Whitehawk Primary School
This policy outlines the teaching and learning of mathematics at Whitehawk Primary
As such it supports our overall curriculum aims for all children to become:-
successful learners who enjoy learning, make progress and achieve;
confident individuals who are able to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives;
responsible citizens who make a positive contribution to society and enjoy
economic well being.
2. The importance of Mathematical Understanding
Mathematics introduces children to concepts, skills, thinking and problem solving
strategies that are essential in everyday life and support learning across the curriculum. It
helps children make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in the world
around them, it offers ways of handling data in an increasingly digital world and makes a
crucial contribution to their development as successful learners.
Children delight in using mathematics to solve a problem, especially when it leads them to
an unexpected discovery or new connections. Children seek patterns and as their
confidence grows, use logical reasoning, suggest solutions and try out different
approaches to problems.
Mathematics offers children a powerful way of communicating. They learn to explore and
explain their ideas using symbols, diagrams, pictures, concrete resources, spoken and
written language. They start to discover how mathematics has developed over time and
contributes to our economy, society and culture. Studying mathematics stimulates
curiosity, fosters creativity and equips children with the skills they need in their adult life
Therefore we aim for all learners, whatever their age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity,
impairment, attainment or background to develop:-
a curiosity and fascination with the world of patterns, shapes and numbers around
competence and confidence in mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills;
an ability to solve problems, to reason, to think logically and to work systematically
an understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry, experiment and
risk-taking; initiative and an ability to work both independently and co-operatively;
an ability to communicate their mathematical understanding verbally and through
the use of concrete, electronic and recorded representations;
an ability to apply mathematical knowledge, concepts and skills across the
curriculum in meaningful contexts;
an understanding that successful independent living requires financial awareness
and effective money management.
3. Key principles in the management of mathematics at Whitehawk
The principles of mathematics in Whitehawk Primary School are:-
policy and provision are evaluated and reviewed regularly
resources of time, people and equipment are planned, budgeted for and detailed
when appropriate in the School Development Plan;
the governing body of the school discharge their statutory responsibility with regard
cross curricular links will be made where appropriate;
planning of mathematics ensures continuity and progression across all year groups
and key stages;
all teachers and senior leaders present a positive image for mathematics and share
with children the magical experience of mathematical enquiry;
our school scheme of work is a working document and as such is composed of
ongoing plans produced on a week by week basis. This is developed from the
National Numeracy Strategy (NNS) Framework and takes into consideration the
needs of our children.
Mathematics coverage is taught in line with the requirements of the National
curriculum, using blocks A-E and units 1-3 of the NNS.
It is expected that sometimes mathematics will be taught in a cross curricular
fashion using natural links such as science/PE and data handling.
Opportunities will also be offered to children to develop their mathematical
knowledge and skills through contextual and non contextual problem solving and
through purely mathematical activities.
Children will be given opportunities to work in ability and non ability pairs and
groups in addition to working individually.
The school does not have a setting policy, however on occasion for a short period
of time and for a specific purpose, pupils may be set.
It is expected that teaching and learning activities will meet the needs of all pupils
through planning for different abilities, personalities and learning styles.
Gifted and talented pupils are identified and targeted through quality first teaching
and daily planning will include an extension activity to meet the needs of these
Pupils who require extra support to make progress towards nationally expected
levels of attainment are identified and selected to take part in a variety of
intervention programmes to address their issues.
Teachers plan so that children experience a range of open ended as well as closed
tasks and questions.
A range of calculation methods are taught with a view to pupils ultimately choosing
the most efficient and effective method for themselves(Progression in calculation) .
The school aims to provide opportunities for children to develop their personal
qualities and a positive attitude to mathematics through experiences offered to
5. Provision for pupils to develop and extend their mathematical skills across
each phase in their education within Whitehawk Primary
5.1 Foundation Stage
The children in the Foundation Stage are supported in developing their understanding and
knowledge of Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy (PSRN) in a range of
environments and broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise
and talk about their learning.
