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                                   St Michael’s Maths Executive Summary                           


St Michael’s Maths Vision

At St Michael's we strive to develop a deep-rooted passion for mathematics amongst our students by fostering a positive attitude towards the subject. Our aim is to ensure that every child becomes a confident and resilient mathematician, equipped with the essential knowledge and skills to succeed academically and in real-life situations.


The vision for maths is achieved by:

  • A curriculum design which is ambitious, well-sequenced, and coherent, building on prior knowledge and progressively developing pupils' mathematical fluency, reasoning skills, and problem-solving abilities.
  • A high-quality Early Years Mathematics curriculum which is tailored to meet the developmental needs of young learners, promoting curiosity and exploration of Mathematical concepts through play-based activities
  • A high-quality Mathematics curriculum for Years 1-6 which is structured in accordance with the 2014 National Curriculum, providing a clear progression of knowledge and skills
  • A curriculum which teaches facts and formulas and the relationships between them (declarative ‘I know that’ knowledge)
  • A curriculum which teaches methods and provides sufficient time for pupils to rehearse them (procedural ’I know how’ knowledge)
  • A curriculum which teaches strategies to reason and problem solve (conditional ‘I know when’ knowledge)
  • A curriculum which uses a mastery approach, so that no child is left behind
  • A curriculum which is inclusive, promotes mathematical thinking and creativity across a range of real-life contexts, ensuring pupils understand the relevance and application of Mathematics in the world around them.


Implementation of the Maths Vision


Maths in EYFS

At St Michael’s, we believe that it is important to ensure that all children in EYFS develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age. This early learning will underpin everything the children will encounter as they progress through primary school: Counting; Comparison; Composition; Pattern; Shape and Space; Measures.


Children learn about Maths through whole class teaching, small group and 1:1 teaching and then have the opportunity to embed their understanding in their play and their daily experiences, where adults will talk to the children about their understanding and provide opportunities to think more deeply.


We follow the HfL Reception Essentialmaths sequences because they provide a flexibility appropriate to Early Years Foundation Stage. We draw on all the Areas of Learning to embed mathematical understanding at a pace that is suited to the children’s needs.


Maths in Key Stages 1 and 2

In KS1 and KS2, we follow the HfL Essentialmaths programme because it offers a clear sequence of learning which meets our vision and enables pupils to meet the National Curriculum end of key stage attainment targets. The sequences are written as a spiral curriculum in which learning is built upon step by step, sequence by sequence and year on year. It is aspirational and ensures progression and coverage through the primary phase concepts of:

  • Number and place value (approximation, estimation, rounding)
  • Addition and subtraction (calculations)
  • Multiplication and division (calculations)
  • Fractions, decimals, percentages (decimals Year 3+; percentages Year 5+)
  • Ratio, proportion and algebra (Year 6)
  • Measurement
  • Geometry - properties of shape
  • Geometry - position and direction
  • Statistics (Year 2+)


Pupils in all year groups begin each learning sequence with a new learning journey, showing how they will achieve the end outcome. New learning is presented in small steps with opportunities to practise and to explore concepts at greater depth.


Scaffolding is provided through questioning, speaking frames, highlighting and modelling key learning points and the use of manipulatives and pictorial representations. Teachers focus on ensuring all pupils can access the learning at an age appropriate level. This requires our teachers to know their pupils well and have strong mathematical subject knowledge.


Mastery Approach

At St Michael’s we teach the whole class together to ensure all pupils master the curriculum. Challenge is provided by going deeper rather than accelerating into new mathematical content. Teaching is structured to allow sufficient time to be spent on a topic so that learning is embedded and sustained over time and to provide opportunities to work at greater depth.


Our ‘mastery’ approach means that our pupils do not just learn to fluently recall key facts and procedures and answer test questions accurately and quickly. Pupils learn to explain ‘why’ and ‘when’ (conceptual knowledge) as well as understanding ‘that’ (declarative knowledge) and knowing ‘how’ (procedural knowledge). They are taught to use their knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations, explaining their reasoning and solving problems (learning to work like a mathematician – See Appendix A ‘Working Mathematically).        


