A curriculum designed for Lyme Community Primary School


Purpose of study

Throughout their time at Lyme Community Primary School as well as being taught maths as a discrete subject, children are provided with a variety of fun, relevant and exciting topic based experiences which enhance their natural desire to explore Maths in the world around us. We know at Lyme our children need to develop positive and persevering attitudes to Maths and by presenting Maths to them in these ways we can engage them, challenge them and give them strategies to use to enable them succeed and feel confident. They can see Maths as fun, useful and relevant and how it interlinks across different aspects of our lives, not just a discrete subject. They are given opportunities to observe, practise, explore and solve mathematical calculations and problems in a variety of real life contexts to deepen their understanding and make maths relevant.

At Lyme many children come to us with poor early number skills and some of our children’s family backgrounds can engender quite negative attitudes towards Maths meaning our students can lack confidence and perseverance. In order to prepare our students for transition to the next stages of education and a future working life we maximise on opportunities to develop the 3 key areas of maths; Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving as well as to grow their confidence so we know they have the skills and determination they need for the future.

We do this through pre-learning and pre-teaching so we can cater and adapt our teaching so that each child’s individual needs are met. Children who don’t quite meet an objective during lesson time are given follow up sessions in smaller groups to deal with their misconceptions and enable them to achieve. We aim to provide the pupils with a mathematics curriculum, which will produce individuals who are fluent, creative, independent, persevering, inquisitive, enquiring and confident. We use the ‘White Rose’ scheme for maths that enables us to teach maths in concrete, pictorial and abstract models which helps to scaffold their learning of each mathematical concept, visualise and manipulate number, shape, data and measure in a variety of ways and create deeper mathematical thinking for our children. This approach is used throughout all year groups and children are encouraged to move between the three models to ensure they can explain their maths thinking inside and out. We also aim to provide a stimulating environment and adequate resources and opportunities so that pupils can develop their mathematical skills to their full potential. These are provided in the form of the 99 club, Magical Maths club, cross curricular activities and Times Table Rock Stars (The 99 club and Times Table Rock stars are driven from Year 2 onwards). Teachers are positive, passionate and enthusiastic about Maths, they deliver the challenges with excitement and questions that ‘hook’ the children in. This creates enthusiastic and positive mathematicians who feel they can achieve and succeed.

At Lyme we exploit all opportunities to improve our Maths teaching for our children. The school has invested for the Maths Lead to complete a NPQML to develop attitudes and skills around problem solving and reasoning in KS2. This area of study was highlighted after a review of the children’s performance and formal assessment outcomes. Staff and Pupil voice meetings led to the development of the new strategies of Talk it Solve it, Guided Problem Solving and 4 Key Questions; as pupils say they learn best both through explicit modelling as well as opportunities to work collaboratively. The Maths Lead also attends regular subject leader meetings with schools across both St Helens and Wigan as well as an ‘Octagons’ group with a small number of local schools. This enables the school to stay up to date with all the latest Maths thinking and policy as well as sharing evidenced based best practice that can be used to further enhance the teaching in our school. Many of the new strategies have been implemented as a result of the training and information gained in these sessions.

Pupils in Early Years children arrive with very little or no knowledge or concept of number.  As a result, in the Early Years Setting, we immerse them in number.  Through play, they see number in every area of the Foundation Stage classroom. They have daily opportunities to count and create number within each of the areas and on the carpet through direct teacher time. Addition and subtraction of 1 digit numbers is also introduced in Foundation Stage. Number, shape and measure are explored using an abundance of ever changing resources provided to inspire creative mathematical thinking, problem solving and inventiveness. Although children are introduced to some standard units of measure, they predominantly work in non-standard units initially. They are also introduced to the names and vocabulary of 2D and 3D shapes. There is an emphasis on independence and self-initiated learning, which enables foundation stage children to freely explore resources and pursue their own mathematical talents and interests. Number conservation is also a focus in Early Years as this is a key and critical foundation on which the children can build a solid mathematical understanding.  To deepen learning, children are taught and encouraged to use mathematical vocabulary when discussing their activities and in role play with support of the Early Years practitioners.

In KS1 children the focus on number and the operations of number remain integral and children are taught fluency skills (both mental and written) across each of the strands of mathematics as well as developing their reasoning and problem solving skills in practical contexts to enable them to deepen their understanding. These reasoning and problem solving activities are mainly guided in KS1, to help the children build skills they will be able to apply independently as they progress up the school.  Again, a focus is placed on teaching mathematical vocabulary to enable children to develop the skill of explaining their thinking. Maths is taught as a discrete subject as well as maximising the opportunities to explore maths through topic and apply maths in other areas of the curriculum, when relevant and purposeful. These opportunities are exploited to ensure children are able to experience maths in different exciting scenarios and real life contexts.

 In KS2 children are continued to be taught fluency skills (both mental and written) through mathematical calculations that are presented to them in a variety of formats and models as well as the daily ‘Fluent in 5’ activity to support making efficient mathematical strategy choices and rapid recall. In KS2 we have a ‘Numbers Count’ intervention for those still struggling with number and the 4 operations. This has enabled children to close the gap and successfully access the maths curriculum for their year group, rather than continuously catching up.

As well as fluency, there is a strong emphasis on improving perseverance by developing their reasoning and problem solving skills in a variety of practical, visual and abstract contexts to enable them to deepen, master and explain their understanding. Children are exposed to collaborative experiences such as ‘Talk It Solve It’ as well as direct teacher modelling to provide them with a good example. Vocabulary is still at the forefront of their learning, to ensure they can explain their thinking in a clear and concise way. Opportunities to explore maths through other subjects continue to be sought to ensure children are able to experience maths in a real-life context; enabling them to see its value and relevance and successfully apply their learning.

At Lyme we place importance on finding time in other subjects for pupils to develop their mathematical skills and thinking. For example, there should be carefully planned opportunities for measuring in science or the consideration of properties of shape and geometric patterns in technology and art, and for the collection and presentation of data in history and geography. We endeavour at all times to set work that is challenging, motivating and encourages the pupils to talk about what they have been doing; explaining their mathematical thinking.

The school also provides opportunities for parents to come in and experience maths and how it is delivered through workshops. This is to allow the parents to be supportive and involved in their child’s mathematical development as well as giving parents the tools to enable them to do this successfully and create their own, more positive attitudes towards Maths.

Assessment and Curriculum Planning

Here at Lyme Community Primary School we believe children should be given opportunities to showcase their maths knowledge through their daily maths work, discussion and group activities as well as through more formal assessment, such as the end of Key Stage SATS and timetabled assessment weeks.

 In Early Years, children are assessed against the EYFS age related criteria within the strand of Mathematics.  

At KS1 & 2 we use the National Curriculum charted through objective statements to monitor individual pupil progress against the key stage expectations. The system assesses pupil progress against age appropriate descriptors; this enables teachers to monitor which pupils are working towards their age related expectations and who may be exceeding these goals. This information is then used to inform curriculum planning outlining how additional support or challenge can be provided in order to meet the needs of our pupils. This information is also used by teachers when reporting to parents.

The maths calculation policies which can be accessed via the links below show you the methods we use to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

If you are helping your child and follow these guidelines and strategies, you can't go wrong or confuse the children.

We appreciate everything you do to support your child and any practice of these 4 rules helps.



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Lyme Community Primary, Lyme St, Newton-le-Willows WA12 9HD