learn given facts. Whereas, in 5/6 they will focus on facts they need to learn to reduce gaps in learning.

Number facts are supported particularly in Year 1 and 2 using addition fact cards.

SEND pupils – may be supported by additional adults, different resources or careful scaffolding activities. They will also complete additional activities outside of the mathematics lesson if necessary.

Children in EYFS explore mathematical concepts through active exploration and their everyday play based learning. Children are taught key concepts and application of number using a hands on practical approach.  EYFS practitioners provide opportunities for children to manipulate a variety of objects which supports their understanding of quantity and number.  The CPA approach is used when teaching children key mathematical skills.  Practitioners allow children time for exploration and the use of concrete objects helps to support children’s mathematical understanding.  Maths in the early years provides children with a solid foundation that will enable them to develop skills as they progress through their schooling and ensures children are ready for the National Curriculum.

NB: We do not label our children. We have high expectations of all children and strongly believe that all children are equally able in mathematics.  Some may take longer to grasp concepts and may need careful scaffolding or extra time/support (guided groups, same day catch-up, additional homework, pre-teaching, intervention group, specific parental support).


Within our maths lessons we are continuously assessing learning. This can be through questioning, live marking or working with specific group of children. Our fluid grouping allows to work with children who may have been identified as needing extra support. All teachers use whole class marking books to identify which children may need support or challenged the following day.

We assess maths attainment at least once a term and use a point in time judgement to decide if the child is working below/at/above age-related expectation. To validate teacher assessments, we also use a termly test to obtain a standardised score. This helps us identify whether pupils are where they should be for that point of the year and if any additional support is required such as additional tuition or intervention.

Purpose of study

Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore 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.


The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • 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 nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.


Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.

The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

Calculators should not be used as a substitute for good written and mental arithmetic. They should therefore only be introduced near the end of key stage 2 to support pupils’ conceptual understanding and exploration of more complex number problems, if written and mental arithmetic are secure. In both primary and secondary schools, teachers should use their judgement about when ICT tools should be used.

Spoken language

The national curriculum for mathematics reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and presenting a mathematical justification, argument or proof. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.

School curriculum

The programmes of study for mathematics are set out year-by-year for key stages 1 and 2. Schools are, however, only required to teach the relevant programme of study by the end of the key stage. Within each key stage, schools therefore have the flexibility to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. In addition, schools can introduce key stage content during an earlier key stage, if appropriate. All schools are also required to set out their school curriculum for mathematics on a year-by-year basis and make this information available online.

Attainment targets

By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the relevant programme of study.