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Clyst St Mary Primary School

Nurture and Grow Together Through Aspiration, Resilience and Kindness

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Impact, Implementation, Intent





At Clyst St Mary we aim to teach children how to make sense of the world around them by developing their ability to calculate, reason and solve problems. We aim to support children in life in all curriculum areas and for their future by equipping them with a range of computational skills and the ability to solve problems in a variety of contexts by delivering a mastery curriculum.


Our aims in the teaching of mathematics are:

  • To promote the enjoyment of learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion
  • To develop confidence and competence with numbers and the number system
  • To develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts
  • To develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented
  • To explore features of shape and space, and develop the use of measuring skills in a range of contexts
  • To help children understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life
  • To become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately 
  • To reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language




  • teachers have good knowledge of the subject(s) and courses they teach. Leaders provide effective support for those teaching outside their main areas of expertise
  • teachers present subject matter clearly, promoting appropriate discussion about the subject matter they are teaching. They check learners’ understanding systematically, identify misconceptions accurately and provide clear, direct feedback. In doing so, they respond and adapt their teaching as necessary, without unnecessarily elaborate or differentiated approaches
  • over the course of study, teaching is designed to help learners to remember in the long term the content they have been taught and to integrate new knowledge into larger concepts  
  • teachers and leaders use assessment well, for example to help learners embed and use knowledge fluently or to check understanding and inform teaching. Leaders understand the limitations of assessment and do not use it in a way that creates unnecessary burdens for staff or learners  
  • teachers create an environment that allows the learner to focus on learning. The resources and materials that teachers select – in a way that does not create unnecessary workload for staff – reflect the provider’s ambitious intentions for the course of study and clearly support the intent of a coherently planned curriculum, sequenced towards cumulatively sufficient knowledge and skills for future learning and employment 


At our school, we teach mathematics to all children, whatever their ability or individual need. Through our quality first mathematics teaching, we provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. Every child has an equal right to be taught mathematics, in daily lessons of approximately one hour. This may be shorter, approximately 45 minutes in Key Stage 1.  


We aim for children to master the key areas and domains of mathematics, narrowing the gap between the most and least able learners. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged to deepen their understanding by being offered rich and sophisticated problems and not accelerated through to new content. 


Mathematics is a symbolic, abstract language. To decode this language, symbols need to come alive and speak so clearly to children that it becomes as easy to understand as reading a story. We believe that all students, when introduced to a key  new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency in this topic by taking the concrete-pictorial-abstact approach.


Concrete – students should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial – students should then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – with the foundations firmly laid, students should be able to move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.


All classrooms have concrete resources that can be used in the teaching and learning of mathematics. These are provided for the children in earlier years but children are encouraged to be more independent in selecting resources as they progress through Key Stage. They are not just used for teaching new concepts but for children to explain and demonstrate their understanding to themselves and others. Some more topic specific resources are stored centrally.


We assess the children at the beginning and end of each term and this data is not only used to track progress, but also to make decisions on what to prioritise to teach in the coming term while still maintaining curriculum coverage. More informal assessments are also made by teachers before and after each topic is taught to further target those children and concepts that need more focus. Assessment in mathematics takes place daily using a range of strategies such as marking and feedback of work and verbal discussions with children. All marking in books is done with a green pen and the children are sometimes encouraged to respond where the teachers writes ‘CR’. They do this in purple pen and gradually improve the quality and quantity of their responses as they progress through KS2. In KS1, the teacher or teaching assistants write observations on notes which are stuck into books, and these include the swords children have used to respond in lessons.


Children are formally tracked using our tracking grids. This data is used by the Maths Subject Leader, Senior Leadership Team and Headteacher to review children against Age Related Expectations based on their Key Stage starting points. Children who are not on track are identified for intervention/target teaching by teachers and shown on their Provision Maps.


We know that children need to have basic number and calculation skills in order to access the many different concepts to be taught throughout both key stages, so we focus on the teaching and assessment of number bonds to 20 and times tables. These are assessed termly for Year 1 to 4 and teachers target intervention where needed. 


During our daily lessons we encourage children to count aloud, practise fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills and ask mathematical questions. We develop the children’s ability to represent problems using visual skills, including jottings and pictorial representations. Wherever possible, we provide meaningful contexts and encourage the children to apply their learning to everyday situations. Although mathematics is best taught discretely, it has many cross-curricular links and teachers use opportunities in other subject areas to rehearse skills in a context. Mathematics involves developing confidence and competence in number work, geometry, measures and statistics and the using and applying of these skills.


The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum feeds into the National Curriculum. It is good practice to make use of cross curricular links to enable the children to use their learning in a real life context. Therefore pupils are given plenty of opportunities within sessions to use and apply mathematical skills and concepts they have learned. 


All classrooms will have a display area specifically for mathematics. This is called a working wall and will display items the children need to support and develop the unit’s learning. For example, key vocabulary, success criteria, models and key questions. In the EYFS Stage, there will also be specific mathematical areas for children to access in their everyday learning.


Planning will be accessed from a range of resources to avoid following a scheme and enable more bespoke teaching by teachers based on assessments and being able to teach from children’s prior knowledge and ‘where they are’. Daily teaching will involve elements of reasoning and problem solving and aim to build resilience and purpose in the children’s learning.


Teachers are offered CPD where needed and teachers who are new to year groups, or to the school, are supported by the coordinator to understand the mastery and reasoning approach to teaching. 


The Maths coordinator attends termly meetings to keep up to date with the latest developments in maths teaching and disseminates these to staff at staff meetings. The coordinator also monitors Maths throughout the school termly, reviewing books, lessons, resources and by talking to the children. 


Clyst St Mary have been working within the Jurassic Maths Hub working collaboratively to improve understanding of how to improve the planning and teaching of reasoning in our schools and this is being passed through the school through smaller collaborative groups of staff using a plan, teach and review system. 


We foster a love of the subject though attending Maths coding or puzzle days at other schools and entering competitions. We have a times table certificate scheme where certificates are awarded in weekly achievement assemblies and this helps to foster positivity towards Maths from the children.




  • learners develop detailed knowledge and skills across the curriculum and, as a result, achieve well. Where relevant, this is reflected in results from national tests and examinations that meet government expectations, or in the qualifications obtained  
  • learners are ready for the next stage of education, employment or training. Where relevant, they gain qualifications that allow them to go on to destinations that meet their interests, aspirations and the intention of their course of study. They read widely and often, with fluency and comprehension.


Pupils develop a secure understanding and confidence in maths with resilience and problem solving skills to aid learning in all subject areas. They develop a growth mindset and love of mathematics to want to study further at secondary school. Develop:


  • Learners who can clearly explain their reasoning and justify their thought processes using mathematical language and apply it to new problems in unfamiliar situations
  • Quick recall of facts and procedures
  • Flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics
  • Ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics
  • Happy confident, articulate and autonomous learners with a life-long passion for learning.