EYFS teachers use blocks A-E and units 1-3 alongside the EYFS curriculum for PSRN to
ensure that children have the necessary mathematical understanding that will underpin
future learning. Practitioners plan both structured activities, and time for child initiated
activities, which enable the children to practise skills and gain confidence and competence
in their use.
Within the planning for, and teaching of PSRN in the Foundation Stage, staff ensure that
there are opportunities for supported and independent individual, group, paired and whole
class learning and take into consideration the varying needs and levels of development of
Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy is made up of the following aspects:
Numbers - as labels and for counting – the children gradually know and use
numbers and counting in play and eventually recognise and use numbers, reliably
developing mathematical ideas to solve problems.
Calculating – the children develop an awareness of the relationship between
numbers and amounts and know that numbers can be combined to be ‘added
together’ and can be separated by ‘taking away’.
Shape, Space and Measures – through talking about shapes and quantities and
developing appropriate vocabulary the children use their knowledge to develop
ideas to solve mathematical problems
Mathematical understanding is also developed within the setting through all early
experiences including stories, songs, games and imaginative play and
mathematical language during play and daily routines. Mathematical resources are
readily available both indoors and in the outside learning environment.
5.2 Primary Phase
Throughout the Primary phase, teachers plan from the Primary Framework to ensure that
all parts of the National Curriculum Programme of Study are taught. This ongoing weekly
planning forms the scheme of work for the school and takes into consideration the needs
of our children.
The teaching of mathematics at Whitehawk Primary School provides opportunities for
supported and independent, individual, paired and group learning, allowing children to
pattern spotting with shape and number;
making connections between different mathematical concepts;
the use of apparatus to support active learning for new and existing concepts;
the interpretation and use of symbols, images, diagrams, pictures and models as
tools to support thinking, problem solving, reasoning and communication from the
iconic to the symbolic;
the development of mental calculation strategies;
learning efficient written calculation methods (Progression in Calculation document);
the use of calculators;
using ICT to model, present and solve mathematical problems and investigations;
visualisation of shape and iconic calculation methods e.g. empty numberline;
playing games to develop both mathematical understanding and reasoning;
refinement of problem solving skills;
mathematical discussion, explanation and reasoning;
the consolidation of number facts;
the development of personal qualities and positive attitudes to mathematics;
assessing their own learning and suggesting what their next step should be.
Mathematics in the Primary phase is taught for a minimum of 5 hours per week in Key
Stage 2 and 3¾ hours in Key Stage 1. Generally children are taught in their class groups.
Teachers consider, use, and analyse the school assessment data when reviewing
Teaching a unit of work takes careful initial and ongoing planning, informed by an
assessment of children’s learning. A cycle that supports this process in the Primary
Framework for mathematics is set out below:
review – teach – practise – apply – assess
This section clearly outlines the expectations for planning at Whitehawk Primary.
There is a whole school consistent approach to long, medium and short term planning for
mathematics. The long term planning is the national strategy. The medium and short term
planning is together in one document. (There is a yearly overview showing all curriculum
areas). There is an agreed planning format. Planning will be stored electronically in staff
shared, by year group, term and specific numeracy file. Supporting resources may also be
Plans may be drawn up in collaboration with others in the year group or may be prepared
by one member of the year group and annotated as necessary for each individual class.
Planning will be annotated to meet the needs of the individual class and to inform future
planning. Copies are printed off to enable annotation and assessment information to be
Generally mathematics is taught in class groups, however within the group, pupils will be
taught in ability or mixed ability groupings depending on suitability, to meet the session
objectives. Planning will include all children participating in whole class activities through
the use of mini whiteboards, interactive games, talk partners etc.