We recognise that a pupil really understands a mathematical concept if they can:

  • Describe it in their own words and can explain it to someone else
  • Represent it in a variety of ways (the CPA approach – Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract)
  • Make up their own examples
  • See connections between facts or ideas
  • Recognise a concept in new situations
  • Evaluate efficiency of method(s) chosen and justify their choices
  • Draw conclusions and explain what they have discovered


CPA Method (see Appendices B, C, D)

Pupils use a range of representations to develop their understanding of number concepts, to demonstrate what they know and to support them to be able to transfer their understanding to the abstract.


Pupils can use physical resources e.g. cubes, Cuisenaire, base ten, tens frames, bead strings, counters to represent a number or concept (Concrete), a white board or maths book to record a number or concept in pictorial form (Pictorial), a maths book to record numbers and calculations in formal written methods (Abstract).


For pupils to have a true understanding of a mathematical concept, they need to master all three phases.



At St Michael’s we dedicate time to explore, discuss and practise different mental fluency strategies to develop automaticity (recall) and to embed knowledge. We develop our fluency skills using a range of approaches, such as Maths Meetings, Multiplication Tables practice and Gaming.


Maths Meetings

At St Michael’s, each class participates in a mental fluency Maths Meeting at least 3 times a week to revise prior learning and to practise core facts, concepts and mathematical vocabulary.  Maths Meetings are fast paced sessions lasting up 15 minutes and covering no more that five mathematical concepts. These are purely consolidation sessions, helping pupils to reactivate and rehearse prior learning using open and closed questioning, songs, actions, rhymes and chants.


Practice is a key approach to developing the automaticity needed to reduce cognitive load and is incorporated into all maths lessons. Pupils who have facts and skills at their fingertips are more likely to attend to the particulars of new learning than those that do not. Without mental fluency, pupils have to work harder and are over-burdened. At St Michael’s, we think of practice not as meaningless repetition of core facts and concepts in which pupils chant without thought or as a series of isolated facts learnt at home then tested in school, but as a chance to rehearse their understanding in meaningful exercises that develop better thinking. Practice is an opportunity to keep core facts, concepts and vocabulary ‘simmering’ as well as to prepare for the next step in learning (see Appendices D and E).


Multiplication Tables (See Appendix E)

At St. Michael’s we believe that it is important that children are given the opportunity to see, explore, and understand the mathematical structures and patterns of multiplication tables in order to secure deep, embedded learning. We want our children to fluently recall times tables and be able to apply these facts (and their inverse - up to 12x12) by the time they leave primary school.


Gaming (See Appendix F)

At St Michael’s we incorporate games into some of our maths lessons to rehearse, consolidate and apply previous learning.



We work hard as a school to promote pupils’ enjoyment and confidence in maths and to see maths learning as a valuable life skill. Our maths curriculum is enriched through competing in maths challenges with local schools, enterprise opportunities in Year 6, awareness of in jobs which use maths through Dream Catcher Assemblies, TTRS competitions, Maths Days/Weeks focusing on story books with mathematical concepts and exploring maths in real life.


Home Learning



  • Children in Reception practice all number bonds within and up to 10.


Key Stage 1  

  • In years 1 and 2 children practise number bonds within and up to 20 and the multiplication facts 2, 5, 10 and 3.


Key Stage 2

  • In years 3 children practise multiplication facts (2, 5, 10, 3, 4 and 8)
  • In Years 4, 5 and 6 children practise and recall multiplication facts to 12
  • Year 5 and 6 children are set a weekly maths activity


  • Times tables Rockstars or Numbots is provided as additional, optional home learning for all pupils


Measuring the Impact of the Maths Vision and Implementation



Assessment is used to monitor progress and identify any child needing additional support.


Formative assessment

Formative assessment (or Assessment for Learning), using questioning and observations, takes place during every session and this informs subsequent lesson planning. Teachers also use pupil feedback, books and low stakes testing to assess the children’s understanding, knowledge and ability to apply the skills that they have learned.  Pupils have the opportunity to evaluate their own learning in Maths through the use of their learning journeys. ‘Destination questions’ are used in Key Stages 1 and 2 to help provide evidence that pupils have secured the related learning. As these often require some element of application or reasoning, this will indicate that the learning is deepening. 


