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


Mathematics is a highly important discipline that helps us to understand and change the world while building into many other STEM areas. We want all children at St. John’s Catholic School to experience the enjoyment of mathematics and develop a sense of curiosity within the subject.


We focus on building the confidence and growth mindsets of our learners through clearly sequenced steps that ensure that all children can access the curriculum, deepen their understanding and continue to build confidence across each stage of their learning. We create positive classroom environments that allows children to safely make mistakes and errors, giving them confidence to tackle increasing challenges as they progress through the curriculum. The curriculum is focused exclusively within the year group taught with learners of all levels being catered for with a Mastery approach. The content of lessons seeks to deepen pupil’s understanding of the concepts taught within their year group, through a broad range of activities and problems that develop their arithmetic, reasoning and problem solving skills.


We take a Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract (CPA) approach to explaining mathematical concepts, steadily building understanding of new learning that allows children gain a deeper understanding that exceeds simply learning ‘methods’.


We aim for all pupils to:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge with rapidity and accuracy.
  • Demonstrate a deeper understanding of concepts taught through reasoning that focuses on following lines of enquiry, developing and presenting justifications, arguing and using Mathematical language through written and oral explanations.
  • Solve problems by applying both fluency and reasoning to tackle problems involving unfamiliar contexts and modelling real life problems with increasing sophistication.
  • Build a firm foundation of mathematics through number, allowing children to perform operations, mentally calculate and approach written procedures with efficiency, fluency and accuracy to become successful in the subject.
  • Acquire all of the necessary knowledge and skills to access the next stage of their learning.


What do we teach? What does this look like?

Mathematics is taught for approximately 1 hour per day between KS1 and KS2. The subject is delivered through the White Rose Maths scheme which blocks and structures learning strands, allowing for both depth and breadth of curriculum content. Teachers will predominately use the resources provided through the scheme but are at liberty to use other resources, provided they are following the learning steps.  Through carefully constructed learning steps, children cumulatively build their knowledge across year groups with clearly defined end points (see WRM Curriculum Steps to Progress document). Teachers may need to spend additional time on a learning step before advancing to the next, if this occurs, the Maths leader is informed to help support and identify next steps.


Our teaching of Mathematics is founded on the Mastery approach delivered across several core areas:


Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract Learning:

  • CPA teaching is used to scaffold learning steps to allow children to engage with a range of abstract mathematical concepts, problems and procedures, building stronger foundations and understanding.
  • Children engage with a range of concrete manipulatives to help develop their understanding of Mathematical concepts and procedures initially – some children may need continued support with these manipulatives.
  • Pictorial representations are used to further explore procedures and concepts, scaffolding them towards solving more abstract problems – these representations are still used to support more complex problems.
  • Children move on to abstract calculations and problems supported by the previous pedagogical approaches.

Fluency, Reasoning & Problem Solving:

  • Children are given opportunities to develop their fluency skills through each strand of learning.
  • Reasoning is developed through exploring concepts with the class teacher, class discussions and individually both verbally and in writing.
  • Children are given opportunities to explore progressively more challenging concepts through problem solving, using their fluency and reasoning skills to support them.

Consolidation & Recall:

  • Through our whole school approach to teaching, we follow Rosenshine’s principles which recognises that learning can be fragile if not frequently revisited.
  • Children are given daily opportunities to revisit their previous learning through ‘Fluency’ sessions.

Fluent Recall:

  • Children engage with Times Table Rockstars to support their learning and understanding of Times Tables.
  • We aim for pupils to be secure with tables by the end of Year 4, with those who have not achieved the MTC supported in Year 5 to make rapid catch up.
  • Weekly tournaments are held and celebrated with certificates every Friday.



What is the impact does the curriculum have on learners and how is it measured?

At St Johns, the expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. We aim for each child to be confident in each yearly objective and develop their ability to use this knowledge to develop a greater depth understanding to solve varied fluency problems as well as problem solving and reasoning questions.


Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through a range of challenging problems before any acceleration through

new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on. Where necessary, earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.


Formative Assessment

Teachers carry out formative assessment through AfL in each session and feedback is given to children verbally, through self/peer assessment and through marking. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their planning. Children are rapidly identified as needing further challenge or additional support, and we ensure that this is provided in a timely

manner through the use of ‘Learning Logs’, where children who require extension or additional support are swiftly identified and tracked as outline in our Marking & Feedback Policy.


Timely Interventions

Teachers believe that all children can achieve in maths, and focus on whole class teaching. Where prerequisites are not secure, timely interventions will be carried out our interventions are focused on Pre-Teaching and Same Day Intervention groups. Children who regularly require additional support are included on Provision Maps which can be reviewed.


Low Stakes Quizzing and Fluent Recall

We use a range of low stakes testing throughout the teaching cycle to assess attainment and progress. From Year 2 to Year 6, children complete regular tests in Arithmetic and Times Tables. Children engage with fluency based activities to ensure that prior learning is secured.


Summative Assessments

Children complete End of Block assessments for each phase of learning provided by White Rose. Teachers can then use these

to further inform planning and allow for tailored interventions groups to take place to ensure the objectives are secured.

Our Assessment Calendar also includes 3 key dates for capturing progress and attainment against National Curriculum Objectives. Assessments are carried out in Autumn, Spring and Summer terms.


Subject Monitoring

  • The impact of our mathematics curriculum through targeted learning walks, book looks and pupil interviews. In addition to this, we survey our staff to identify their perception of mathematics and identify CPD needs.