Teachers plan clear shared learning objectives and activities, for a differentiated starter (
the starter need not be taught consecutively with the main session ) and main activity to
meet the learning objectives for the session. Differentiation for the main part of the session
will be shown as follows:
LA (lower ability), MA ( middle ability), HA (higher ability) and EXT (gifted and
talented). Some teachers may also need to include a specific SEN activity. To avoid
confusion mixed ability grouping will be referred to as Mab. It is acknowledged that
some objectives will be better served by being managed in Mab grouping, however
clear differentiation will still be indicated under the LA, MA, HA and EXT headings.
Opportunities for assessment for learning will be evident through questioning and pupil self
assessment against success criteria. We have agreed some non negotiables that may be
present in a variety of forms depending on the age and ability of the pupils across the key
stages. These will enable the pupils to know what they are expected to learn, identify their
success against the learning objectives and identify future challenges and learning:
Precise differentiated LO.are clearly identified and shared in the form of: “Today
we are learning to……”
Success criteria are clearly identified in the form of: “Remember to…..”
Learning so far is clearly identified in the plenary by: “Let’s get together and look
at our learning today……”
This will enable pupils to identify their future learning. Although not necessarily evident in
the planning the teaching should, where appropriate, make reference to prior learning.
Planning will be scrutinised periodically by the PSRN team to ensure that it meets the
agreed criteria for our pupils to be successful learners.
6.1 Planning will incorporate:
lively interactive teaching styles that differentiate for all learners in the class/group;
fun, engaging and well-pitched activities in a ‘safe’ environment where children are
not afraid to make mistakes;
opportunities for individual, supported, independent, paired and group learning;
the use of dialogic talk to enable children to ‘think aloud’, exploring and building on
their own and others’ ideas to develop coherent thinking, reasoning and
the use of visualisation to support solutions;
opportunities to communicate mathematical understanding verbally and through the
use of concrete, electronic and written representations;
clearly identified plenaries which give everyone the chance to evaluate and assess
progress towards the lesson objectives, using individual and peer assessment
7. The role of Teaching Assistants in the mathematics session
Teaching assistants support teachers with the delivery of lessons by encouraging all
children to participate as fully as possible. They enable the children to maintain their focus
throughout the lesson, through questioning, recapping and re-invigorating their enthusiasm
for learning tasks when necessary. They encourage thinking and independent learning as
far as possible, using a range of models, images and apparatus and challenging children
to ‘have a go’. They have positive attitudes to maths, looking to promote mathematical
understanding in everyday events including our outside learning environments.
Teaching assistants are given advance copies of plans that identify their role in lessons.
They seek further clarification about concepts and expected misconceptions. They
provide feedback to the teacher verbally and through annotation of plans, post-its, record
sheets and/or through the use of assessment records e.g. APP sheets.
8. Strategies that teaching assistants commonly use in class to support children
ensuring that identified children understand the learning objectives for each lesson;
supporting identified children to engage with whole-class teaching and learning
being a Learning Partner, enabling discussion of the problem/task and develop
reasoning and in doing so, encouraging children to talk through using the language
working with small groups as directed by the teacher, reinforcing the approach,
methods and language used by the teacher;
utilising a range of apparatus to support enactive learning e.g. Numicon, Cuisenaire
(Number rods), Base 10 diennes, bead strings, empty number lines, 100-squares,
multiplication squares, place value sliders/arrow cards, mini-whiteboards;
encouraging children’s “Can do” attitude, building their confidence as
emphasising the use of the success criteria/Steps to Success when providing
learning feedback to children;
enabling children to assess their own understanding and competence against the
“remember to” success criteria and to consider what their next step should be.
9. The role of Teaching Assistants in addition to the mathematics session
TAs deliver and plan intervention additional to class sessions as follows:
for selected pupils in Key stage 2, using Over Coming Barriers materials; enabling
children to make accelerated progress and catch up with their peers.
For selected pupils in year 2, TA’s deliver Wave 3 intervention using Brighton and
Hove Visual Models and Images (VMI) programme, enabling children to make
accelerated progress and catch up with their peers.
