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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Our approach



We firmly believe that Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected subject that provides the solution to the most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary in most forms of employment. A high-quality maths education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. 

At Cotmanhay Junior School, we believe that all of our pupils can be masters in mathematics; having solid conceptual understanding rather than pupils who are ‘robotic’ in mathematical procedures. We want our pupils to be great problem solvers, and to leave us at the end of KS2 with the skills that will support them in real life, on a daily basis. 

Inclusivity is crucial in our school, and we set high expectations for all our pupils regardless of their ability. Wherever possible, we expose all pupils to age appropriate mathematics, and support our SEND pupils with high quality, carefully differentiated work. 



We have adopted the White Rose Maths Schemes of Learning to deliver our mathematics curriculum. The Schemes of Learning are carefully sequenced for each year group to help pupils progress logically through the National Curriculum. The progression supports and encourages long-term learning and allows pupils sufficient time to explore and understand concepts in depth- rather than covering areas superficially which then require revisiting several times across an academic year. Reasoning and problem solving, linked to everyday life, are built into every lesson. There are recap lessons to support closing gaps arising from lost learning. Key vocabulary and key questions are linked for every area.



Each Maths lesson follows this structure:

  • Recap and review prior learning through the 'FlashBack 4' resource.
  • Devlopement of stamina, fluency and mental strategies with a short Arithmetic session.
  • Fluency and problem solving through the White Rose Maths teaching.
  • Practice of times tables knowledge and fluency.


Learning is focused through the ‘concrete – pictorial – abstract’ system. This approach helps pupils learn new ideas and build on their existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a more familiar and tangible way. Every classroom has an extensive range of manipulatives such as Dienes, place value counters, bead strings, Cuisenaire Rods and card strips for bar modelling etc and we encourage all pupils to use them to model their thinking and demonstrate their understanding of concepts. All children should be efficient in using concrete materials before they draw their own images and diagrams to support their learning. Once these two areas are firmly understood, children can tackle work with more confidence and independence and without practical support. Our adopted curriculum helps develop good social and communication skills through in depth class discussion.


    Most lessons of the White Rose Maths scheme start with a 'Get Ready' fluency task. Here is an example: 







    The next phase of the lesson is ‘Let’s Learn’. Here, new learning is introduced and modelled before pupils demonstrate their understanding through independent work in their White Rose Maths workbooks. Adults are able to make informal assessments before pupils access further teacher input or independent work.  During independent work, pupils continue to discuss their learning journey developing further social and communication skills which supports the National Curriculum aim of reasoning mathematically.


    For example: 


    Reasoning and problem solving questions are built into independent work and linked to real life.


    For example:

    All pupils have a maths journal to consolidate their understanding where necessary through Fluency and Challenge activities. Deeper understanding challenges taken from recommended sources such as the NCETM, NRICH and Classroom Secrets encourage pupils to explore a concept in more detail but do not go beyond age related objectives for the lesson. This develops resilience and determination to do well.


    Declarative knowledge and the ability to recall number facts accurately and rapidly is necessary for all pupils to calculate in mathematics. We subscribe to Times Tables Rock Stars – a carefully sequenced programme of daily practice. This approach, alongside fluency games in class, supports the first aim of the National Curriculum.



    Pupils are provided with daily feedback through marking of their White Rose Maths workbooks and journals. Immediate, short burst intervention is often used by teachers, and additional adults, during the afternoon to address any misunderstanding from the morning maths lesson.


    At the end of each unit, all children complete an 'End of Topic Assessment'. This allows teachers to determine the success of the children throughout the Mathematical areas of the curriculum. Any misconceptions are then addressed with targeted activities during the 'FlashBack 4' time.


    All pupils complete a termly formal assessment through PUMA assessments (Year 3 - 5) and past SATs papers (Year 6). The data from these is collated on the school network and analysed by teachers and the subject leader, to monitor progress and attainment. This summative assessment together with class teachers’ knowledge of pupils, informs the planning of intervention groups.



    Our pupils understand the relevance and importance of their learning in relation to real life concepts. Pupils have a positive view of maths; they are engaged in lessons and are confident to ‘have a go’ when faced with challenging work. Pupils communicate with each other, and adults, using effective mathematical vocabulary. Pupils are proud of their work, and our maths books show a range of activities presented to a high standard. Our feedback and interventions support our pupils to be the best mathematicians they can be.