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Bishop Wilson C. of E. Primary School

“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
1 Peter 4:10



Our Maths curriculum is one that is accessible to all and maximises the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement.  At Bishop Wilson we aim for all children, irrespective of background, race or gender to:

  • Foster a positive attitude so that they may enjoy the subject and study it with confidence, fascination and excitement of discovery through the teaching and learning of mathematical concepts.
  • Develop a ‘Growth Mindset’ and a ‘can do’ attitude, especially when problem-solving.
  • Use a wide range of models, manipulatives and practical resources to develop a deep conceptual understanding alongside procedural fluency.
  • Reason confidently about their mathematics, using appropriate mathematical vocabulary, recognising its importance for communication and deep thinking.
  • Broaden their knowledge and understanding about how mathematics is used across the curriculum and in the wider world by making rich and varied real-life connections.


Early Years Foundation Stage

At Bishop Wilson, the teaching of Maths in Nursery and Reception meets the requirements of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2017), (currently under review, with an update expected this autumn regarding higher Maths expectations). In both Nursery and Reception, an enabling environment supports independence by exploratory play. Children have the opportunity to self-select Maths resources to consolidate their learning.

In Nursery, children begin to develop mathematical awareness through songs, rhymes and games. For example, showing 5 fingers while singing ‘5 currant buns in a baker’s shop’ and starting to develop subitising skills through using dice.

During independent play, children have the opportunity to develop maths skills by, for example, handling money in a role-play shop, exploring capacity in the water tray and using the balance scales with playdough. With adult support, they start to expand their mathematical vocabulary to describe and compare quantities and measures.

When children move up to Reception, exploration of mathematical concepts in free play continues. Mathematics is also taught four times a week, through short burst teacher-led sessions, with follow up activities to strengthen and deepen the child’s understanding.

The whole class sessions, based on the Power Maths programme are fun, practical, active and accessible. In small groups, supported by an adult, the children develop their skills and understanding using practical equipment and begin to use mathematical language to describe and explain what they are doing. Targeted questioning and appropriate challenge develops reasoning, deepens their understanding and challenges misconceptions. Throughout their time in the Early Years Phase, children are encouraged to read mathematical symbols and to record their jottings.


Key Stages 1 and 2

To ensure consistency and progression across the school, in September 2020 we decided to use the DfE approved Power Maths scheme (this is aligned with White Rose Maths) for Years 1 to 6. The scheme fully supports a mastery approach and rejects the notion that some people simply ‘can’t do maths’. Instead, it develops growth mindsets and encourages hard work, practice, collaboration and a willingness to see mistakes as learning tools. To develop Mastery in Maths, children need to acquire a deep understanding of mathematical concepts, structures and procedures, step by step. Complex mathematical concepts are built on simpler components and when children understand every step in the learning sequence, Maths becomes transparent and makes sense. Interactive lessons establish deep understanding in small steps, as well as fluency in key facts, such as times tables and number bonds. The whole class works on the same content and no child is left behind.

The Power Maths approach fully supports these beliefs and at the heart is a clear, structured teaching and learning process that ensures every child masters each Maths concept securely and deeply. For each year group, the curriculum is broken down into core concepts, taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps - lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built.


Maths Lessons

A typical lesson using Power Maths lasts approximately one hour. Maths is taught daily in Key Stages 1 and 2.  However, when required, teachers may choose to include additional mathematics lessons in their weekly timetables. Children are taught in mixed ability classes throughout the school, in line with the mastery approach.

The learning in each lesson will focus on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across Mathematical topics. Lessons in both key stages follow the same sequence:



Power Up - The lesson starts with a short power-up activity which supports fluency in and recall of number facts (Non-Negotiables); this could also be times table practice, number bonds, working with place value or a 'fluent in five' activity.

Discover - Practical real-life problem solving, sometimes a puzzle or a game, usually paired work. These are engaging and fun and designed to get all children thinking and to generate curiosity. Children may use manipulatives (practical apparatus) to help them understand the Maths and explain their method.

Share - The children share their ideas and compare different ways to solve the problem, explaining their reasoning with hands-on resources and drawings to make their ideas clear. Children can develop their understanding of the concept with input from the teacher.

Think together - Children work in groups and pairs, discussing methods and solutions to problems. This encourages all children to think about how they solved the problem and explain it to their partner.  Concrete materials are on tables to support and reinforce learning.

Practice - Children practice individually or in small groups, rehearsing and developing their skills to build fluency, understanding of the concept and confidence. Practice questions are presented in a logical sequence and problems are represented in different ways (variation), requiring different approaches. This encourages the children to think more creatively about how to reach a solution.

Reflect – the class comes together, allowing the children to review, reason and reflect on their learning.  Open-ended questions, e.g. spot the mistake, allow teachers to check how deeply children have understood the day’s concept and enable them to plan for additional intervention accordingly.


Same-Day Intervention

Since Maths competence depends on mastering concepts one-by-one in a logical progression, no gaps in understanding must ever be left unfilled. Same-day interventions – either within or after a lesson – are a crucial safety net for any child who has not fully made the small step covered that day. In other words, intervention is always about keeping up, not catching up, so that every child has the skills and understanding they need to tackle the next lesson.


Look at our Parent Booklets that show you what and how your child is taught in their Maths lessons.

Early Years       Year 1      Year 2     Year 3     Year 4     Year 5     Year 6

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