The year 2 TA’s carry out assessment on selected pupils to determine pupils suitability for
wave three intervention. They then assess initial progress at the end of the programme.
Long term progress for all intervention is tracked through half termly assessment data.
10. Expectations for pupils recorded work
Children are encouraged to explore mathematical concepts in a practical, active way using
apparatus to support their understanding. Children are taught a variety of methods for
recording their work in an iconic way to demonstrate both method and solution. There are
occasions when it is both quick and convenient to carry out written calculations using
taught symbolic methods. Children are encouraged to use mental strategies before
resorting to a written algorithm. It is also important to record aspects of mathematical
The short date (DD/MM/YY) is written at the top left of the new learning. Pupils in Key
Stage 2 are required to record the learning objective for the lesson and younger pupils are
encouraged to where reasonable. A line should be drawn under work at the end of the
session if new learning is to continue underneath.
School policy is for children to write in pencil using the following books:
Years R - 2: blank/squared suitable to pupils needs
Year 3 – 6 squared paper suitable to pupils needs.
All children are encouraged to work tidily and neatly when recording their work. When
using squares, one square should be used for each digit.
11. Home Learning
Home learning provides opportunities for children to consolidate and reinforce particular
skills and knowledge learnt in school and share their learning with parents and carers.
Homework plays an important part in raising a child’s level of attainment and sense of
achievement particularly when parents/carers are engaged in a supporting role.
Reception and Year 1
A booklet of homework ideas will be given to all parents at the beginning of the year. It is
important adults spend time talking and listening to their children or playing a range of
interactive games (Whitehawk Homework policy).
Children will be given homework once a week – this may be mathematics ( Whitehawk
Homework policy )
Key stage 2
Pupils in years 3,4,5 and 6 will be given Numeracy homework once a week on Wednesday
to be returned the following Monday (Whitehawk Homework policy).
In the EYFS children’s progress is tracked through planned observations/tasks and
significant incidental other evidence. This is gathered in the form of Post-It notes,
photographs, drawings and informal notes by practitioners. The information is collated in
each child’s “Learning Journey” and at the end of Reception feeds into the Early Years
Foundation Stage Profile. At the beginning of the second half of the spring term evidence
is also collected in individual pupil work books. This book is most likely to be used for the
child’s own recording of specific planned activities and set tasks linked to learning
objectives. Each child has an individual target which is reviewed and extended as it is
achieved .The Profile is updated electronically half termly using the eProfile software. This
data is rigorously analysed and supports the identification of areas for development which
forms the termly EYFS action plan.
Information for mathematical assessment in the primary phase is ongoing and gathered in
a variety of ways:- through planned assessment tasks, by open and closed questioning,
talking to the children and observing and marking their work, pupil self and peer
assessment (AFL). This formative information is recorded on planning/individual record
keeping and/or assessment sheets i.e. APP grids and is used to inform planning, teaching
and learning on a day-to-day basis.
Half termly, summative assessments provide sub-level data to enable the tracking of
pupils’ progress. This is rigorously analysed by both class teachers and the Assessment
coordinator to ensure all pupils and groups of pupils e.g. FSM, SEN, girls/boys, EAL are
making expected/ good progress. This assessment data is shared with children where
appropriate to enable them to keep track of their own progress and set challenging goals.
This data supports the identification of areas for future development and intervention.
Work in mathematics can generate a great deal of marking and it is recognised that it is
not always reasonable to mark every piece of work. The children themselves can mark
exercises which involve routine practice with support and guidance from the teacher.
Where appropriate, children in Years 4 to 6 are encouraged to check computational
exercises with a calculator. This can foster independence in the children, who can seek
help if they are unable to locate and correct their errors.
Every piece of work should be responded to in some way, oral or written. The following
guidance should be used when correcting work: -
handwriting and presentation should reflect the school’s best practice and
pupil/teacher comments should always be legible.
focus should be on the learning objective for the session and individual effort.
