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Mathematics Curriculum Overviews

Click on the buttons below to see mathematics overviews for each class. If you would like more information about our mathematics curriculum or a paper copy, please follow the link to our contacts page.


Mathematics Rationale

 “Studying mathematics stimulates curiosity, fosters creativity and equips children with the skills they need in life beyond school.” NC2013

It is important to approach Maths only in a spirit of curiosity and discovery...” Shakuntala Devi

 “If you want to build high, you better first dig deep!” Tony Gardiner

Mathematics in our own words

At Carlton Hill Primary School mathematics is about:

  • enjoyment, curiosity and discovery
  • learning the skills needed in everyday life
  • developing skills that support other areas of the curriculum

To remind ourselves that we are striving to celebrate the wonder of maths and understand its importance in everyday life, when we talk about mathematics with children, we say: “Mathematics is about making discoveries and learning skills that are important in everyday life.” Our aim is to help children understand number relationships, spot patterns and make generalisations.  We believe in a multi-sensory approach to teaching mathematics. We use concrete materials and visual representations to expose mathematical concepts (making them less abstract) and to help children communicate their ideas, and we use precise language wherever possible. We believe that through effort, all pupils are capable of understanding, doing and improving at mathematics.

What is our approach to teaching maths?

Over recent years, we have been learning about the ‘teaching for mastery’ approach. We understand that mastery of anything – playing an instrument, speaking a new language – takes time. So if we consider mastery of addition, children start learning to add in early years and keep developing these skills over many years, from single digit numbers, to multi-digit numbers, then decimals, then fractions, then negatives and eventually addition in different units (such as time calculations: 35 minutes after 12:45pm). We break the journey down into small steps, spending time carefully considering each. Gradually, we move towards mastery where children are fluent in the unfamiliar and can apply their skills in any new situation.

How is our maths curriculum organised?

The fundamental idea behind our curriculum is to support children to be able to perform simpler tasks so they can then move on to perform more complex tasks (we cannot expect pupils to add two numbers together before they understand what each individual number represents). Each year is split into three terms, and each term comprises individual blocks of learning about a particular topic. Each block of knowledge is divided into a series of small learning steps. By learning maths in small, related chunks, we think children will remember more.

Our maths curriculum is designed to give children the opportunity to revisit skills that have already been learnt in different contexts (sometimes called ‘interleaving’). This helps our children to remember and to make connections between different parts of the curriculum. For example, in Year 3, after the ‘Addition and Subtraction’ block, pupils will revisit and practice these skills again through the following blocks: ‘Multiplication and Division’; ‘Money’; ‘Length and Perimeter’ and ‘Mass and Capacity’. Later, these skills are built on and extended in Year 4 and beyond. Revisiting and reinforcing are important in our maths curriculum. We use the ‘White Rose Maths’ materials to help us sequence National Curriculum objectives across the school.

Do we recognise the benefits and potential pitfalls of following a scheme of learning?

We believe that the best teachers (in any subject) have a secure personal understanding of what they are teaching. Whilst the White Rose Schemes of Learning can reduce teacher workload by providing high quality resources, we expect our teachers to take time to understand the materials they are using and to actively use formative assessment to inform how these materials are used. Our teachers adapt the existing materials - and draw from other materials, including those produced by the NCETM - to suit the needs of their class.

We believe that children’s needs should dictate the pace of learning. We understand that children learn at different rates at different times. Therefore, within our whole-class lessons, we also think carefully about how to provide appropriate challenge for all learners. We do not expect there to be a slavish following of the scheme to arrive at a certain point by a certain moment. A confident teacher, empowered by a good scheme of learning, will be able to direct class learning without feeling a need to rush; the teacher should move on only when the class is ready.

How does our mathematics curriculum support pupils with SEND?

This will depend on individuals’ needs. Our school follows a mastery approach, and this involves the whole class moving on to new objectives when the teacher decides that the majority of pupils have mastered the current ‘step’ in the sequence of learning. Therefore, when our teachers design a lesson, we are no longer thinking about separate activities for individual groups of children. We are aiming to plan lessons that are accessible to all children. We ask ourselves:  How can I teach this concept in such a way that everyone can understand it? In other words, we see differentiation as removing barriers and providing targeted support; we do not see differentiation as setting many different levels of work for every single step.

If a child is a low attainer in an area of maths, we aim to support them within the lesson by breaking a question into smaller steps and making use of appropriate resources to expose mathematical thinking. Children are not denied their right to learn about other subjects, by doing extensive maths interventions in wider-curriculum time. However, pupils with SEND may not be low attainers, so for some it will be the usual curriculum with additional resources suitable for meeting their particular needs.

