Why do learners at John Gulson Primary School need to study Mathematics?

At John Gulson Primary School, our teaching of mathematics supports our vision of inclusive practice and it enables all children to achieve their individual potential. We will engage, inspire and challenge children.  Mathematics at our school helps children to develop a wide range of communication skills as part of their learning, It also enables them to secure firm foundations in number, measurement, geometry and statistics which they can apply across their learning in the wider curriculum. This learning can then be used by children beyond the school setting and prepares them for future life in the local, national and global communities.

Our approach to mathematics teaching, supports children in recognising their own strengths and how to build on them.  They learn to persevere in solving problems and check if their learning makes sense.


What are the aims for the Mathematics curriculum? What do we want our children to know and do by the time they leave John Gulson Primary School?

The John Gulson key drivers underpin our aims for the teaching of Mathematics:

  • Communication – Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing
  • Competence – Numeracy, literacy, and technology; wider subjects
  • Community – Diversity, Inclusion, First-hand experience

Central to our aim is to develop children’s communication skills and vocabulary, so that they are able to maximise their learning potential in Maths, now and in the future.

We want to develop independent thinking skills in learners, giving them the ability to apply their knowledge and skills in mathematics across the curriculum.  We are committed to developing learning through from the concrete through to abstract thinking.  We encourage discovery, collaboration and reflection, based on first-hand experiences.


National Curriculum

At John Gulson Primary school, we believe that the National Curriculum (2014) enables our children to embark on a journey as mathematicians which will educate, engage, inspire and challenge them,

Maths is a creative and highly interconnected discipline. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

The national curriculum for maths aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Gain a better understanding of the  world
  • The ability to reason mathematically;
  • An appreciation of the beauty and power of maths; and
  • A sense of enjoyment and curiosity.

By the end of each key stage, children are expected to know, apply and understand the matters, skills and processes specified in the programmes of study


Which values underpin the Mathematics provision at John Gulson?

Our school values and principles underpin Mathematics at John Gulson: We

  • Put the child at the centre
  • Develop the whole child
  • Build on strengths and promote resilience
  • Promote opportunity, value diversity and celebrate difference
  • Work in partnership with families
  • Co-ordinate timely and appropriate support
  • Develop a competent workforce to promote learning across the school

How are British Values taught through Mathematics?

At John Gulson primary, the mathematics curriculum delivers British Values by creating pleasure and interest in Maths in the world.  It encourages collaborative work, tolerance, and responsible behaviour. It may also include teamwork to enable children to solve mathematical problems, reason and apply learning to real life situations.  Children will have opportunities to work responsibly, manage their time and tasks as well as sharing resources.  Children are encouraged to support one another positively and respectfully and develop self-esteem, self-knowledge and self-confidence.  Our children show respect to visitors and are encouraged to participate enthusiastically to activities


Which links can be made within the Mathematics curriculum?

Mathematics is essential to most forms of employment, everyday life and leisure.  It is critical to areas of work in science, technology, engineering and finance.  Careers include: Accountant, Banker, Retail services, Hospitality, Utility engineer, Project Manager, Warehouse Operative, Health Professional, Construction worker, Interior Designer



Why has the specific knowledge been selected?

The mathematics curriculum at John Gulson has been selected to follow the programmes of study in the National Curriculum and links to a cross-curricular approach to learning.  The school is committed to a Mastery approach which means acquiring a deep, long term, secure understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through the school, achieving Mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that has been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material.


How are the Mathematics lessons delivered at John Gulson?

The school follows the Power Maths schemes of work to ensure progression and coverage of key learning as part of the Mastery approach.  Lessons are delivered in mixed ability classes and have protected time on the timetable.  Teaching follows a set structure, comprising:

  • Power up – children revisit prior learning to support fluency
  • Discover –new core concepts are taught through practical, real life problems, working from the concrete to the abstract and exploring and discussing possible strategies
  • Share – allows children to share and celebrate the strategies they have used to solve the problem
  • Think together – children explore new problems using the mathematical strategies they have learnt
  • Practice – children have their own practice book and work independently, following the same learning that has been explored through the Discover, Share, Think Together sections of the lesson
  • Reflect – allows the teacher the opportunity to check children’s understanding and how deeply children have understood the maths concepts being taught

In addition, a daily discrete lesson is taught in all year groups in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 to further develop mental fluency and confidence in using number, including times tables


What is the impact?

The impact of our Mathematics curriculum can be seen not only in children’s books but also through classroom displays. Our children are able to confidently use a wide range of resources and concrete apparatus in their learning and then move to work in the abstract. They become increasingly confident to talk about their learning and how they can apply this to other learning across the curriculum.


What are the aims/end points of specific stages of the curriculum?

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the 4 operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools].

At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.

By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency.

Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.


The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the 4 operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.

At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching should also ensure that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.

By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12-multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.

Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word-reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.


The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.

At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.

By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all 4 operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.

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