Home Page

Maths & Numeracy

St. Michael's Mathematics Curriculum:

At St Michael's C of E First School, our goal is to produce individuals who are numerate, creative, independent, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. We also aim to provide a stimulating environment and adequate resources so that pupils can develop their mathematical skills to the full. We know that our pupils' chances of success are maximised if they develop deep and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts. 


Mathematics is a key subject vital for developing and broadening our understanding of the world around us. At St Michael's, we have adopted a "Mastery Approach" to teaching Maths; this means pupils of all ages acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. The phrase ‘teaching for mastery’ describes the elements of our classroom practice and school organisation that combine to give our pupils the best chances of mastering maths. Achieving mastery means acquiring a solid enough understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable pupils to move on to more advanced material. 


At St Michael’s, we believe every child is entitled to learn key concepts and we recognise the importance of multiple representation so children are immersed in mathematical equipment, language, pictures and symbols. This approach helps children’s fluency and deepens their understanding through exploring mathematical concepts and ideas. We challenge children to make deep links when reasoning and use factual knowledge to help problem solve. It is just as important for children to be able to explain, and justify, their thought processes using specific, and accurate, mathematical vocabulary than finding the answer itself.

The Five Big Ideas behind Maths Mastery



Teaching is designed to enable a coherent learning progression through the curriculum, providing access for all pupils to develop a deep and connected understanding of mathematics that they can apply in a range of contexts.

Representation & Structure

Teachers carefully select representations of mathematics to expose mathematical structure. The intention is to support pupils in ‘seeing’ the mathematics, rather than using the representation as a tool to ‘do’ the mathematics. These representations become mental images that students can use to think about mathematics, supporting them to achieve a deep understanding of mathematical structures and connections.

Mathematical Thinking

Mathematical thinking is central to how pupils learn mathematics and includes looking for patterns and relationships, making connections, conjecturing, reasoning, and generalising. Pupils should actively engage in mathematical thinking in all lessons, communicating their ideas using precise mathematical language.



Efficient, accurate recall of key number facts and procedures is essential for fluency, freeing pupils’ minds to think deeply about concepts and problems, but fluency demands more than this. It requires pupils to have the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics, to recognise relationships and make connections, and to choose appropriate methods and strategies to solve problems.



The purpose of variation is to draw closer attention to a key feature of a mathematical concept or structure through varying some elements while keeping others constant.

  • Conceptual variation involves varying how a concept is represented to draw attention to critical features. Often more than one representation is required to look at the concept from different perspectives and gain comprehensive knowledge.

  • Procedural variation considers how the student will ‘proceed’ through a learning sequence. Purposeful changes are made in order that pupils’ attention is drawn to key features of the mathematics, scaffolding students’ thinking to enable them to reason logically and make connections.

St Michael's children should:

  • Have a well-developed sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system.
  • Know by heart age appropriate number facts such as number bonds, multiplication tables, doubles and halves.
  • Use what they know by heart to figure out numbers mentally.
  • Calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and in writing and paper, drawing on a range of calculation strategies.
  • Recognise when it is appropriate to use a calculator and be able to do so effectively.
  • Make sense of number problems, including non-routine/’real’ problems and identify the operations needed to solve them.
  • Explain their methods and reasoning, using correct mathematical terms.
  • Judge whether their answers are reasonable and have strategies for checking them where necessary.
  • Suggest suitable units for measuring and make sensible estimates of measurements.
  • Explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.
  • Develop spatial awareness and an understanding of the properties of 2d and 3d shapes.

Maths Calculation Policy

Maths Key Vocabulary


Numicon is a fantastic resource for helping children with their core number work. It develops mathematical fluency by using a visual, practical base to develop conceptual understanding and fluent recall.


Numicon uses different coloured tiles to represent each of the numbers from 1 to 10. This helps to give children a concrete concept of what each number actually is - for example they can see, in their mind's eye, that '5': is a red tile with five holes, it has an odd number of holes, it is smaller than a ten but larger than a 1... this image helps with so many of the basic facts about number.


We use Numicon to help us with all aspects of maths. The tiles fit together to help with addition, can be laid over each other to represent take away and difference, can be grouped for repeated addition and multiplication and can be used to represent fractions of numbers for division. We even use them for measuring lengths and weights!


The children get really excited about using Numicon in school, and we have found that their increased confidence with numbers has had a positive impact on their overall enjoyment of Maths.


How Can I Support My Child At Home?

There are many ways you can support your child with their Maths at home. Please feel free to use any of these, listed below, or speak to you child's teacher for more specific ideas and interventions.


  • Finding and connecting numbers around the home.
  • Ask what is 1/10/100/1000 more/less than a starting number.
  • Count forwards/backwards from a starting number
  • Practise number facts to 10 / 20 / 100 / 1000.
  • Read with your child and use the page numbers as a way to practise number facts.
  • Use different sized cups and beakers when playing with sand or water.
  • When out shopping, ask your child to collect specific items (such as one litre of milk).
  • Help to ensuring all times tables up to 12 x 12 are learnt and can be recalled fluently by Year 4.
  • Telling the time… for example, o’clock, quarter past, half past and quarter to.

Useful Maths Websites