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Mathematics at Ash Primary School and Nursery


‘Every child is a mathematician’


We aim to develop every pupil as a mathematician who is curious, flexible, confident, adventurous and resilient in their approach. Through practical activities, exploration and discussion, we aim for all children to be mentally fluent, able to see patterns and make connections within the number system.

Mastery in maths involves pupils of all ages acquiring a deep, long-term and adaptable understanding of the subject. The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths concepts and processes that have been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.


At the core of our teaching is the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach.

· Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects to help them understand and explain what they are doing.

· Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.

· Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.


We use NCTEM materials, White Rose Maths and information and CPD from our local Maths Hub to support our teaching with a focus on the ‘five big ideas’ drawn from recent research.



Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.

Representation and Structure

Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation

Mathematical Thinking

If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others


Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics


Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding. It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes, to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure.

The Five Big Ideas were first published by the NCETM in 2017.


Our teaching team spend time developing fluency. This is the ability to instantly recall known facts such as number bonds and times tables quickly and effortlessly. Once pupils are fluent in these areas, they are more able to tackle mathematical problems with ease.

We support all children to move through the concrete, pictorial, abstract phases in their mathematical development. In this way we prepare pupils for next stage in their education, and to use maths in the wider world and adult life with confidence.

As part of our teaching, we develop pupils’ ability to explain their thinking at every stage. We assess pupils during lessons and at key points during the term to identify strengths and gaps. Teaching staff then address any gaps in learning through careful planning and intervention.


Mathematics in the Early years Foundation Stage



Teachers follow the White Rose Maths schemes of learning for EYFS and Numberblocks resources. Pupils are introduced to maths concepts through whole class teaching, before moving on to teacher-led and pupil-led tasks within our indoor and outdoor provision.



In Nursery children learn through playing and exploring, active learning experiences and creating and thinking critically. Pupils develop mathematical skills through Number and Shape, Space and Measure activities. A typical set of activities might include sorting, counting, ordering and measuring resources. Mathematics in the natural world is an important part of our provision. This involves arranging collections, patterns and art activities. Children have access to both the indoor and outdoor learning environment where they can explore and learn through play. The children’s interests are a powerful catalyst for mathematical enquiry and adults in school scaffold and support children’s play, mathematical interests and thinking together. 

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