Summative assessment

Summative assessment takes place termly. It is used to:


  • identify areas of strength and weakness for classes, groups and individuals
  • provide evidence for patterns in progress and attainment (eg. between boys/girls, SEN/non-SEN, different year groups)
  • compare attainment with nationally agreed expectations for children of that age

We use the Herts for Learning Assessment Criteria to make summative judgements in Years 1-6. These criteria are split into 3 sections, matching end-of-year expectations for each year group. Each term, the pupils also complete an Essentialmaths diagnostic multiple-choice assessment, which looks for common misconceptions from the taught units of work. At the end of the year, pupils in KS2 complete summative assessments linked to the content cover of their year group curriculum. These summative assessments support teachers in planning and adapting learning appropriately for their children.


Statutory assessment

Statutory assessment takes place in Reception and at the end of Key Stage 2. Pupils in Year 6 attend additional ‘booster groups’ to help them to prepare for the end of Key Stage 2 Maths Test. Pupils in Year 4 take the multiplication tables check.


‘Keep up’ lessons

Where there is a need to provide pupils with additional support this is provided through targeted teaching which is flexible and tailored to the children’s needs. There will be times when a carefully selected group of pupils requires some tailored pre-teaching, additional support to access the language of maths, re-explanation of the learning and rehearsal of the concept, or tracking back to a piece of previous learning which has been found to be insecure. We aim for this to happen as close to the whole class learning session as possible.


Where particular pupils have SEND and are unable to access the age-related expectations, a more tailored curriculum will be provided. For individual pupils working well below the level expected, teaching sequences from previous year groups can be used to help to track forwards from the skills the pupils have. This ensures the pupils build upon solid foundations, rather than adapting the age-related expectations in a way that might create gaps or build an insecure surface-level understanding.



Maths subject leader monitors provision in Maths through:

  • observations and learning walks
  • discussions with teachers and teaching assistants
  • pupil voice activities
  • an annual 'deep dive' in Maths with an external advisor (TLA or HIP)


Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated twice each year.


Subject Leader Action Plan

Monitoring activities and an analysis of attainment and progress are used to formulate the subject leader action plan which is updated three times each year.


Continuing Professional Development


Subject Leader attends termly maths subject leader updates to keep updated on National and Local outcomes, current research in learning and curriculum and professional development.


EYFS Leader receives updates on latest research on the teaching of Maths through association with Herts for Learning.


The HfL Maths Teaching and Learning Advisor and/or Subject Leader delivers regular CPD for staff in-line with the Subject Leader Action Plan.


Herts for Learning: EssentialMaths YouTube Channel incorporates a wide range of training/teaching videos which support teachers to improve their subject knowledge and therefore teach with greater confidence and impact on pupil outcomes.


Subject Leader meets termly with other Maths Subject Leaders in the St Albans Consortium of Schools Subject Cluster Groups to share ideas and good practice.


The Senior Leadership team has regard to any Ofsted subject specific reports or reviews when monitoring provision in Maths at St Michael’s. Key messages are shared with staff and practice is adapted to reflect the most recent research.


Appendix A Working Mathematically

Appendix B Written Calculations policy

Appendix C Bar Modeling Progression

Appendix D Progression in Mental Mathematics documents

Appendix E Multiplication Tables Progression

Appendix F Essentialmaths Gaming Index


The Maths Executive Summary is reviewed annually.

Latest revision: April 2024

Supporting Maths at Home


Times Table Rockstars

Improve fluency of timetables whilst having fun



Numbots supports understanding, recall and fluency in mental addition and subtraction, so children move from counting to calculating


Herts for Learning Maths games

Games you can play at home to support maths learning in school.



On this website you'll find a range of different maths games you can play 


White Rose 1 minute Maths App

White Rose One Minute Maths App

Designed for use both in class and at home, our 1-minute maths app helps children build greater number confidence and fluency. It’s all about targeted practice in engaging, one-minute chunks!

Multiplication Tables Check

Information video

This video provides more information on what pupils and schools can expect.