When marking work:
say something praiseworthy about the learning/effort;
say something that could be improved or the next step ( maximum of 2
improvement comments-Whitehawk marking policy)
use subject related comments;
teacher should say/write that the LO has been met;
ticks indicate correct work and a question mark incorrect work ( Whitehawk marking
15. Special Educational Needs
Children with SEN are taught within the daily mathematics lesson and are encouraged to
take part when and where possible. Where applicable children’s Provision Maps
incorporate suitable objectives from the Primary Framework and teachers keep these
objectives in mind when planning work. Resources that address specific needs are
provided by class teachers and teaching assistants to support the learning e.g. laptop
software, visual prompt cards, Makaton signing.
In addition to child specific resources there will be a bank of general supportive resources
available, eg. Numicon, number lines. In addition to the class teacher TA’s are available
a.m. in all classes to support small groups of SEN pupils, although it is expected that SEN
pupils will enjoy opportunities to work independently of adult support at times during the
16. Gifted and talented
Within the daily mathematics lesson teachers not only provide activities to support children
who find mathematics difficult but also activities that provide appropriate challenges for
children who are high achievers in mathematics ( gifted and talented- list kept in Problem
Solving Reasoning and Numeracy (PSRN) leadership file and up dated by class teachers
as necessary ). This provision is indicated on the daily planning under extension- EXT.
17. Equal opportunities
We teach mathematics in a cross-curricular fashion where natural links can be forged and
seek to take advantage of the multi-cultural aspects of mathematics. In the daily
mathematics lesson we support children with English as an additional language in a
variety of ways e.g. repeating instructions, speaking clearly, emphasising key words, using
picture cues, playing mathematical games, encouraging children to join in counting,
chanting, finger games, rhymes, Makaton etc.
18. Parents and Governors
Parents play an integral part in their children’s mathematical education, not least of which
is their own attitude and competence in maths. Parents often find supporting children at
home fraught with the fear of “teaching them the wrong thing” as methods and approaches
have changed over the years. To try and alleviate some of these issues we encourage
parents to join courses at the school (when available) to improve and enhance their own
mathematical learning and ability to help their children (Family learning/certified
mathematics courses and cooking).
In addition to ongoing informal invitations to discuss their children’s learning, parents are
formally invited into school twice yearly to look at and discuss their children’s learning and
targets. During these meetings teachers take the opportunity to suggest methods and
provide advice by which parents can support their children’s learning
Parents of Year 2 pupils are invited to meetings on supporting their children with SATs.
Certain interventions actively involve parents by inviting them in to discuss their children’s
learning prior to and during intervention and through home/ school homework books or
communication cards. Parents are invited annually to visit the maths exhibition.
19. Reporting to parents
In addition to informal discussions, and parents evenings in the Autumn and Spring terms,
annual Reports are completed before the end of the summer term and parents are
encouraged to discuss their child’s progress during the Summer term parents evening.
Teachers use the information gathered from assessments to help them comment on
individual children’s progress and report the sub-level attainment for mathematics.
We have an identified link PSRN governor. There is an expectation that the link governor
will meet the agreed cycle of visits to the school and where possible upon invitation attend
relevant Numeracy INSET. The numeracy governor reports back to the governing body
when appropriate in line with agreed procedures.
21. Staff Development
Continuing professional development is essential in raising the standard of mathematics
teaching and learning at Whitehawk Primary School. In order to address this, annual
audits of teacher’s and TA’s expertise and knowledge are monitored through skills audits,
Performance Management and lesson observations. These are then addressed, where
applicable, through the following term’s school development plan.
Weekly staff meetings and Inset training days provide opportunities to address key issues
in mathematics teaching, train teachers and support staff in the use of new materials and
resources. Identified staff attend Local Authority (LA) courses.
The PSRN team leader attends the LA’s network meetings and yearly conference and
cascades information through discussion and training in staff meetings/INSET days.
