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Coltishall Primary School


In our school, a growing love of mathematics is fostered within pupils. We ignite intrigue as we showcase the subject’s interconnectedness and its application into the world. We strive for children to see the beauty of maths in all its fascinating intricacies and aspire for them to achieve beyond their potential through quality-first teaching. Children’s mathematical skills and knowledge develop throughout their journey at Coltishall, which ensures that they are prepared for their next step in education and beyond. The experience culminates in aspirant, creative, confident, cooperative, reflective and resilient learners.


EYFS Mathematics

In Reception, mathematical curiosity is born. The routines and environment, both inside and outside, maximise opportunities to develop mathematical learning. Teachers and teaching assistants use open-ended questioning to stimulate mathematical talk and engage children with concrete manipulatives. Learners’ interactions during play consolidate and build upon their teacher-led inputs.Children have a daily teaching input after lunchtime, these follow the revisit, teach, practise, apply cycle. 


This curriculum grows and develops with the children, but is guided by the White Rose overviews to ensure progression of knowledge and skills. EYFS staff are reflective and creative to ensure maths planning adapts to meet the Early Learning Goals, whilst engaging with the children’s interests. In order to accommodate both, the themes can vary year on year. Consolidation weeks are used strategically to respond to significant events such as celebrations.


We place an emphasis on number sense from 0-10 as this provides a solid foundation on which children can progress their learning in KS1. Developing number sense includes: cardinal, ordinal and nominal understanding; the composition and partitioning of numbers; practising subitising; and making comparisons. Teachers’ familiarity with the counting principles ensure that children are able to count flexibly and with confidence.


Children explore elements of shape, pattern, space and measure; these areas are often integrated within the broader EYFS curriculum. Learners engage with identifying patterns in sound and movements as well as with concrete objects; seeking patterns helps children to notice relationships and make generalisations. Building early proficiencies in shape, space and measure supports learners to make sense of their environments and to play creatively and cooperatively with their peers.  


Mathematics in Key Stage One and Two

In Key Stage One and Two, teachers provide a daily maths lesson, lasting approximately 1 hour. In Year One, teaching happens in small, differentiated groups during the Autumn and Spring terms before reaching the daily lesson format in the Summer term. In every lesson, pupils will have the opportunity to: learn new knowledge in small steps; develop their conceptual understanding by using their preference of concrete, pictorial and/or abstract representations; and work cooperatively and independently to progress their learning. In light of the DfE’s Ready-to-Progress document, we have considered which areas of knowledge are of greatest importance for our children.


In Years One and Two, we begin formal maths teaching of the National Curriculum. Our principal focus in these year groups is to develop children’s confidence with numbers up to 100. They recognise that numbers can be composed and decomposed in different ways using partitioning and consolidate their understanding of equality and inequality symbols. Children become fluent in number bonds, doubling, halving and skip counting in multiples of 2, 5 and 10. Children’s oral reasoning includes the use of precise language and they can work through problems with the support of concrete resources. Calculations and the associated language are introduced; children learn about the different structures of calculating, including commutativity and inverse relationships. 


In Years Three and Four, children extend their existing skills to include three and four-digit numbers and numbers with up to three decimal places. Once pupils are secure with their place value knowledge, the formal written methods for addition and subtraction are introduced. Children explore these using Base 10 and place value counters, before transitioning to pictorial and abstract representations. In these year groups, teaching concentrates on the recall of multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12, as this core knowledge prepares children for later in the key stage. Children recognise that fractions belong within the linear number system and understand the relationship between improper and mixed number fractions. In geometry, children adopt further technical language to explain the properties of polygons and develop their spatial reasoning skills. We recognise that the concept of time needs to be taught in context, so alongside formal teaching children are encouraged to use time language regularly throughout the school day.  


In Years Five and Six, fluency with calculations is embedded through daily practise. Relationships between the powers of ten are exposed and explored with resources and applied within the conversion of metric units. Core skills including: partitioning, ordering, comparing, rounding and exchanging remain a feature of learning. Bar models support children to recognise part-whole and known and unknown relationships in complex problems. Children’s number language extends to include: common factors; common multiples; prime and composite numbers; square and cube numbers. Children learn to simplify fractions; find equivalent fractions; and manipulate fractions to support comparison and calculations. They will also notice the patterns between fractions, decimals and percentages. In geometry, pupils will learn to calculate perimeter, area and volume; use a protractor accurately; gain an extended understanding of the properties of 2D and 3D shapes and extend their language from Years 3 and 4. 


In each year group, we have identified areas of core knowledge that build a foundation upon which children can tackle all areas of the maths curriculum. By placing an emphasis on specific skills and knowledge, we are hoping to reduce the cognitive load faced by children as they encounter new concepts in maths. Knowledge organisers are due to be created for each year group, which outline the core knowledge.



Mathematics in the school conforms to the school’s policies on Equal Opportunities and Special Educational Needs and Disability. Teachers aim to include all pupils fully in their daily mathematics inputs and activities. Our lesson sequence aims to build confidence through encouraging greater independence as the lesson progresses. Independent learning tasks follow a similar format each lesson, which builds from basic fluency onto reasoning and problem solving tasks, which guides pupils towards achieving an understanding of the concept, before taking their learning deeper. In some instances, a pupil whose difficulties are severe or complex may need to be supported with an individualised curriculum. Some children may be supported by a Learning Plan, where they have identified maths as an area they find difficult. In which case, barriers will be addressed through the plan, do, review cycle.


Mathematics at Coltishall