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Subject Vision

Mathematics is a universally spoken language that plays an essential role in children becoming well-rounded and functioning members of society. At Earl Spencer Primary School we aim to inspire, motivate and challenge pupils through providing them with an enjoyable, rich and engaging curriculum which is designed in order to allow all children to be successful. Our mastery approach removes the ceiling on learning, allowing all children the opportunity to become confident and enthusiastic mathematicians who can think critically, communicate effectively, taking pride in their work and aspiring to be the best they can be.



Our intent for mathematics at Earl Spencer is to teach a rich, deep and progressive curriculum using maths to reason, problem solve and develop fluent conceptual understanding in each area. Our curriculum is frequently reviewed to ensure that is it current and effective and teachers are supported and aided in their teaching of mathematics through appropriate high quality CPD ensuring confidence in the skills and knowledge that they are required to teach.  Maths teaching is underpinned by the belief that all children need a deep understanding of the mathematics they are learning; to foster an enthusiasm and love of mathematics; to believe in themselves as mathematicians and develop the power of resilience and perseverance when faced with mathematical challenges.  A concrete, pictorial, abstract approach provides children with a clear structure in which they can develop their depth of understanding of mathematical concepts.  We intend our classrooms to be ‘vocabulary rich’, encouraging children to talk about their maths, using stem sentences to help children structure and communicate their thinking and the use of talk partners to develop Oracy in Mathematics. Our curriculum allows children to better make sense of the world around them, making connections between mathematics and everyday life. 



Our secure, staff subject knowledge allows the intentions of our mathematics curriculum to be delivered successfully to our pupils. We continually strive to build upon the excellent understanding of the expectations of the curriculum that our staff have. We achieve this through regular quality CPD which is provided through the subject leader, external courses and external professionals.  All staff are encouraged to raise questions, seek support and request further training if needed in order to ensure everyone is confident in what they teach. Good practice is always shared between staff and all CPD is used to inform teaching and learning across school.


At Earl Spencer Primary School, we use a mastery approach to learning, following the White Rose schemes of learning to help us do this. Teachers follow the progression of the White Rose, and use their schemes of learning to support their planning. However, the pace at which each class moves through this progression, is dependent upon regular assessment of learning by the teacher, ensuring that they are moving at a pace that is appropriate for the children in their class. Staff use the White Rose schemes of learning to support them in their planning, but not to rely upon. We create our own planning and resources to ensure that the learning we are providing is designed and tailored to meet the needs of all children. Our mastery approach means that all children are taught together, having access to quality first teaching from the teacher ensuring there is the same opportunity for all children to master concepts. We do not differentiate, but rather carefully design our lessons so that appropriate support such as longer exposure to manipulatives or carefully scaffolded resources are available to children to need longer to master the concept, and appropriate challenge is provided to rapid graspers.


Resources and equipment are audited regularly so that children have carefully chosen and planned for manipulatives of high quality to support their learning. We have carefully chosen the manipulatives and representations we use to teach mathematical concepts, to ensure there is consistency and progression across the school.  Our carefully chosen manipulatives and representations allow us to have a consistent approach in moving children through the concrete, pictorial, abstract (CPA) approach.  When children have grasped a concept using manipulatives and representation to support them, then are they ready to move on to the abstract. As children will have a secure understanding of the concept they are learning through the use of manipulatives and representations, children will then be able to use this knowledge to aid them in solving problems mentally. However, manipulatives are still available to children to support them in all maths lessons, and representations are still encouraged independently to help the children move through these stages.


Before teaching a unit of work, the teacher will carry out a pre-assessment which is designed to help teachers understand where they need to pitch their lesson, and any children who may need support or challenge. From this intervention, at the start of each unit all teachers will set up a Maths pre-teaching intervention group. Those children who have been identified on the pre-assessment to need extra support will receive pre-teaching weekly in order to help these children keep up with the rest of the class, rather than trying to help them catch up after concepts have been taught. The hope is that these children will come into lessons with some prior knowledge, known vocabulary and access to manipulatives prior to the lesson so that these things are familiar already to the children and they can just focus on mastering the concept. 


At the start of every lesson the teacher displays a retrieval practice OMS for children to be accessing. This is split into 4 sections with a different question for children to answer mentally. These questions are taking from prior lessons and units that the children have covered under the four headings – last lesson, last week, last unit, last term. Giving children the opportunity to remember and recall things they have learned during the course of the year enables our children to retain that knowledge and apply it to different contexts and problems.


We ensure that the all pupils in all class move through our curriculum at broadly the same pace. However, based on regular and continuous assessment for learning, our teachers make decisions about when to progress children, and how best to fill gaps in their learning for our children who join Earl Spencer part way through a key stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged by ‘going deeper’; being offered rich and more sophisticated problems rather than being moved onto new content. Mastery strategies such as ‘Prove it, compare, true or false and find the odd one out’ are used.


Rich mathematical language is an essential part of our mathematics curriculum at Earl Spencer Primary School. Each classroom is a vocabulary rich environment with regular opportunities for children to engage in mathematical talk both with the teacher and with their peers. Children are constantly and consistently encourage to verbalise their thinking is maths using ‘maths talk’ and use stems sentences to support children in doing this.


At Earl Spencer Primary school we recognise the importance of home-school collaboration, and are aware of the impact that practising the knowledge and skills taught in school at home can have on children’s mathematical understanding. In order to support with this, we use Times Tables Rock Stars for multiplication practise, application and consolidation and Numbots for basic skills, application and consolidation. Maths homework is set weekly across the school based on what children have been learning that week, providing children with the opportunity to practise the skills they have learned and apply them to real life contexts.


Teachers are constantly monitoring pupils’ progress, carrying out assessment for learning regularly in classes. At the end of each unit of work, summative assessments taken from the White Rose schemes of learning are used to assess children’s understanding. This give teachers an understanding of which children have mastered the concepts that have been taught and can apply them independently. The outcomes of these assessments form parts of teachers judgements when teacher assessing at the end of each term.



As mathematics is a universally spoken language, we believe that our carefully designed and implemented curriculum will allow our children to leave us in Year 6 with a vast amount of knowledge, strategies and skills that can help them to calculate efficiently, all underpinned by our CPA approach. Due to our stimulating learning environments and engaging approach, children will leave Earl Spencer as confident mathematicians with a love for exploring, investigating and reasoning. Our children will know that it is okay to make mistakes, and that these mistakes are what we learn from. They will have the skills and resilience to reason and problems solve and be able to apply this to a range of situations in their day-to-day life. Our children have a good understanding of their strengths and targets for development in maths and what they need to do to improve. Our maths books evidence work of a high standard of which children clearly take pride in and the range of activities demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Our feedback and interventions support children to strive to be the best mathematicians they can be, ensuring a high proportion of children are on track or above.