Mathematics targets may be set as part of Performance Management when it fits with the
school development plan.
Most resources are stored in classrooms, however some resources may be shared within
a year group and stored accordingly. “Top up” resources are stored centrally in the maths
storage area. In addition staff are actively encouraged to access approved websites.
All teachers organise an area within the classroom for mathematics resources. This area is
easily accessible to all children and allows them to become familiar with all the clearly
labelled resources and mathematics displays.
Resources that should be available at all times include Number lines and counting
equipment. Teachers regularly review their use of resources and are able to request
additional materials from the PSRN team. Staff use Makaton (a programme of signs
supporting language) to support pupil understanding of language for reasoning,
questioning, explaining and word problems.
It is expected that displays will reflect a balance of maths and other curriculum areas in
shared areas and corridors. Displays will include children’s work, information, and
interactive displays to promote learning. It is expected that most of the interactive displays
will be created by the pupils, giving them ownership and a powerful means of support.
In addition to the school systems to celebrate mathematics, a whole school exhibition is
held annually near the end of the Summer Term to coincide, where possible, with the
summer parents evening. Parents will be invited to visit the exhibition during the course of
parents evening to share our celebration of mathematics.The exhibition will focus on an
agreed theme across the school. Pupils are given opportunities to visit the exhibition
during the course of the school day.
Budgets will be allocated in line with the Mathematics Development Plan.
26. Leadership & Management
A member of the PSRN team meets fortnightly with the head teacher to discuss
and agree next steps in mathematical development within the school.
Monitoring of the standards of children’s work and of the quality of teaching in
mathematics is the responsibility of the mathematics team at the direction of the
Senior Leadership Team. The work of the mathematics team also involves
supporting colleagues in the teaching of mathematics, being informed about current
developments in the subject, and providing a strategic lead and direction for the
subject in the school.
The mathematics team reports regularly to the head teacher concerning monitoring
and evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses in the subject; and indicate areas
for further improvement. The mathematics team reviews samples of children’s work,
planning, pupil conferencing, and undertakes lesson observations across the school
to monitor the standards of teaching and learning. Reports are then prepared and
submitted to the head and staff recommending next steps. The PSRN team will
monitor adherence to the agreed policy and scheme of work and review the same
27. Duties of the PSRN team
To be a role model and demonstrate good practice.
Keep the written policy document up to date and keep under review the scheme of
work for mathematics in line with the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Encourage and support staff in the implementation of the agreed procedures and
closely monitor the progression of activities and consistency of approach across
both year groups and Key Stages.
Manage and organise all resources, ensuring they are readily available and well
Monitor standards in mathematics across the school through classroom
observation, work scrutiny, teachers’ planning, discussion with pupils and data
Contribute to whole-school curriculum improvement by advising the SMT and
Governors’ Quality and Standards Committee on areas of strength and weakness
and identifying clear targets to improve and sustain pupil achievement.
Lead the teaching of mathematics by example and afford colleagues the opportunity
to share in good practice.
Lead professional development in mathematics in accordance with staff
development needs and support and guide staff by encouraging the sharing of
Be aware of national developments in mathematics through reading relevant
materials and attending courses when appropriate
Submit regular feedback on standards in mathematics to the SMT.
Submit a written report, which informs the Governing Body of progress in this area
towards targets in the School Improvement Plan, also of issues raised as a result of
Work to achieve equality of opportunity throughout the school.
Prepare, submit and carry out a mathematics action plan that has been agreed by
the school management in line with the School Improvement Plan.
28. Role of the Head teacher
Lead, manage and monitor the implementation of the Primary Framework, including
monitoring the quality of teaching in classrooms,
With the link governors, keep the governing body informed about the progress of
the teaching and learning in mathematics;
Ensure that mathematics remains a high profile in the school’s development work.
Deploy support staff to maximise support for the National Numeracy Strategy.