Mathematics Policy

Revision History

Version Date Comments Review Date
8 Summer 2016 Amended, approved and issued Summer 2018
7 Summer 2014 Amended, approved and issued Summer 2016
6 Summer 2012 Amended, approved and issued Summer 2014
5 July 2010 Amended, approved and issued Summer 2012
4 July 2008 Amended, approved and issued July 2010
3 October 2006 Approved and issued October 2007
2 October 2005 Approved and issued September 2006
1 September 2005 First draft


Mathematics is important in everyday life, it teaches children how to make sense of the world, developing a child’s ability to calculate, reason and to solve problems.

Aims & Objectives

The aims of Mathematics are:

  • To encourage a positive attitude towards mathematics and to develop an awareness of the usefulness of mathematics in everyday life.
  • The mathematics teaching at St John’s is geared towards enabling each pupil to develop within their capabilities.
  • We aim to increase pupil confidence in maths so they are able to express themselves and their ideas using the language of maths with assurance.
  • Ability to solve problems, to think logically and to work systematically and accurately.
  • To develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented.
  • To explore features of shape and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts.
  • To develop the ability to use and apply mathematics across the curriculum and in real life.

Inclusion and equal opportunities

In all classes there are children of differing mathematical ability and this is recognised by matching tasks to the ability of each child, through personalised learning. A range of strategies are used to achieve this: group work, working in pairs, targeting teacher input, use of classroom support etc. As a staff we endeavour to maintain an awareness of, and to provide for equal opportunities for all our pupils in mathematics.  We aim to take into account cultural background, gender and Special Needs, both in our teaching attitudes and in the published materials we use with our pupils.

Special educational Needs (SEN)

Children with SEN are taught within the daily mathematics lesson and are encouraged to take part at a level which is accessible for them.  Where necessary teachers will, in consultation with the SENCO, draw up a Pupil Passport individualised to the specific pupil.   Where applicable children’s pupil passports incorporate suitable objectives from the New Primary Curriculum for Mathematics, teachers keep these objectives in mind when planning work. Following data analysis or diagnostic tests it may be appropriate to target intervention at specific groups of children, in these instances common objectives and learning targets are identified for the particular intervention group. Often these specific objectives would be covered during an appropriate time in the learning day: key skills time, mental warm up time or targeted within the maths lesson.

Able and Talented

Children with a special ability and who are high achievers in mathematics will be identified and learning opportunities will be matched to their needs.  In this instance such children will be set activities which provide appropriate challenges for them at the ‘mastery’ level for their year group. As part of our mental mathematics award system there is also a ‘calculation challenge’ mathematics award for the more able year 6 pupils, this covers a range of mental maths problems.

English as an additional language (EAL)

In the daily mathematics lesson we support children with English as an additional language in a variety of ways including repeating instructions, speaking clearly, emphasising key words using picture cues. We believe that using key vocabulary is most important for all pupils in the daily mathematics lesson, for this reason a key vocabulary for each unit is found on the medium term planning. The key vocabulary for each unit is usually written down and displayed for all children in a maths area or working wall.


Mathematics is a core subject in the National Curriculum; from September 2014 teachers will teach the new curriculum for mathematics throughout the school. All of the statutory objectives are covered; alongside these the non-statutory objectives are also taught.

  • long term

Teaching staff are given an overview of the general topics to be taught throughout the year.

  • medium term

At the start of each half-term teachers are provided with the termly topics and the objectives that need to be covered. Included in this medium term plan is both statutory and non-statutory objectives that need to be covered and a list of key vocabulary which should be used by teachers and children during the topic.

  • short term/weekly – produced by the classroom teacher on a specific planning sheet. This is monitored regularly by the maths subject leader.

Class teachers complete a weekly planning sheet for mathematics.  These plans include 5 weekly warm-up activities including 2x number, 1x shape and space and 1x using and applying, where possible handling data is also re-visited in the metal warm up. Each lesson has a learning objective for the main part of the lesson and differentiation is made clear on the planning. The amount of support for each group is made clear. At least once a fortnight a Patterns, puzzles and problems (PPP) lesson is taught (frequency depends upon the key stage), the aim of this lesson is for pupils to apply their mathematical learning to find a pattern or to solve puzzles or problems of some kind.

Short-term planning is saved to the shared area (ICT based folder) each week for monitoring purposes. Each week the subject leader monitors the short-term planning, alongside the appropriate books, this monitoring takes place on a rolling cycle. The outcome of the monitoring is fed back to the class teacher by the subject leader and shared with the senior leadership team.

Mathematics is taught in the Early Years and mathematical aspects of the children’s work are related to the objectives set out in the Early Learning Goals which underpin the curriculum planning for children aged three to five.  Practitioners support children in developing their understanding of number and shape space and measure in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, enjoy, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding both indoor and outdoors. Practitioners offer opportunities for these skills to be practised, in order to give children confidence and competence in their use.

Implementation, organisation and resources.

St John’s teaches a daily mathematics lesson throughout the school.  Lessons generally follow the format of a mental and oral starter, a main activity and a plenary session.  The teaching of maths at St John’s provides opportunities for:

  • practical activities and mathematical games
  • problem solving
  • individual, group and whole class discussions and activities
  • open and closed tasks
  • a range of methods of calculating e.g. Mental, pencil and paper and using a calculator
  • working with computers as a mathematical tool
  • investigations

The school use a range of resources to aid the teaching of mathematics to provide an intervention examples include Numicon and Abacus.

