St Richard'sCE Primary School

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Mathematics is an essential skill which provides a way to make sense of the world. At St Richard’s we are committed to ensuring that children recognise its importance and develop the ability and confidence to use their knowledge in the wide range of contexts, both within school and in the wider world. 

We recognise that our parents may themselves have had different mathematical journeys, resulting in greater or lesser levels of confidence.  At St Richard’s we aim to bridge this gap and develop deep mathematical understanding in all our children as well as nurturing enthusiasm and enjoyment of the subject itself. We follow a mastery approach, which encourages a ‘growth’ mathematical mind-set.  A child with a fixed mind-set will believe that their basic abilities and talents are pre-wired and fixed. In contrast, a child with a growth mindset believes that if you work hard and are committed, you can achieve.  Through the mastery approach to maths, the strong belief at St Richard’s is that with skilful teaching and careful nurturing of a growth mindset, all children can achieve and enjoy.




A whole class approach aiming for depth of understand


When teaching maths for mastery, the whole class moves through topics at broadly the same pace. Each topic is studied in depth using plenty of discussion of problems, carefully modelled mathematical language, concrete resources and a variety of different approaches in order to achieve mathematical fluency with full understanding rather than relying on superficial rules and procedures.

Achieving this level of understanding develops self-confidence in learners, including the confidence to make mistakes and find alternative ways of solving problems.


Differentiation through depth rather than acceleration


Although the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of scope for Although the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of scope for differentiation.  Under older models of teaching, faster learners were accelerated through new content - often more of the same except with larger numbers! The mastery approach challenges those faster learners with sophisticated problems to further hone mathematical fluency and agility.   This said, there will inevitably be occasions where some children need some extra input.  At St Richard’s we aim to employ a system of ‘keep-up rather than ‘catch-up’.  Targeted TA support is used in all lessons to work with children who are finding a concept difficult to grasp.  If, at the end of a lesson or topic, a child or group of children is still struggling, the teacher plans for rapid intervention in the form of a focused 1:1 or small group session to ensure that no one is left behind. 


Structure of lessons


Initial concepts are shared through relatable problems which children will discuss, share and attempt independently to ensure engagement and provide the teacher an idea of initial levels of understanding.

These problems will then be shared as a class and meticulously worked through using a wide range of concrete manipulatives, rich mathematical language, pair and guided work.  During this part of the lesson, visual scaffolds are gradually removed as children become more confident with the abstract concepts.  It should be noted however, that continued use of support materials and manipulatives is encouraged on an individual level until abstract understanding is achieved.

Finally, extra challenge is introduced to encourage deeper thinking and enable the teacher to assess to what extent the children are able to manipulate the new concept.




The first few years of a child’s life are especially important for the development of mathematics. The objective therefore, for those working in Early Years, is to ensure that all children develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age.  At St Richard’s our EYFS teachers build their lessons around the BBC’s Numberblocks characters, supported by the materials produced by the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics), which are designed to draw out and build on the maths embedded in the stories contained in each episode.

During short, carefully planned input sessions, precise use of mathematical language and key sentences provide models for children to follow and build their own ideas around.  Children are encouraged to talk about what they have noticed and explore mathematical concepts in the form of relevant activities which bring the numbers and ideas to life in the wider Early Years environment.



Please see below for a copy of the yearly overviews for each year group from 1 - 6. 



Below is a set of instant recall facts that we would like the children to be secure in. These are organised by year groups and into half terms. These facts also form part of our home-learning.