Maths at Holystone

At Holystone Primary School children are taught numeracy according to the requirements of the National Numeracy Strategy and Foundation Stage in Early Years. In teaching numeracy we allow children to develop and apply the skills necessary for everyday life. We try to assist understanding, confidence and enjoyment to allow children to perform to the best of their ability. All our children are entitled to have access to the numeracy curriculum and work is differentiated according to ability to enable this to happen. All children are treated the same at Holystone Primary School irrespective of ability, background or ethnic background. Children have at least 5 hours of numeracy lessons each week with a daily lesson lasting one hour. Numeracy forms an important part of many other subjects and children are encouraged to apply skills wherever possible e.g. in science and geography lessons. The effective use of the time available is a significant factor in achieving high standards. Many children will exceed five hours a week through workshops, maths club and booster sessions.


Scope of the Subject


  • To deliver statutory National Curriculum through the Numeracy Strategy

  • To maintain and increase confidence in numeracy

  • To develop logical thought and problem solving in numeracy

  • To develop children’s enjoyment of the subject

  • To provide high quality of teaching and resources (suitable for all abilities)

  • To value and support the efforts and achievements of all children

  • To develop enquiring minds, knowledge, skills and attitudes

  • To allow children to apply skills in real life contexts

  • To help children to access other areas of the curriculum e.g. scientific graphs


    General Aims


    In the early years our children will aim to:


  • Learn mathematical language – with number rhymes

  • Sort and match

  • Count figures and associate them with correct numerals

  • Match one object to another

  • Use number operations such as add and subtract in a very practical way

  • Estimating, using maths, for everyday activities (applying number skills)

  • Identify shapes


    By the end of Key Stage 1 our children will aim to:


  • Use the language of number, including symbols and relationships

  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide small numbers

  • Calculate mentally with accuracy

  • Use calculators appropriately and with confidence for simple number operations

  • Use non-standard and standard measures of length, weight, capacity and time

  • Use halves and quarters effectively

  • Tell the time from analogue clocks

  • Know the names of regular shapes

  • Create and interpret block graphs

  • Use and apply mathematics

  • Begin to work independently


    By the end of Key Stage 2 our children will also aim to:


  • Understand place value

  • Add, subtract, multiply and divide larger numbers

  • Use standard units of distance, time, weight, rotation and capacity

  • Know 3D shape names, properties and create nets

  • Use decimal notation, fractions and graphical representation competently (includes working with money and time)

  • Use ratio and proportion

  • Use and apply maths skills in a problem solving context – explain what they have done and why

  • Work independently on tasks, ICT programs etc




    Methodology and Delivery


    The teachers at Holystone Primary School will communicate ideas to children in an enjoyable way. A variety of teaching styles will be used, providing constant stimulus to our children. Visual, kinaesthetic and auditory learning styles will be catered for in lessons. The styles, group work, individual work, games and investigations will suit the needs of the children in each class. ICT will be used, where possible, to support learning in whole class and independent work. Children are encouraged to use higher order thinking skills during lessons, especially when focusing on problem solving.


    Throughout the school (from reception to year 6) the Abacus scheme of work is used to support the planning and delivery of lessons. Plans from the new framework (blocks and strands) are also used to support teaching/planning. Elements of these resources (and others) are then pulled together to form weekly planning sheets which are monitored regularly by the SLT. Topics are usually taught in weekly or fortnightly blocks although in some classes units may be taught in a different order to match ability or work in other subjects.


    The methodology will include:


  • Explanation by the teacher

  • Learning intentions/success criteria displayed each lesson

  • Discussion between teacher and children, and between peers through pair/share

  • Practical work

  • Questioning

  • Problem solving including application of numeracy to real life situations

  • Explanation of problem solving methods

  • Investigational work

  • Consolidation and practice of fundamental skills

  • Use of text books, challenges, ICT programs, Nrich website, Internet

  • Self and peer marking against success criteria

  • Assessment (formative and summative) – using abacus assessments and Testbase (QCA test questions).

  • Weekly homework related to objectives taught – could be in the form of a worksheet, book work, game or other activity.


    The methodology of teaching includes individual, whole class, paired and group work. Groups of different sizes will be used to match purpose and task. Groups may also be withdrawn or supported within the class by Raising Standards Assistants. Activities follow the same learning intention of a lesson but tasks may be significantly differentiated. Data is analysed regularly by the assessment co-ordinator and staff to ensure children are targeted appropriately if they are falling behind ARE or not making sufficient progress. Children who have been identified as needing additional support may attend boosters, clubs, have RSA or teacher support within the lesson or attend one to one sessions.


    Classroom Organisation


    The teacher will ensue that the environment is attractive, stimulating, interactive and lively leading to exciting and effective learning. All resources will be clearly labelled and differentiated and accessible, where appropriate, to the children. ICT will be used during lessons- interactive whiteboards, classroom computer suites and the laptops will all be used to support teaching where appropriate. Staff are encouraged to have displays to promote numeracy in their classroom and a working wall to help support learning.


