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  • Bolden Terrace, Westhouses, Alfreton, Derbyshire, DE55 5AF. Tel: 01773 832 518


Our Vision:

At Westhouses Primary School, we know that it important to develop children’s mathematical confidence and fluency in a range of engaging and meaningful ways to ensure they are equipped to succeed in the future and in later employed life. By the end of their time at Westhouses, children should be able to confidently tackle a wide range of problems resiliently and effectively.


Our Intent:

The aims of our provision are in line with those of the national curriculum for mathematics which 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, investigating relationships and making generalisations, as well as providing a 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.


Key Elements of Learning:


As a school, we teach mathematics following a mastery approach. Lessons focus on developing depth of learning, ensuring that children have the opportunity to work in smaller steps to develop a secure understanding of the concepts outlined in the National Curriculum. Lessons use parts of the big ideas of maths mastery:




We follow the Programmes of Study in the national curriculum for Mathematics which breaks learning initially into four strands. These are: number, measurement, geometry and statistics. By year 6, the additional strands of algebra and ratio & proportion are built into the Programmes of Study. School teaches a mastery curriculum focusing on firstly embedding understanding, delivered through the teaching of concrete, pictorial and abstract skills. Further practice ensures fluency in the skills. The skills are then mastered in deeper-thinking activities; this requires the application of skills to problem-solving, investigation and reasoning. Integral to all maths lessons is the teaching of efficient mental maths strategies.


We plan our schemes of learning using a variety of resources, but base our structure around the White Rose Maths schemes of learning, in conjunction Power Maths, all of which follow the 2014 national curriculum programmes of study strands. This allows us to ensure the children are able to tackle problems in a variety of ways and develop their reasoning and problem solving skills effectively.


Prior to each unit, children in KS1 and KS2 complete a pre-assessment task, which identifies any gaps in learning and whether children require further challenge. This is used to then plan the maths journey of this unit. During this time, children are encouraged to reflect on their learning and where they feel they require additional support. At the end of each block, children will then complete a post-assessment task, which will identify areas of further development to be addresses either through intervention or revision sessions.


In each class, we ensure there are a wide range of manipulatives (such as Base Ten, Numicon, place value counters, number lines, number squares etc.) to support our children’s conceptual understanding of mathematics. We then move understanding on to pictorial and abstract representations, which allow children to become quicker and fluent mathematicians.


Each class uses the school calculation policy, which outlines how we move on children's knowledge using apparatus (concrete), drawings (pictorial) and formal written methods (abstract).


As a school, we have also bought into the MyMaths programme, which allows children to practice key skills through games and activities, which provide immediate feedback and can alert the class teacher to areas of strength and areas which require support. Each child also has a subscription to Numbots and Times Tables Rock Stars - these online programmes aim to build number fluency through number bond, multiplication and division games.


Maths (Numeracy, Number, Shape and Measures) in Reception:


Pupils in Reception encounter maths in a variety of ways every day. Children take part in a daily adult-led maths session each day, which follows the NCETM Mastering Number Programme. Sessions may also exploring shape, time and pattern based upon their current themes of learning – these sessions are developed from the White Rose Scheme of learning. We also use the CBBC Number Blocks materials to explore numbers in different ways, to support children with numeral recognition and challenge children to think about numbers in different ways. We aim for our classroom to be 'maths rich' by exposing children to different ways of mathematical concepts: representing numbers in different ways, shape matching, use of time language etc.


Adults plan for and organise additional activities around the classroom for the children to explore during their enhanced provision time. This may be through a number sequencing activity, time ordering or use of measuring materials in sand and water areas. Children take part in focused activities with an adult at least twice per week, where they complete a formal activity which goes into their Maths books, or is recorded using our online portal, Tapestry.


Maths in Key Stage 1:


Each unit of learning must explore the following three strands:


  1. Element 1 – Focus on prior learning and areas which may have misconceptions and gaps.
  2. Element 2: Use the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to develop secure fluency.
  3. Element 3: Ensure children are able to reason and problem solve effectively.



Each lesson, lessons begin with a counting activity, followed by a Flashback 4 task, which explores prior learning to help it 'stick'. They then complete a 'Discover Together' or 'Anchor Task', which is used to assess the children's current understanding of a concept, that will be focused on during the lesson. Following teaching with their year group, the children then complete an independent task which follows the White Rose Scheme of learning, often supplemented by the resources from, Power Maths. By the Summer Term of year 2, children also complete Deep Dive tasks at the end of the lesson, which encourages additional reasoning and problem solving. Manipulatives are used to embed learning in all classes, before moving on to using pictorial methods and formal written methods.


Maths in Key Stage 2:


Each unit of learning must explore the following three strands:


  1. Element 1 – Focus on prior learning and areas which may have misconceptions and gaps.
  2. Element 2: Use the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach to develop secure fluency.
  3. Element 3: Ensure children are able to reason and problem solve effectively.



Each KS2 class follows a similar structure in maths: they begin with a counting or multiplication task, followed by an anchor task, which assesses children's current understanding, guided practice, independent learning (using PowerMaths or other appropriate activities in-line with the White Rose Scheme) in their Maths books, then complete either a reflect or Deep Dive Challenge - these aim to check and challenge understanding further. Problem Solving and Reasoning should be embedded for all children in every lesson. Manipulatives are used to embed learning in all classes, before moving on to using pictorial methods and formal written methods.


Role of parents:

We recognise the importance of parental involvement. To enable parents to support their children, we adopt the following activities:

  • Help videos are uploaded to the website to support parents when helping their children to answer problems involving the four operations: these aim to model how different methods are carried out and can be found here: https://www.westhouses.derbyshire.sch.uk/maths-calculations/
  • Use of MyMaths – children may be set activities on MyMaths to complete at home – these activities will be in-line with work completed n school and often have online lessons to support children and parents to complete.
  • Meetings which explore ways to support children, demonstrating how to use the various methods and resources available.
  • Calculation Policy – this document in also used by teachers and support staff and outlines the methods expected for each year group and phases of the school. This can be found on the policies page of the website here: https://www.westhouses.derbyshire.sch.uk/policies/



At the beginning of each block, children complete a Pre-Assessment, which includes Age-Related concepts, as well as concepts from previous year groups. This allows teachers to identify gaps in learning, and areas where children require additional challenge. These assessments are based on the White Rose Maths block assessments and schemes of learning.


Teachers continually assess children’s understanding through daily marking and feedback. This ensures that children are able to receive immediate intervention and support as required, as well as providing challenge for children who grasp concepts quicker. The children actively engage in unit/block checklists (which focus on key objectives and vocabulary) and  ‘game board’ target sheets which encourage children to identify their areas of strength and their own personal next steps. We also use the NFER assessments, White Rose Termly Tests and end of key stage tests (SATs) to identify gaps in knowledge and skills.