St Thomas' CE Primary School

St Clement & St James CE Primary School

St Thomas' Federation - Stronger together

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"And there will always, always be Mathematics." Katherine Johnson 


Our Aim

At St Thomas’ Federation, we want all our pupils to develop a love of mathematics and experience successes within the subject. We support all our pupils to become fluent mathematicians, who can use quick recall of key number facts to solve problems in a variety of contexts. Through a Teaching for Mastery approach, pupils develop reasoning skills and explore concepts in depth, enabling them to develop confidence, competence and independence with mathematics. Mistakes and misconceptions are an essential part of the learning process and learning is built upon in manageable steps, encouraging children to make connections and spot patterns. We aim to develop an ability in the children to express themselves fluently, to talk about the subject with assurance, using correct mathematical language and vocabulary. We encourage the effective use of mathematics as a tool in a wide range of problem solving activities within school and, subsequently, adult life. 


How we teach mathematics: 

  • Mathematics teaching takes place everyday and pupils are taught through rigorous whole-class interactive teaching, enabling all to master the concepts necessary for the next part of the curriculum sequence.

  • Curriculum design ensures a coherent and detailed sequence of essential content to support sustained progression over time.

  • Lesson design links to prior learning to ensure all can access the new learning and identifies carefully selected sequenced steps in progression to build secure understanding.

  • In a typical lesson, the teacher leads back and forth interaction, including questioning, short tasks, explanation, demonstration and discussion, enabling pupils to think, reason and apply their knowledge to solve problems.

  • It is expected that the majority of children in a class move through the programme of study at broadly the same pace. Children in all classes sit in mixed ability pairs to allow collaborative learning.  Learners are supported by the structure of the lesson and scaffolds provided by teachers and additional adults. Children are extended as a result of higher order questioning and consistent exposure to rich tasks. It is expected that all pupils will experience challenge in a lesson.

  • Precise mathematical language enables all pupils to communicate their reasoning and thinking effectively.

  • Representations and models are selected to expose the structure of mathematical concepts and emphasise connections, enabling pupils to develop a deep knowledge of mathematics. Concrete resources are widely used. 

  • Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding are developed in tandem because each supports the development of the other.

  • Key number facts are learnt to automaticity and other key mathematical facts are learned deeply and practised regularly to avoid cognitive overload in working memory and enable pupils to focus on new learning. 

  • Assessment for learning is carried out regularly in classes and teachers provide children with daily reviews of previous learning as well as feedback from previous learning to address any misconceptions quickly.

  • Meaningful cross-curricular links are encouraged across all subjects.

  • In EYFS children learn through a variety of activities, both as focused adult-led sessions and in continuous provision. EYFS Children are gradually introduced to numbers, to promote higher understanding and to ensure children are fluent and confident.

  • The curriculum is planned using the National Curriculum objectives. We use resources from the National Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Mathematics (NCETM), which are underpinned by research, to support teaching and learning in school. For our yearly overview for each year group we have used the Curriculum Prioritisation framework provided by the NCETM. This resource provides coherent sequencing for the primary maths curriculum. It draws together the DfE guidance on curriculum prioritisation, with the high quality professional development and classroom resources provided by the NCETM Primary Mastery PD materials. Teachers use these resources to inform their planning and teaching. 


How parents can support their children with Mathematics at home:

If children are to be fluent in mathematics we believe they require quick and accurate recall of key number facts. They are particularly useful when calculating, be it adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing, as they free up working memory to solve problems. Each half term, children will be given one or two key sets of facts to practise and learn at home as well as in school. It is important that they know these thoroughly and can recall specific facts instantly. Whilst children have a wide range of abilities in mathematics, these are designed to be a set of facts that need to be learnt thoroughly as they build on each other year on year. Again, we stress that the children must aim to know these facts inside out, back to front and with instant recall.

We strongly encourage you to engage with your children in the learning of their facts. We know that, by internalising these key facts which have been carefully structured, children will leave St Thomas’ Federation with a much stronger foundation of mathematical understanding to build upon. This can be done in a variety of ways, from playing games and using Times Tables Rock Stars. We also encourage you to ask your child to explain how they remember them, the methods they have chosen and any related facts they know from these core facts.