Curriculum Intent

Maths helps us to understand so much about what happens in the world. We want all our pupils to experience enjoyment of maths and through a positive attitude develop a sense of curiosity about the subject. We believe this will enable all our children to gain a secure and deep understanding of key mathematical concepts. 

As mathematicians our children will:

  • Develop an understanding of the important mathematical concepts and be able to make connections 
  • Acquire a broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics
  • Develop a strong knowledge and fluent recall of key number facts and the number system
  • Show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts
  • Think independently and persevere when faced with challenges, showing confidence of success
  • Embrace the value of learning from mistakes made
  • Develop the ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions
  • Become fluent in performing written and mental calculations and mathematical techniques
  • Use a wide range of mathematical vocabulary effectively 

At Micklefield we aim to provide children with the means of making sense of the world in which they live. We don’t just teach a set of isolated facts and techniques; at Micklefield mathematics is a language which children can use to help interpret the world around them. We encourage their reasoning skills to grow and to apply this to real life and intriguing problems. Within our teaching of mathematics, we endeavour to develop the mental fluency of mathematical skills in order to further prepare our chikdren and develop their confidence with everyday use.

In order to achieve all of the above we use a maths mastery approach to teach mathematics using a variety of teaching techniques and resources. Teachers use the White Rose Maths Hub schemes of learning and NCETM materials to support their medium term planning. They support a mastery approach to teaching and learning and have number at their heart.

Maths Mastery

We are of the belief that all children are capable of achieving high standards and challenge is part of everyday maths for all our pupils. A mastery curriculum incorporates the 5 big ideas; Fluency, Mathematical Thinking, use of Representation and Structure, Procedural and Conceptual Variation and Coherence into every maths lesson.

Mastery teaching addresses the needs of all children on a daily basis; support is provided, when appropriate, through same day intervention for those who did not grasp concepts and challenge is provided through depth of both planned activities and higher questioning for those for whom concepts were well understood.


We aim to ensure that all children become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics. Through the mastery approach, we provide all children with the opportunity to develop procedural and conceptual fluency. Children are required to reason and make connections between calculations. The connections made improve their fluency.

For example: Don’t count, calculate

Young children benefit at an early stage to start calculating, rather than relying on ‘counting on’ as a way of calculating.


Rather than starting at 4 and counting on 7, children can use their knowledge of number facts and bridge to 10 to deduce that because 4+6=10, so 4+7 must equal 11.

Reasoning – Mathematical Thinking

All children are expected to respond using mathematical vocabulary in full sentences explaining their thinking, this is developed through questioning and the use of sentence stems. Through reasoning, children are able to extend their understanding beyond arithmetic.

Progression in reasoning can be seen in lessons by the use of carefully scaffolded and differentiated questions:

Describing – saying what happened, What do you notice? What do you see?

Explaining – beginning to offer reasons for what was done. What do you wonder?

Convincing – confident that the chain of reasoning is right. What do you know?

Justfying – a correct logical argument which has a complete chain of reasoning to it. How do you know?

Proving – a watertight argument that is mathematically sound. What if?

For example: Consecutive numbers

If I add three consecutive numbers, will I get an odd or an even answer?

Children can use apparatus to explore this. Can you prove that you are right? Ideas such as this can be explored with increasing depth as children progress through school and their reasoning skills develop.

Problem Solving

Children are given opportunity to apply 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. Planning ensure that problems are designed to deepen children’s understanding of essential concepts.

For example: Developing children’s understanding of the = symbol

The symbol = is an assertion of equivalence. If we write: 3+4=6+1 then we are saying that what is on the left of the = symbol is necessarily equivalent to what is on the right of the symbol. But many children interpret = as being simply an instruction to evaluate a calculation, as a result of seeing it used thus:

If children only think of = as meaning ‘work out the answer to this calculation’ then they are likely to get confused by empty box questions such as: 3+      =8. Later they are very likely to struggle with simple algebraic equations, such as: 3y=18. Therefore children are taught to answer empty box problems with variation of the position of the = sign from an early age.

In our maths lessons you will see:

  • Children using practical resources such as place value counters and numicon
  • Children using a variety of pictorial representations, such as the bar method
  • Teachers with sentence repetition and children answering in full sentences using sentence stems
  • Lots of practical maths and problem solving based on real life experiences
  • Open ended problems, challenges and differentiated questioning
  • A ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach

Through our maths teaching we aim to:

  • Create an environment where children learn from mistakes and misconceptions
  • Develop children’s understanding of number, mathematical reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Challenge all children
  • Develop children’s confidence and enjoyment of mathematics

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