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At Harold Wood Primary School (HWPS), our intent for maths is to teach a rich, balanced and progressive curriculum, to equip our pupils with a powerful set of tools to understand and engage with the 21st century: to prepare them for the next steps in their learning.

The aim of our maths curriculum is to:

  • Foster and develop a positive attitude to maths as an interesting and engaging part of the curriculum.
  • Ensure all pupils are able to use mathematical concepts, facts and procedures, flexibly and fluently.
  • Develop children’s accuracy and speed in recalling number facts and to be able to use these to work out unknown facts.
  • Have sufficient depth of knowledge and understanding to reason and explain mathematical concepts and to use these to solve problems.
  • Develop articulate communicators, who can explain understanding confidently.
  • Develop personal qualities such as perseverance, resilience, patience, aspiration and self-belief through a sense of achievement and success.

The mapping of maths across the school’s long term plan shows clear progression in line with age related expectations and the 2014 National Curriculum. Termly objectives build progressively over the year, revisiting skills to ensure mastery, in line with White Rose maths scheme. The curriculum has been designed to meet the needs of the pupils in the school community, with teachers ensuring that they adapt lessons to support the children regardless of their starting point and further educational needs.


From the National Curriculum (2014):


Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Key stage 1 (year 1 and 2)

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools]. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.

Key stage 2 

Lower key stage 2 (year 3 and 4)

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.

Upper key stage 2 (year 5 and 6)

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages. Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.

At Harold Wood

Children are taught maths daily in their classes, except year 6 who are set based on ability. Each lesson begins with a mental or oral starter which revisits children’s previous learning and allows them to consolidate skills and methods taught. This time allows the teacher to assess the children for gaps in their learning to assist future planning. The lessons are dedicated time to build and embed key skills and knowledge across all maths areas. The ‘3 star’ approach is used for whole class teaching – ‘1 star’ as consolidation or a stepping stone for the ‘2 star’. This may be a previous year’s objective to recap and support the children’s progression of skills. The ‘2 star’ activity is based in line with the year group’s national curriculum objectives allowing the children to use what they have previously learnt and apply it to a more challenging task. The ‘3 star’ activity is a mastery problem solving or reasoning investigation which challenges the greater depth children. Work is adapted to cater for all children’s needs to allow all children to develop strong foundations and understanding before moving onto the next stage. 

To ensure consistency and progression, Harold Wood Primary follows the White Rose Maths Scheme which is tailored in line with the National Curriculum statutory and non-statutory guidance. Lessons are planned in sequence to develop and build on the children’s fluency, reasoning and problem-solving skills. Consolidation and adaptability are fundamental for all children to achieve and understand the objectives taught. Decisions to challenge further or practise an area of learning further is based on how deep the children’s understanding is; being able to apply their learning in different ways. From this, further sophisticated challenges are given for that current stage or pre-teaching and intervention groups are used for further practise. Maths is evident all around and the use of investigations and relatable problem solving to real life contexts is key in children’s mathematical development. 

Teachers have strong subject knowledge and use precise questioning as a form of assessment as well as instant feedback to determine those who need support or are to be extended and how to adapt their lesson in order for all to achieve. Correct mathematical vocabulary is used throughout the learning process as key vocabulary introduced for the lesson, in the activities, questioning and in feedback. In turn, this enables the children to use mathematical vocabulary correctly in their learning. Swift in-lesson feedback and marking identifies misconceptions and what children have done well, informing further planning. Each lesson the children’s work is either peer-assessed or self-assessed, giving the children instant feedback on how well they have understood.

Times Tables Rockstars is an additional resource available to all children which is a tailored online system to assist the children in learning their times tables. Each child has an initial times tables test to assess their knowledge of all times tables. From there, the system presents the facts more frequently for the individual child’s needs until the pupil has mastered them and can move on.  It will also ask related division questions 20% of the time in order to reinforce division facts. The content domain for the Multiplication Tables Check is based on the national curriculum (2014). The national curriculum states, ‘By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work’. Use of Times Tables Rockstars is incorporated into the lessons and used as a tool for homework to increase children’s recall and fluency of times tables.


The impact of our mathematics curriculum is ensuring children are confident in understanding the importance of what they are learning in relation to real world concepts. Children recognise that maths is an essential life skill that they will rely on in many areas of their daily life. 

Teachers and support staff ensure maths lessons are engaging and well-resourced resulting in children having a positive view of maths in which they can investigate and ask questions.  Children show confidence in believing that they will achieve and are keen to attempt a range of problems and demonstrate the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of maths.  

Our maths books evidence work of a high standard of which children clearly take pride; the range of activities demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Teachers measure impact each lesson through formative assessment; which ensures planning is adapted to meet the needs of the class.  This also enables teachers to identify children who could benefit from regular intervention, ensuring a high level of progress is achieved across each year group. 

Useful docs: 


Year 6 Curriculum Overview

Year 5 Curriculum Overview

Year 4 Curriculum Overview

Year 3 Curriculum Overview

Year 2 Curriculum Overview

Year 1 Curriculum Overview