St Cuthbert's Catholic Academy

Maths Curriculum - The Big Picture


At BEBCMAT we want to develop every child’s passion for Mathematics and to ensure all pupils are able to reason mathematically, solve problems and be fluent with facts in line with the Primary National Curriculum.  Within Early Years we strive to ensure all children develop a strong grounding in number and are provided with rich opportunities to develop spatial reasoning skills,including shape space and measures. We work closely with our local Maths Hub ‘Abacus’ and the NCETM’s 5 big ideas for mastery have been embedded into our practice.
Teaching for Mastery diagram
Primary National Curriculum

Teachers are clear about the big ideas in mathematics: number, calculation, geometry, measures and data. They understand the excellence for each area of mathematics and strive towards it for all pupils. Teachers plan collaboratively with their year group partners, ensuring that the trust calculations policy and mental calculations policies are followed. They ensure milestones, which lead to the defined excellence, are broken down into smaller steps for each unit of work. Proportional time is spent developing deep knowledge of the key ideas that are needed to underpin future learning (progression of skills), guided by the scheme of learning.

The approach ‘find out what they don’t know and teach them it’ is embedded. Summative data is analysed at a fine grain size during DAFITAL which provides formative information, which is then used to inform further teaching. Alongside this an efficient and continuous pre-assessment for a unit or milestones is carried out; not necessarily a test. When teaching a key idea all pupils are where possible kept together on the same milestone using mastery activities followed by mastery with greater depth. Within lessons teachers intervene as required, consolidating and deepening children’s understanding. All teachers work within a spiral curriculum where timing is adhered to where needed highly effective, well planned interventions are carried out to quickly fill gaps.

Where applicable, teachers make links across units of work. They focus on deepening a concept and allow children to apply and solve problems within different contexts, real life or abstract. Teachers structure pupils’ learning so that they develop a deep learning that can be sustained and pupils are able to make connections (mastery). Teachers use the approach ‘Don’t practice until you get it right – practice until you can’t get it wrong’. Misconceptions, where possible, are anticipated and addressed head on.

Teachers incorporate and model different problem solving strategies, particularly shared problems. Pupils are coached to use these strategies within lessons. Pedagogy is based on current research and supports teaching strategies used such as: my turn/your turn, multiple choice and the use of examples and non-examples to highlight concepts.

A range of carefully selected concrete equipment (manipulatives) and pictorial representations are used within lessons, making the connections to the abstract. Manipulatives are used purposefully and appropriately with a clear rationale using collaborative lesson planning to support this choice.

Pupils become more fluent with facts to enable them to recall rapidly and effortlessly, these are taught within maths meetings and throughout lessons: ensuring that a secure knowledge of times table is in place by the end of Year 4. Teachers use mathematics meetings to build conceptual knowledge in tandem with procedural knowledge.

Teachers promote oracy and develop confidence by encouraging children to talk about mathematics and to explain their thinking. If this consistent approach is taken then resilience will develop and be built upon throughout the years. Teachers also promote a can do attitude within the classroom, building confidence and celebrating success. Positive teachers will be expressed in pupils. Finally mathematics is well represented within the classroom environment, under the guidance of the display policy.

EYFS Curriculum

In Early Years, children are immersed in mathematics and are given planned and spontaneous opportunities to develop their mathematical understanding. Throughout the physical environment, there are opportunities to practice and embed learning using purposeful and stimulating activities and resources. There is a dedicated maths area in the classroom where children enjoy playing with purposeful resources to enhance what they have been taught. There are also opportunities in other areas of the setting for children to engage in talk about shape, measures, patterns and numbers. Staff model mathematical language and thinking whilst engaging with children in their play.

Songs, stories and rhymes are important in our EYFS setting. Staff pick out numerical patterns in stories and use songs or rhymes to enhance learning of things such as number bonds and composition of numbers. Alongside this, carefully chosen visual representations and manipulatives enable children to make links in their learning about number structures. In EYFS we routinely use tens frames and dice frames to support children’s understanding of numbers.