At St John’s we recognise the importance of establishing a secure foundation in mental calculation and recall of number facts for this reason the pupils take a maths mental test on at least a fortnightly basis. The focus of this is to strengthen children’s oral and mental recall and to build confidence through regular practice.

In addition to our regular mental maths tests we also aim to cover a range of objectives during our mental maths warm ups, rather than simply covering number. It is for this reason that each teacher in KS1 and KS2 have a thematic approach to warm ups – this is broken down into 2 number warm ups, one shape and space, one handling data and one using and applying per week. This approach not only ensures variety for our pupils but also coverage of the key objectives for that year.  It is the teachers decision which order these warm ups are placed in.

In addition to this at St John’s we recognise the importance of giving our pupils the opportunity to apply the skills that are acquired during daily lessons to everyday situations and problems. It is for this reason that each teacher at KS1 (once per fortnight) and KS2 dedicate one lesson per week to “PPP – Patterns, Puzzles and Problems” – this lesson aims to stimulate pupil’s enthusiasm for maths, as well as ensuring that they are able to apply skills learned to several situations. During the Patterns, Puzzles and Problems lessons pupils may use role play, drawings, art, games, quizzes etc. to solve everyday maths problems in an often practical and fun way.

Dedicated time in the school day is given to increase, practise and consolidate the knowledge of the multiplication and division facts through practical activities and quizzes.  Each term the pupils in KS1 and KS2 are working towards a specific award: ‘Mental Mathematics Awards’.  Each year group is challenged with learning some multiplication tables (up to year 4) and other related mathematical facts e.g. prime numbers, factors, multiples, converting measures etc.(years 5 and 6). See table below for details of the objectives covered by the awards and the names of each award:

Children work their way through each stage and receive a celebratory reward, which varies from certificates, to pencils, to bookmarks to finally receiving their own calculators in preparation for high school and their future learning.

These are consistent calculation policies for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; these are used from Early Years to year 6.

All classrooms have appropriate resources, additional resources are found in the communal area in key stage 2, where there are labelled boxes for practical work.  All teachers should organise an area within the classroom dedicated to mathematics resources and key words, this area is clearly indicated with a banner.  This area is easily accessible to all children and allows them to become familiar with all resources.

Children’s books, marking and presentation

Children are given a WALT (We Are Learning To) at the start of each lesson, this focuses their learning.  At the end of each lesson children self assess their understanding by using the ‘traffic light’ system – a red stamp may be placed (need more help), orange (little unsure) or green (fully understand).  Children’s books are marked daily and teachers use ‘closing the gap marking’ for children over a period of time (i.e. not every child every day).  This is an effective way of giving written feedback and helps to ensure that children make accelerated progress.  All children use books with squares in and it is one square for one digit.  Children are encouraged to work tidily and neatly when recording their work. The level of support given is indicated for each child using stamp at the end of each piece of work. If no stamp has been used it is assumed that the work has been done independently.

Use of ICT and cross curricular links

ICT is used in mathematics lessons where it will enhance learning.  A range of software is available including Interactive Teaching Programmes (ITPs) and graphs.  Throughout the whole curriculum opportunities exist to extend and promote mathematics.  Teachers seek to take advantage of all opportunities. In addition every child in KS1 and KS2 has a password and login. This can be accessed by children at home, homework can be set and progress can be assessed for every child using the programme. Teachers use the Abacus tool found on the active learn platform: this is a planning, resource and assessment tool mainly but pupils can also play games associated with key learning objectives both to consolidate and as an introduction to new learning.

Health and Safety

Health and safety issues are taken into account when planning practical lessons.


At St John’s we are continually assessing our pupils progress, all data is recorded on DCPro and discussed during our regular pupil progress meetings. All pupils work is formatively assessed at the end of every lesson and teachers’ make a decision regarding how best to move individual pupils on in their learning.

In addition to this pupils take part in summative assessment at the end of each term, this is in the form of the ‘PUMA’ assessment tests. They provide standardised assessment of pupil’s mathematics skills and provide an age standardised score so that pupils can be compared with others of the same age and pupils’ individual progress can be monitored through the use of this. The class teacher uses these tests, along with professional judgement to assess each child against the new curriculum expectations. National Tests are used for children in Years 2 and 6.  In addition to this results from the regular mental mathematics tests, alongside the mental maths awards, are also used by the teacher to make an informed decision regarding the attainment and progress of each child.

Age standardised scores are reported to parents because as a school we believe that this is meaningful to both the parents and children as it is very easily understood but it also means that parents can see the progress made by their child as they move through the school. (They are not simply ‘below expected’ etc. each year).


Monitoring takes place regularly at St John’s and can take many forms. Weekly planning is e-mailed to the key stage lead and headteacher, books are monitored weekly and lesson observations are also undertaken. Pupil interviews are also undertaken at appropriate points in the year.  The maths lead is released regularly from his/her classroom in order to work alongside other teachers. There is also a link governor for mathematics who has the opportunity to observe maths lessons on a regular basis and hold regular meetings with the numeracy co-ordinator. Each year the maths lead attends a governors meeting to report on the progress made in each key stage and as a school.

Mathematics Policy Version 8 Summer 2016