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St Stephen's C of E Junior School

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Being Mathematicians


The aims of mathematics teaching at St Stephen’s CofE Juniors:

  • To develop a positive attitude to mathematics;
  • To develop a strong understanding of number and calculation;
  • To develop children’s reasoning, logical thinking and problem solving skills;
  • To ensure that all children will be given the opportunities to develop their mathematics skills regardless of gender, race, ability, culture or ethnicity;
  • To provide rich mathematical experiences, where children can apply their knowledge of mathematics to everyday life;
  • To explore and enjoy the patterns in mathematics and to solve a wide range of puzzles and problems.


 Organisation of the Curriculum

The National Curriculum forms the basis for our long term planning: setting out the expectations in each year group. The medium term planning organises the topics systematically term by term. Short term unit plans are prepared for daily teaching.

Children are taught in mixed ability classes. 

The curriculum is taught through the units as follows with all year groups teaching the same units at similar times.

Number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, geometry, statistics.

STEM Sentences

This document shows you the STEM sentences used from Year 3 to Year 6. These will indicate the vocabulary used in school and enable you to use this vocabulary at home with your children.


Teaching of mathematics at St Stephen’s has links with Shanghai/Singapore maths. We have embedded the CPA (concrete, pictoral, abstract) approach to lessons. All concepts are introduced with concrete resources for children to feel and manipulate. As their conceptual understanding develops, they move towards the pictoral and abstract stages. These are recorded in their books as ‘the real story’ and ‘the maths story’. Children are not pushed to move through these stages until they have shown understanding gained by the teacher through skilful assessment.

The teacher's role in lessons is to:

  • demonstrate a clear model using an ‘I do’, ‘We do’ and ‘You do’ approach.
  • create success criteria (steps to success) with the children
  • allow time for discussion and pair work
  • continually assess children’s understanding using multiple hinge questions
  • provide support or scaffolding when needed
  • present challenge and to develop understanding through expert questioning.

Visualisation is a core mathematical skill. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to explain their understanding by writing or drawing what they understand. Teachers use this to uncover misconceptions, assess and then challenge children.

In addition to this, teachers use ‘immediate application’ to embed concepts. Each lesson is delivered through a variety of vehicles/variation of materials/images and ensure children are applying instantly. E.g. 10 x10 = 100, 10 x 10 cats = 100 cats etc.

Developing a keen number sense is a vital part of our maths curriculum. Children are always asked to explain how they know an answer, if they can show it a different way/an easier way to build upon their conceptual understanding.

During the lessons, teachers create AFL opportunities to ensure the inclusion and challenge is right for all. Marking independent work regularly, questioning and then providing additional support, no hands up, ‘I do’, ‘We do’, ‘You do’ are strategies embedded in the school to continual check children’s understanding.

Calculation Policy

The calculation policy sets out a clear progression throughout the school for the four operations. It shows the expectations for the end of each school year. Below is a photo of each of the stages, showing both the real story and maths story.





Mental skills

Mental skills are taught daily. This includes the modelling of mental strategies and time to practise key mental skills. To further develop mental skills, discrete teaching of times tables is taught a minimum of 3 times a week and tested weekly.



Marking reflects the frequent assessment opportunities created in the lesson to monitor children’s progress. It also shows the end of lesson assessment completed by the child and teacher on their understanding through ’POGed’ and highlighted LFs.


When children need further support with a concept, the teacher will support them 1-1 or in a small group and this evidence will be recorded in books underneath that work. However, if the concept is to be revisited the next day this won’t happen; nonetheless, evidence of the child’s gains in understanding will be recorded. Marking by the teacher diagnoses errors, and sets further questions to address a misconception if appropriate.



Laminated squared display paper is used to model mathematical recording on display walls. Displays are broken down into sections:

  • Key vocabulary – specific to each unit, shared and explored with the children early on and then referred to throughout the unit;
  • STEM sentences – concise sentence/s which highlight the underpinning concept of the specific objective being taught e.g. Place value is the value of a digit depending on its place in a number.
  • Challenge – a clear illustration, question(s) or statement to show children the purpose of the unit – ‘we will be able to’;
  • Prior learning (‘we already know’) – clear visual demonstration of what children can already achieve;
  • Today’s learning – the daily model. This moves across the wall each day; likewise, so does the prior learning.

These display are pivotal in recording the learning journey throughout each unit, they are created with the children during the lessons so are relevant and purposeful. In addition to this, model and success criteria may be display on squared flipchart paper for reference.

Learning environment


Teachers use the children’s previous year assessments to identify gaps that need filling.

Children are assessed three times a year (Terms 2, 4 and 6) using the NfER assessment materials.

Hinge questions are used for immediate assessments during lessons.

Children self-mark within a lesson after 2 questions using an answer station and use a purple pen to correct their own errors.

The teacher will highlight the children’s learning focus (green, orange or pink) at the end of the lesson and adapt the following lesson accordingly.



Children are all trained on the use of Numicon, Dienes and Place Value Counters to support their learning. These resources are always at hand in the classroom and the children should be trained to have the initiative to use them when they feel they need to.


Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

The subject leaders will monitor the planning to ensure the objectives for each year group are planned in accordance to the mastery approach.

There will be regular observations of lessons, review of weekly plans and work scrutinies to ensure continuity, progression and quality marking

Data analysis will inform intervention planning for year groups, groups and individual children.

Pupil voice will take place throughout the year to evaluate children’s mathematical experiences and inform future planning and events.

Parental Involvement

We encourage parents to be involved in their child’s learning by:

  • Inviting parents to mathematics workshops about calculation methods and the use of Numicon  
  • Inviting parents with their child, to workshops where parents can work alongside their child
  • Working with parents in Y6 to support children with the end of key stage assessments
  • Publishing information about the maths curriculum for each year group on our school website
  • Supporting their child at home with times tables



It is the aim of the school, to raise levels of achievement in mathematics by promoting a positive attitude and providing rich mathematical experiences. Children should view themselves as mathematicians that are able to apply knowledge, skills and understanding to everyday life, but to also enjoy and appreciate the abstract nature of mathematics.