We always develop strong pupil-teacher relationships and strive to know our individual children and their needs well.  In this way, we can set aspirational goals for every child, and understand what measures we need to put in place to help pupils meet these goals.

We encourage all learners, including those with SEND, to use concrete and pictorial representations as a regular part of maths practice. We have been working on this style of teaching for many years (and in all year groups).

We use a 'Maths Weekly Overview Grid' to plan maths lessons, and we include any groups or individuals that may need different provision.

How do you use the White Rose materials at Carlton Hill Primary school?

After expanding the trial of White Rose materials to include the whole school, our teaching team agreed on the following approach:

  • We are clear about the key skill we are aiming to teach. We ask ourselves “What concept do we want children to leave the lesson with?”
  • We use formative assessment and adapt the existing resources to meet the needs of our children.
  • We reduce lesson content and use short teaching inputs to allow children plenty of time to try tasks and demonstrate their understanding.
  • We draw from other high quality resources outside of White Rose to enhance teaching and learning and enjoyment.
  • We plan for children to be active learners. We ask ourselves “What manipulatives can we use?” We are skilled teachers, not slide show presenters!
  • We aspire to provide ‘Challenge for all!’ We consider how quality first teaching can work for all learners including those with SEND. We ask ourselves “How will we enable low attainers and give high attainers the opportunities to apply their understanding in unfamiliar contexts?” We plan for this on our weekly overviews.
  • We explicitly teach children how to present and record their maths work using a visualiser and actively avoid over-reliance on worksheets.

What is the impact of our mathematics curriculum?

We believe that spending longer on topics to help gain deeper understanding, and then revisiting ideas again and again in different contexts, helps our children develop their understanding of mathematics. We assess the effectiveness of our curriculum in the following ways.

Ongoing teacher assessment

Using the small steps structure, progression documents and the assessments described below helps our teachers to identify gaps and adjust teaching accordingly. At the start of a block of teaching we use ‘recap’ lessons to assess if children need more reinforcement of a concept before progressing. Through ‘live marking’, we can quickly spot if a child is struggling, and we can enable them with precise use of questioning, resources and support.

End of block assessments

Once per term during autumn and spring, we use end of block assessments to review what has been learnt and to inform the pace at which we progress onto new skills. In line with KS2 SATs, a consistent score of approximately 55% would indicate ‘Expected’ and 85% would indicate ‘Greater Depth’. These assessments help inform our judgements and inform decisions about interventions for individuals or groups of learners.

Summer term assessment

During summer term, we use a summative assessment and then we use the data from this formatively. The summative assessment gives a snapshot of the attainment in each class. The maths team use question analysis to identify where the curriculum is having most impact and where the curriculum needs to be developed. This information is shared with teachers to inform planning.

Fluency assessments

We have a focused approach to teaching fluency. Each year group is responsible for over-learning a clearly defined set of basic number facts. We have used the Number Sense materials to help us structure this approach. We have also introduced half-termly, light-touch assessment of fluency, and it is exciting to see that children are becoming more efficient at recalling these facts. We believe that this will support children with reasoning and more complex maths because being fluent in basic number facts can free-up the short-term memory for trickier calculations.

Our teachers have agreed to teach and assess the following areas of fluency:

  • YR “I can subitise to 5 and recognise some number patterns to 10”
  • Y1 “I can make and break all the numbers from 1-10”
  • Y2 “I know all the addition and subtraction facts within 10”
  • Y3 “I know all the addition and subtraction facts across 10”
  • Y4 “I know all the multiplication facts up to 12 x 12”
  • Y5 “I know all the division facts related to the times tables”
  • Y6 “I can use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts to solve a range of problems”

What are the inspirations for our mathematics curriculum?

As mentioned above, we adapt materials created by White Rose Education, an organisation that has been helping schools in the UK to improve maths education. However, we do not use any scheme exclusively because we seek the best possible materials available for each maths concept. Our teachers are members of the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the teaching of Mathematics) and we regularly use their materials for teaching and training, in particular the 'Ready to Progress' resources that enable a teacher to prioritise key concepts before moving on. We have also been inspired by the multi-sensory Numicon Approach and the carefully sequenced Number Sense approach. These approaches have helped us understand that having the right resources available can help children and teachers communicate their ideas.

What do our pupils have to say about maths?

“I love maths. I’ve learnt about writing numbers, drawing shapes and telling the time.” Year 2 child

“On maths for life day I met a software engineer and a psychotherapist. They use maths in their jobs.” Year 2 child

“Millie the fashion designer taught us about measuring. She said that fashion is maths.” Year 2 child

“I made a chatterbox during the maths lesson and it helps me to learn my number facts.” Year 3 child

“My favourite part of maths is percentages. 15% is the same as 15 out of 100.” Year 5 child

“What I found interesting about maths for life day was the measuring of pixels that Felix’s mum Katerina (Senior Director of Product) taught us about. The code linked to each pixel is linked to its exact colour.” Year 5 child

“On maths for life day I learned that there are 30 trillion bits of DNA in one human and there are 2 metres in one cell! The DNA in a human can stretch to the furthest planet and back twice!” Year 6 child

What are the key milestones in maths?

