At Hill Mead Primary School, the children see maths as a ‘fascinating’ subject with ‘colourful resources’ which allow them to explore, take risks and nuture their inherent sense of curiosity.

This is what some of the learners have said:

‘When you get something wrong you can learn from your mistakes.’ YR 2 child

‘I can use lots of methods like counting in my head, using dienes, number lines, cubes, counters and  watching Number Blocks to help me count.’ YR 2 child

‘I like learning new words like addend and product and using arrays to show my times tables.’ YR 3 child

‘The maths challenges get our brains running.’ YR 4 child

‘I like that you can work independently and choose the resources you need after being shown how to work it out.’ YR 4 child

‘I like that it is challenging, it means I can get smarter.’ YR 5 child

‘I enjoy working as a class to figure out challenging problems. It can be fun and interesting.’ YR 5 child

To ensure whole school consistency and progression, the school follows the: National Curriculum, Hill Mead Calculation Policy and Hill Mead Learning Journey for Maths. Activities are carefully chosen from Nrich, NCETM (mastery documents), White Rose and resources are created that relate to the children’s interests and other areas of the curriculum.

Our Calculation Policy is used consistently across the school and provides a logical sequence of learning. The children build their knowledge and skills in using and applying the four operations. The Hill Mead Learning Journey for Maths is specifically intended to provide plenty of opportunities to develop reasoning and problem-solving skills.

How do the children learn?

When the children are introduced to a new concept, they have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing. Alongside this, they are encouraged to use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems. According to the children, both concrete and pictorial representations support their understanding of abstract concepts and solving problems. The children have said that they enjoy discussing their reasoning with peers. Children who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through a rich and sophisticated offering of problems before any acceleration to new content. Our maths curriculum ensures the children’s conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts is continuously developed. Where appropriate, maths skills are reinforced in other subject areas.

The children’s explanations and their proficiency in articulating mathematical reasoning, with the use of precise mathematical vocabulary, are supported through the use of stem sentences and generalisations provided by the teacher. These help the children to make connections and expose the structure of the maths. For example: The greater the numerator is in a set of fractions with the same denominator, the _____ the fraction.

There is a maths working wall in every classroom which supports teaching and learning and it is updated regularly to demonstrate the current learning journey. It contains stem sentences, key vocabulary and modelled examples. The working wall also complements our CPA approach, including a variety of representations and, where possible, manipulatives.

Times tables play an important part in our maths learning, with the children developing their fluency in the rapid recall of tables up to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4. The children complete a weekly times table challenge. Lessons that develop multiplicative reasoning are regularly planned to ensure conceptual understanding as well as fluency.

How is maths planned?

Each year group completes their medium-term planning ahead of the term using their assessment of the previous learning and carefully selecting the areas of the national curriculum to focus on in consultation with the maths lead. In the weekly planning, small, cumulative steps which build a solid foundation of deep mathematical understanding are evident. Planning may be adapted during the week in response to assessment for learning carried out on a daily basis. Reasonings strands and problem-solving activities are woven into the daily maths lessons. During the lesson, children may be given feedback by teachers or TAs. This will extend learning, address misconceptions or consolidate understanding. The NCETM mastery documents are used to ensure deeper learning activities are planned for. In these daily sessions, the children are encouraged to embrace their mistakes and misconceptions are explored. Decisions about when to progress are always based on a secure understanding and the readiness of the children to progress to the next stage.

What you will see in classes from our learners?

The impact of all the above is that:

- The children are happy and engaged learners who talk enthusiastically about their learning and eager to further their progress in maths.

- They demonstrate resilience, enjoy working collaboratively and independently.

 - The learners independently choose tasks and apparatus.

- They apply skills learned previously to solve a wider variety of problems.

- Children discuss, reflect and share their learning.

How do we know all these and ensure it continues?

Through lesson observations and learning walks, pupil interviews, scrutiny of books, pre and post concept assessment, staff CPD/feedback, and the quality of medium term/weekly planning.

Website links

National Curriculum -  

Nrich -


White Rose Maths -