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Richard Coates 

CE Primary School

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Mathematics is a way of communicating. It is a language through which ideas can be explained, explored and developed, relationships can be expressed, hypothesis can be made and tested and pattern can be identified. It is essential to everyday life and gives children a way of coming to terms with their environment. Mathematics equips children with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways. These skills are a necessary tool of everyday life. In addition, Mathematics is critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment. 


A high-quality mathematics education, therefore, provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. At Richard Coates Primary we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them beyond their time at our school.




At Richard Coates, we aim to develop lively, enquiring minds encouraging children to become self-motivated, confident and capable in order to solve problems that will become an integral part of their future. It is vital that a positive attitude towards Mathematics is encouraged amongst all of our children in order to foster confidence and achievement in a skill that is essential in our society.


The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure 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


We aim to provide children with a Mathematics curriculum and high-quality teaching to produce individuals who will:

  • become numerate and tackle mathematical problems with confidence
  • develop the skills which are needed to meet the demands of adult life
  • develop the ability to think logically and clearly
  • use mathematical language effectively and confidently
  • develop positive attitudes to mathematics, recognising that mathematics can be both useful and enjoyable
  • be able to use and apply the skills in other curricular areas.


We also wish to:

  • develop a passion for learning and encourage enquiring minds
  • inspire pupils to dare to take risks, explore and discover
  • foster skills for life-long learning, such as resilience, determination and perseverance



Our Mathematics curriculum is diligently sequenced to ensure that knowledge gained is cumulative; this aids apt progression as well as frequently providing pupils with the opportunity to draw on knowledge from previous year groups through our bespoke spaced retrieval strategies. Through this, our pupils understand the importance of the knowledge they gain through their Mathematics lessons while at Richard Coates and how it can be transferred to all areas of the curriculum. Providing pupils with these opportunities to put it into practice what they have learnt, we aim to ensure they are not only secondary school ready but can apply what they’ve learnt from primary school to their future career paths.


In Early Years Foundation Stage our children develop a strong grounding in number so they acquire the necessary building blocks to progress mathematically. Our focus is on children being able to count confidently and develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10. Children also explore the relationships and patterns within those numbers. Children are provided with frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding. These opportunities range from using manipulatives, such as small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting, to reciting songs, poems, rhymes and stories. Through these strategies we aim for our children to develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition to this, we plan a wealth of opportunities for our children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. From the very beginning of their educational career, we foster an environment where children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and are not afraid to make mistakes.


In Years 1 - 6, our lessons begin with an interleaving activity. Interleaving is the practice of giving children activities that contain questions on a variety of different mathematics topics; essentially, mixed exercises. This retrieval practice is a strategy we use to give children opportunities to remember things they have learnt previously. Regardless of the context and numbers in the question, children approach the question knowing the strategy they need to execute to solve it - things they may have begun to forget. It is quite simply giving children a task where they have to try and retrieve an answer or strategy from their long-term memory. Interleaving has been shown to increase the retention of children’s learning and their ability to transfer it to other contexts. 


In Key Stage 1, these interleaving activities are supplemented with a lot of oral counting and recall work to ensure children develop basic skills securely e.g. number bonds to 20, counting in 2's, 5s or 10s etc. 


The remaining part of the lesson focusses on whole-class delivery where:

  • Teachers constantly use formative assessment strategies to understand the learning in their classroom. This enables teachers to adapt and shape the subsequent learning, so all learners are appropriately supported and / or challenged and hence able to achieve their full potential.
  • Clear, detailed explanations and modelling are visible, ensuring that expectations are clear and children are scaffolded during independent practice.
  • Children have adequate time to practice, so that they retain key learning and concepts, but formative assessment ensures that children are not spending hours on skills they are already secure with. 
  • Skillful teacher questioning is used to support learners in reaching their potential. A mix of strategies are used to stretch children to the appropriate cognitive level. As such, class teachers probe for reasoning and clarification, and, as pupils move further up the school, they are taught to give full, detailed and reasoned responses. 
  • The Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract (CPA) approach to introducing, exploring and applying mathematical concepts is employed. This is where every child works towards the same objective and the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract methods makes this possible. Each class is provided with age-appropriate resources which can support and scaffold learning. In younger year groups, teachers will build concrete manipulatives into their lessons but, as they progress through school, children are taught to become independent learners and can select the appropriate scaffold themselves. 
  • Mathematical language plays a central role. Vocabulary is hugely important in mathematics and can often create a barrier to a child’s success. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are key factors in developing their mathematical vocabulary and hence their ability to present a mathematical justification, argument or proof. As such, each lesson will feature ‘buzzwords’ which will not only be displayed but referred to and reinforced as key teaching points in lessons across every year group.
  • Teachers make use of the outdoors and school environment, to support learning, where appropriate.
  • Pre-assessment tasks are used to enable teachers to plan ahead and build their curriculum to best support their children.


In terms of planning, we use the White Rose Maths scheme as a framework. This is supplemented with a number of other online resources, such as MyMaths, Times Table Rockstar, Numeracy Workout and TestBase.

We also seek opportunities for our children to showcase the skills they have acquired through entering national competitions such as the Primary Maths Challenge. 



The Mathematics curriculum at Richard Coates is sequential, relevant, interactive, engaging and designed in such a way as to support consolidation and retention of knowledge and skill:

  • Children will demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures e.g. number bonds and times tables. 
  • Children show confidence and are keen to attempt a range of problems. They are able to demonstrate flexibility and can move between different contexts and representations of maths. 
  • Children are developing skills in being articulate and are able to reason verbally, pictorially and in written form. 
  • Children are developing the ability to make connections between mathematical topics.


Teachers assess impact both formatively and summatively:

  • Formative assessments take place every lesson and may be through the use of strategies such as questioning, mini-whiteboards, quizzes or observations. 
  • End of topic assessments are also completed. 

The results of assessments allow teachers to evaluate whether children are being adequately supported and challenged. Where required, teachers will act swiftly to amend their planning and approaches to ensure that any gaps in learning are covered.


If misconceptions are identified, interventions will immediately be introduced to ensure there are no barriers to learning.