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St Nicolas'

Church of England Combined School

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Our Maths Curriculum 


Mathematics teaching at St. Nicolas’ enables pupils to develop mathematics skills and understanding required for later life and enjoyment of maths itself. We aim for pupils to become confident so that they are able to express themselves and their ideas using the language of maths. We aim for pupils to become confident so that they are able to express themselves and their ideas using the language of maths.


In our teaching of mathematics, we aim to:

• deliver maths using a mastery approach and in line with the National Curriculum

• create a lively, exciting and stimulating environment for the enjoyment of mathematics

• help pupils recognise that mathematics is a search for pattern and relationship

• instil a fascination for mathematics and the manipulation of numbers

• grow confidence to work mentally and fluently

• provide opportunities for pupils to reason, think and explain

• encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning using mathematics in everyday situations, to challenge themselves and take risks

• give pupils cross curricular opportunities to be creative and imaginative in their use of mathematics

• help pupils to understand that mathematics is a powerful tool for communication

• instil confidence when using mathematics to solve problems


All children are mathematicians.

Mathematics is taught throughout the school using the mastery approach. In key stage 1 and 2 lessons have a strong emphasis on talk - developing mathematical vocabulary, interaction using concrete, pictorial and abstract materials and representations, modelling and practice. Daily maths sessions are taught as a whole class working on and discussing a mathematical problem with the teacher modelling the skills and concepts. Children work together with the teacher practising examples, sharing and asking questions before independently practising further questions and problems. Key ideas are used in the lesson design to deepen mathematical understanding as children progress. There are five big ideas: -

  • Coherence - Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept,
  • Representation and Structure - Representations used in lessons show the mathematical structure being taught with the aim being that children can do the maths eventually without reference to the representation
  • Mathematical Thinking – Ideas are taught through children working through problems, reasoning and discussing with others developing a deep understanding of the ideas.
  • Fluency - Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics
  • Variation - Variation is twofold. It is firstly about the teacher representing the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep understanding. It is also about the sequencing of 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 (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics) in 2017

Power maths is the key resource used as well as a range of other mastery resources.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, the mastering number program by NCETM is used as the main mathematical teaching of number. Each session is varied and follows the mastery approach with a focus on talk, learning and using maths vocabulary, showing number in specific ways, building on the foundation of concrete and pictorial representations. Shape, space and measures is taught to ensure the breadth of mathematical understanding in this stage.


We want all our children to leave St Nicolas’ knowing that they are a mathematician who can confidently continue to use number fluency, apply strategies, approach and learn further mathematical concepts in a variety of contexts.

  • Children will make good progress in their mathematical understanding from EYFS to year 6
  • Our children enjoy talking about their maths learning and use appropriate vocabulary
  • Children use their knowledge and skills from the maths mastery approach such as representations, fluency, and mathematical thinking to deepen their understanding.
  • The consistent mastery teaching approach, with structured sessions followed by shared and then independent practice increases confidence, as well as application to different contexts.

Impact is measured through analysis of data; pupil voice; learning walks; book monitoring


Five Big Ideas for Maths Mastery: NCETM

Maths mastery support videos for parents and pupils