Through the Mastering in Number programme children develop an understanding of number with a focus on depth.  This programme builds slowly to deepen children’s understanding of number, starting at Reception and into KS1.

Despite the new 2021 eyfs framework changes within mathematics we ensure children are given opportunities to explore spatial language, shape and measures. Learning experiences are planned throughout the year for children to explore. Alongside lessons, children have opportunities in the provision to develop their understanding of patterns, size, shape and spatial relationships, in areas such as construction and craft areas as well as outside.

Mathematics in EYFS does not stop at the end of a maths lesson; staff highlight the mathematics within the daily routines in each setting such as snack times and self registration. These routine events enable children to practice their problem solving skills and reasoning skills in real life situations. Children are engaged in mathematical thinking during everyday tasks such as tidying up at the end of a session or self registration.


The maths team monitors the impact of the curriculum on pupil’s learning and refines overview S plans as needed. This is done through monitoring of assessment data, Dafital discussions and pupil voice. The maths team also supports development of teaching and learning through working with a primary mastery specialist from the maths hub (based at St Cuthbert’s) and through coaching. The impact of this work is also reflected in the end of key stage outcomes through statutory testing and reporting.

Curriculum Map

Year 1

Number and Place Value (Use numbers up to 100)

Addition and Subtraction (up to 100)

Multiplication and Division (Count in steps of 10s, 5s and 2s)

(recognise half and one quarter)

Geometry – To compare and sort 2d and 3d shapes and describe how they have been sorted

Measures – Solve practical problems for length/height, mass/weight, capacity/volume

Year 2

Number and Place Value (up to 100)

Addition and Subtraction (up to 100)

Multiplication and Division (Times tables 2,5,10)

Fractions (recognising, finding, naming and writing one-quarter, one-third, one-half/two-quarters, and three-quarters of an object, shape or quantity.

Geometry – To describe the properties of 2d and 3d shapes using mathematical language.

Measures – Choose the appropriate standard unit to estimate and measure. (mm/cm/m), (kg/g), (l/ml)

Year 3

Number and Place value (3 digit numbers)

Addition and Subtraction (3 digit numbers)

Multiplication and Division (3, 4 and 8 times tables)

Fractions – To solve problems by recognising, comparing, ordering, adding and subtracting fractions

Geometry – To draw 2d shapes and construct 3d shapes: recognising them in different orientations.

Measures – Measure, compare, add and subtract: length (mm/cm/m), mass (kg/g), volume/capacity (l/ml)

Year 4

Number and Place Value (4 digit numbers)

Addition and Subtraction (4 digit numbers)

Multiplication and Division
(to multiply two digit and three digit numbers by a one digit number and use chunking to divide two digit numbers by a single digit)

Fractions – To demonstrate secure understanding of unit fractions through finding fractions of lengths and quantities and use of equivalence.

Geometry -To draw and recognise lines of symmetry within shapes in different orientations and complete symmetric figures.

Measures – Convert between different units of measure; (kg/g), (mm/cm/m), (l/ml)

Year 5

Number and Place Value (at least 1 000 000)

Calculations -(4 digit numbers)


Fractions – To demonstrate a secure understanding of mixed numbers and improper fractions.

Geometry – To accurately draw 2d shapes using given dimensions and angles.

Measures – Solve addition and subtraction problems involving units of measure e.g. length/mass/volume using decimal notation.

Year 6

Calculations (up to 10 000 000)



Fractions ( To multiply pairs of proper fractions and divide proper fractions by a whole number)

Geometry – Use a secure understanding of angles to find unknowns on lines or within a shape.

Measures – Solve problems involving the calculation and conversion of units of measure.

The following skills are taught throughout maths curriculum in Key Stages 1 and 2

Pupils 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 the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

Pupils are taught to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

Pupils can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and nonroutine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.