Philosophy for Teaching Maths

Mastering maths means acquiring a deep, long term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. At any one point in a pupil’s journey through school, achieving mastery is taken to mean acquiring a solid understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable him/her to move to more advanced material.

Principles for teaching Maths

  • Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in maths
  • Large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by individual support and personalised intervention
  • Teaching is underpinned by methodical and progressive curriculum design and supported by well-designed lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual knowledge
  • Ensure pupils have as many opportunities as possible to talk and explain their mathematical thinking, developing a sense of number which supports reasoning
  • Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual knowledge, and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring support
  • Reasoning is embedded through all aspects of the lesson and within fluency and problem solving tasks pupils are given to complete

Our curriculum is led by the 2014 National Curriculum; the aims are to ensure all children:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and are able to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately to problems
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, building relationships and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematical knowledge to a variety of problems with increasing clarity, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions

Organisation of Maths Curriculum

The National Curriculum forms the basis for our planning: setting out expectations in year groups. At WJS, we focus on teaching maths in line with the White Rose. Medium term planning organises strands systematically term by term, with many opportunities for embedding skills with problem solving. Each strand is broken down into small steps which support the teaching sequence and success criteria for every lesson. Short term plans are prepared for daily teaching.

The curriculum is taught through the following strands: number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, geometry and statistics.

Children are taught in ability classes, with flexibility of groupings across the year group, on an on-going basis. Class arrangements are established based on completion of a pre-learning and also the professional judgement between year group teachers.


Concrete, pictorial and abstract planning are part of our teaching strategies. Concepts are introduced with concrete resources for children to feel and manipulate. As their conceptual understanding develops, they move towards the pictorial and abstract stages. The teacher’s role is to:
  • demonstrate clear modelling
  • allow time for discussion and paired work
  • provide support and challenge
  • present challenge through precise questioning
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