Mathematics at St Mary's

Mathematics is planned according to the National Curriculum.  Our aim is to develop children's skills in relation to fluency, reasoning and problem solving.  Mathematics is seen as an interconnected subject that takes high priority within a range of curriculum areas, including learning challenge and topic work. 

Lessons include individual tasks, paired work and collaborative group work.  Learning is facilitated by teachers and support staff.  Children are taught understanding of number and pattern as well as mental and formal written methods of calculation.  There is a strong emphasis on the development of mental strategies and rapid recall of number facts.  A whole school approach to visual images and models provides continuity and consistency across year groups.  Problem solving and investigative activities form an integral part of the work and children are encouraged to discuss strategies used in their work.  Practical learning experiences provide children with a deeper understanding and consolidation of learning as well as real life examples. 

School advocates a mastery approach to teaching and learning in Mathematics.   We believe that all learners, when introduced to a new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in that area.  By using a mastery approach, teachers reinforce expectations that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics.   Differentiation is achieved via an emphasis on deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention.

Mental and Written Calculation - Sense of Number Visual Calculations Policy

The New Curriculum for Mathematics sets out progression in written methods of calculation, which highlights the compact written methods for each of the four operations. It also places emphasis on the need to ‘add and subtract numbers mentally’ (Years 2 & 3), mental arithmetic ‘with increasingly large numbers’ (Years 4 & 5) and ‘mental calculations with mixed operations and large numbers’ (Year 6). There is very little guidance, however, on the ‘jottings’ and informal methods that support mental calculation, and which provide the link between answering a calculation entirely mentally (without anything written down) and completing a formal written method with larger numbers.

This policy (especially in the progression of addition and multiplication) provides very clear guidance not only as to the development of formal written methods, but also the jottings, expanded and informal methods of calculation that embed a sense of number and understanding before column methods are taught, here at St Mary’s.

Please click on the link below to access the document which details the Overview of Calculation Approaches; Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division at St Marys.


File icon: pdf St Mary's Overview of Calculation Approaches [pdf 4MB] Click to download