Maths at Cowling Primary School

Subject Curriculum Lead: Emma Pease

 Intent: 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. Crucially, a sound knowledge of mathematics is vital for young people seeking employment, and securing a qualification in mathematics is a fundamental requirement for the majority of employers. 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.

 In line with the National Curriculum Objectives for Mathematics, our intent is 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 non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

 Central to our approach are the 5 Big Ideas which underpin mastery in mathematics:-

  • Representation and Structure
  • Mathematical Thinking
  • Variation
  • Fluency
  • Coherence

 Implementation: At Cowling, children study mathematics daily following the White Rose Maths Scheme of Learning taught in Year groups.  WRM is a blocked scheme, which allows for depth and breadth of learning within each strand of mathematics. Teachers are encouraged to adapt the Long Term plan if needed depending on the needs of the children.


  • Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract Learning: Children engage with a wide and varied range of concrete manipulatives, pictorial representations and abstract methodologies within each session. Cohesive use of CPA is a fundamental part of mastery in mathematics for all learners, not just those pupils with SEND. Concrete and pictorial references scaffold and strengthen understanding and are widely used as a teaching and learning tool from Foundation Stage to Year 6.
  • Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving: Every learning session includes the opportunity to develop fluency skills, construct chains of reasoning using relevant knowledge alongside relevant terminology and solve increasingly complex problems in a systematic and coherent way. We use APE stickers to encourage children to reason successfully about Mathematics, providing proof and explanation.
  • Mathematical Vocabulary: Sessions include explicit reference to vital mathematical vocabulary and the use of stem sentences to support and encourage all children to communicate their ideas with mathematical precision and clarity. These sentence structures often express key conceptual ideas or generalities and provide a framework to embed conceptual knowledge and build understanding.
  • Interleaved Learning: WRM is a blocked learning scheme and as a consequence certain strands of maths are not covered until later in the term. To ensure frequent timely introduction and revisiting of concepts, we plan and deliver revisits as part of our daily Maths lesson.
  • Fluent Recall: We are committed to ensuring that pupils secure their knowledge of Times Tables and Related Divisional Facts by the end of Year 4. Our pupils engage in regular low stakes testing through Times Tables Rock Stars to practise fluent recall and we have weekly non-negotiable sessions to learn the key facts needed.
  • We use the 1-Minute Maths app from White Rose to enable our pupils to practise basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills as well as subitising. We encourage parents and carers to use this app at home as well. 1-Minute Maths supports pupils in Key Stage 2 who have gaps in specific number skills and help to improve fluency and confidence.

 Impact: At Cowling, 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. 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 are challenged through rich and sophisticated 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.

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.

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. We understand that catch-up does not work, and as a consequence our interventions are focused on Pre-Teaching and Same Day Interventions.

Summative Assessments: Children complete End of Block assessments for each phase of learning before and after the block. Results are used 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 using the White Rose termly assessments.

.What does Maths look like in EYFS? At Cowling, we understand the importance of early experiences of maths, and have committed to the Early Adopter Framework within our Early Years setting, following White Rose planning to ensure pupils have a flying start to Year 1.  This approach places a significant emphasis on developing a strong grounding in number – understanding that this is a necessary building block for children to excel in the subject.

The two key ELG’s for mathematics are:

  1. Number: Number composition, subitising, recall of bonds to 5 and 10 and doubling
  2. Numerical Pattern: Verbally count beyond 20, Compare quantities, explore and represent patterns.

Practitioners provide creative and engaging opportunities for children to ignite their curiosity and enthusiasm for the subject in continuous provision, while focusing on the three prime areas of: Communication and Language, Physical Development and PSED. Practitioners deliver 3 short taught sessions to teach new skills to children which are then applied during provision time. Activities and experiences are frequent and varied, and allow children to build on and apply understanding of Numbers to 10. Concrete manipulatives are a key focus within sessions, as is the use of pictorial representations including Tens Frames and Part/Whole Models. Children are actively encouraged to use mathematical terminology within their understanding, with a focus on developing positive attitudes and interest in the subject

SEND in Maths: We aim to ensure that our Maths Curriculum is inclusive of all abilities and needs.  Resources will be provided for those working at age-related but having particular needs which need to be met to ensure progress is made e.g. movement breaks, coloured overlays, readers.  If pupils are operating one or two years behind their year group then we consider what is realistic for them in terms of catching up/keeping up.  We use Interventions such as Success at Arithmetic, First Class @ Number and Train the Tutor to support these children.  At all times we ensure that we set ambitious but realistic targets for all children.  All children are encouraged to use Concrete and Pictorial Representations to support their learning and revisits are regularly undertaken.  All teachers regularly plan for misconceptions and these are discussed, tackling them early on.

 Enrichment of subject: We participate in Maths challenge events and regularly share successes in achievement in classes.