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Mathematics

At Barnes Primary School our aim is to ensure that all children become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, can reason mathematically and can solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge and understanding. To achieve these aims, our mathematics planning is underpinned by five key principles.

During mathematics lessons, teachers use concrete or pictorial representations so that children understand the mathematical structures being taught.  Once the children have a deep understanding of the concept, they are then expected to work without manipulatives.

The quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures as well as the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics is essential. To create fluent mathematicians, teachers use small chunks of time before school, after lunch and during lesson transitions to work on key facts.

Variation is an important feature of mathematics lessons. Conceptual variation is used so that the children have the opportunity to look at a concept being taught in more than one way. This variation draws attention to critical aspects of a concept to develop a strong understanding. Teachers also aim to use procedural variation so that activities and exercises are sequenced carefully to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structures.

We want children to enjoy thinking mathematically. Throughout the school there are opportunities for children to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and making generalisations.

Our final key principle is coherence. Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to the ability to apply the concept in a range of contexts.

Our expectation is that the majority of children will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged by being offered rich reasoning and problem solving activities. Those who are not sufficiently fluent will be offered additional practice to try and close any gaps in understanding.

An overview of each year group can be found below. These show the order and the length of time that year groups spend on key areas set out in the National Curriculum. The year group curriculum maps then offer a further breakdown of each half term with key learning objectives listed.

Parents frequently state that they are uncertain how to support their children because ‘ they might get confused as we learnt it a different way when we were at school’.  The following four documents provide clear guidance on how we teach the four operations:

Calculation policy – Year 1

Calculation policy – Year 2

Calculation policy – Year 3

Calculation policy – Year 4

Calculation policy – Year 5

Calculation policy – Year 6

Year 2 Mathematics Teaching presentation evening – December 2017

Want to see how we teach it? The short videos below explain how Year 2 teachers teach some of the important skills in number. Further films will be added in the weeks to come (posted April 2016).

Number bonds to 20 – Part 2

Adding by partitioning part 1

Adding by partitioning part 2

Child demonstration – Adding by partitioning part 2

Teacher – Adding 3 single digit numbers

Number bonds to 20 – Part 1

Teacher – Finding the difference

Adding 2, 2 digit numbers using an empty number line


Some other films showing how we teach some of the key skills.

Addition by partitioning

Adding single digit numbers

Subtraction by counting back

Subtraction by finding the difference

The following document is designed for pupils in Years 4, 5 and 6 who are performing below average in mathematics. It outlines key, fundamental knowledge that must be secure if further success is to follow: number bonds; odd and even number recognition; multiplication tables; halving; doubling; near doubles and other basic calculation strategies.

Mental arithmetic skills book