These key milestones are a snapshot to support teachers when assessing children’s learning. Please see the ‘Progression in skills and knowledge’ document to see how these are mapped in more detail.

Early Years (EYFC)


Use number names and symbols when comparing numbers. Estimates of numbers of things.


Reciting numbers from 0 to 10 (and beyond) and back from 10 to 0. Increasingly confident at putting

numerals in order 0 to 10 (ordinality).


Engages in subitising numbers up to five. Counts out up to 10 objects from a larger group. Matches the numeral with a group of items to show how many there are (up to 10)


Understand the ‘one more than/one less than’ relationship between consecutive numbers. Explore the composition of numbers to 10. Automatically recall number bonds for numbers 0-5 and some to 10.

Spatial awareness

Uses spatial language, including following and giving directions, using relative terms and describing what they see from different viewpoints.


Recognise a shape can have other shapes within it, just as numbers can. Uses informal language and

analogies, (e.g. heart-shaped and hand-shaped leaves), as well as mathematical terms to describe shapes.


Continue, copy and create repeating patterns.


Compare length, weight and capacity.

Key Stage 1

By the end of Year 1, children should have started to:

  • make and break all the numbers from 1-10
  • add 1 and 2-digit numbers to 20
  • subtract two 1-digit numbers to 10
  • subtract 1 and 2-digit numbers to 20
  • solve one-step problems with multiplication and division

By the end of Year 2, children should be able to:

  • know all the addition and subtraction facts within 10
  • add three 1-digit numbers
  • add two 2-digit numbers
  • subtract 1 and 2-digit numbers to 100
  • subtract two 2-digit numbers
  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10-times table
  • solve one-step problems with division (sharing/grouping)

Key Stage 2

By the end of Year 3 and 4, children should be able to:

  • know all the addition and subtraction facts across 10
  • add with up to 3-digits
  • add with up to 4-digits
  • subtract with up to 3-digits
  • subtract with up to 4-digits
  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the times tables (up to 12)
  • multiply 3-digit by 1-digit numbers
  • divide up to 3-digits by 1-digit (sharing with remainders/exchanges)

By the end of Year 5 and 6 children should be able to:

  • add with more than 4 digits
  • add with up to 3 decimal places
  • subtract with more than 4 digits
  • subtract with up to 3 decimal places
  • multiply 2-digit by up to 4-digit numbers
  • use addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts to solve a range of problems
  • divide multi-digits by 2-digits (short division)
  • divide multi-digits by 2-digits (long division)


Strengths and areas of development

What does assessment say about pupil progress?

Statutory data shows children achieved above national standards in KS1 and KS2 in 2023. Disadvantaged children are also achieving well.

KS1 – 77% Expected + (Nat 70%), Disadvantaged 62% (Nat 56%)

KS2 – 88% Expected + (Nat73%), Disadvantaged 69% (Nat 59%)

Year 4 Multiplication Checks show more children are achieving well.

2022 – 63% got 20+ out of 25, our everage score was 19.2 our of 25

2023 – 69% got 20 + out of 25, our average score was 20.1 out of 25

KS2 Maths SATS Progress at our school was 2.8 in July 2023 which is higher than LA (-0.4) and National (0). Progress for disadvantaged pupils was also higher than LA and National

What are the strengths of maths?

We have embedded teaching for mastery across the school. Now we working on sustaining this approach, ensuring continued improvement, consistency and refinement of teaching for mastery. Manipulatives are used regularly in all classes to expose the structure of the mathematical concept, alongside clear representations. These enable encourage children to visualise the concept. Teachers use stem sentences and questioning to encourage children to find relationships and connections within the concept. Small steps and challenge are included in all lessons and both are available for all. Teachers have high expectations and communication between year groups is very strong. Teachers discuss which methods work well, which concepts are well understood and which need more attention. Assessment effectively to identify any areas of weakness which are subsequently addressed.

Our KS2 results show our children are achieving above national standards in all strands of numeracy. Pupils performed particularly well in ‘Fractions, decimals and percentages’, ‘Geometry’ and ‘Calculations’. Teachers have the confidence to spend time on key concepts and adapt their planning to ensure children have a secure understanding in these areas.

What are the areas of development?

In the future, we would like to develop:

  • Fluency with a focus on intelligent practice and oracy – using meaningful repetition
  • Reasoning using precise mathematical language to explain
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