    Cross Curriculum Links


    Planning highlights the opportunities for cross curricular links. Maths and language are regarding as being of equal importance and whenever possible opportunities for skills to be applied are given to the children. It is a subject that has links with many other areas of the curriculum. The logical thinking in maths closely links it with science. Graphical work (drawing and interpreting) is used in subjects such as science and geography. For example co-ordinates and directional skills are used in geography (map reading), PE (orienteering) and ICT (roamer) lessons.


    Responses to Children’s work (for additional information see the marking policy)


    All work will receive feedback on performance to demonstrate a valuing of children’s efforts. This response may be given orally or in written form. The purpose of marking/feedback will be to further children’s learning. Work will be marked against the success criteria of a lesson. At least once a week work will be ‘quality marked’ whereby strengths and improvements are highlighted (pink for think, green for go) and appropriate prompts written to help children move onto the next stage in their learning. There will also be opportunities for self and peer marking against success criteria, which will be indicated in books. In both cases immediate teacher feedback or discussions will follow.




    We aim to supply a variety of practical apparatus, texts and support materials for the children to experience. Many of these materials are kept in the classroom for immediate use. Other, larger resources and subject specific resources, such as scales and measuring jugs are kept in the numeracy cupboard. Equipment is clearly labelled. Children will have access to appropriate resources in lessons and ICT programs to support their learning. A variety of levelled numeracy games are also kept in each classroom. A practical approach to learning is employed by all teachers; therefore classrooms are very well resourced with activities and games. General resources such as number squares, number fans, dice, protractors, counters etc can also be found in every classroom. All classrooms have interactive whiteboards for use in lessons.


    Continuity and Progression


    We are continually assessing our children. Our assessments will be purposeful allowing us to match the correct level of work to the needs of the children, thus benefiting the child and ensuring progress. Teaching assessments will be planned into activities. Methods of formative and summative assessment used include:

  • Questioning and marking

  • Informal and formal observations

  • Discussion

  • Key task assessments

  • Abacus assessments / Testbase questions

  • SATs

  • Sandwell Early Maths test

  • APP records

  • Individual target setting (reviewed regularly and sent home twice a year)


    All assessment has a purpose, it is used to monitor children’s progress and inform subsequent planning. The schools data also forms a valuable resource to help target specific children’s needs. Records of KS1 and 2 SATs results, optional QCA tests, mental maths scores and other summative assessment scores (usually abacus assessments and Testbase questions) are all used to help target children and inform planning.


    Special Educational Needs


    Children who have been identified as having special educational needs are assessed by the class teacher, SEN co-ordinator and, when necessary, outside agencies. Children may receive additional support in lessons from the raising standards assistants and work will be differentiated to ensure children can access the learning intention. Any children on the SEN register have an IEP to help with their learning. A child’s targets are considered when lessons are planned and monitored regularly by the maths teacher.


    Children who are achieving at a higher level are identified as more able children and placed on the school register. They are encouraged to access work beyond the required year and allowed to progress at an accelerated rate in order to stimulate and maintain their interest and intellect. Work is differentiated to challenge children and use higher order thinking skills. MA children are also invited to master classes (linked to the high school) where they have a chance to practise their higher level skills. Teachers from the high school also visit year 6 to support the transition process for these children.


    Equal opportunities


    All children should be given access to mathematical activities, irrespective of ability, race, culture, gender or disability. Success is important for all our children and it is the job of the school to support children and provide opportunities for learning in each lesson.


    Cultural Recognition


    Mathematics is an important life skill throughout the world. We aim to prepare all our children for life in our multicultural society, building on the strengths of cultural diversity. Multicultural experiences maybe applied to celebrations, activities, cooking, shopping etc all using numeracy skills.



    Community – Relationships and the Environment as a Resource


    We use the community as a resource by:

  1. Visiting appropriate places such as businesses (Procter and Gamble, Chronicle newsroom).

  2. Inviting members of the community to contribute to our children’s experience of the curriculum. Parents are encouraged to make use of mathematics during normal family activities for example; to weigh and measure, to pay for shopping and to play games which involve using dice to keep scores.

  3. Year groups hold open days where parents are invited to come into school, see examples of work and ask questions to teachers. Often these take place in the summer term and new parents to a year group are invited. We find this helps the transition into the next years and expectations of numeracy lessons and homework are clear to parents.




    The monitoring of the maths curriculum will be completed by the co-ordinator during allocated time. Monitoring will take the form of learning walks (20 minute observations with specific focus for example independent learning) or full lesson observations. NQT observations could be also be carried out by the head teacher or mentor and will normally be whole lesson observations. The school development plan will have statements relating to any necessary changes/improvements to the numeracy curriculum/teaching. In 2012 a new subject auditing tool was also introduced, this is to be completed by the co-ordinator prior to the action plan to evaluate strengths and weaknesses within the subject. It helps targets to be set by the school to progress the teaching and learning within numeracy.