St Michael with St John Church of England Primary School

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Welcome to the Mathematics Page!


Mathematics Intent Statement

At SMSJ we follow the White Rose scheme of work, which is based on the National Curriculum.  We have personalised the scheme to create an ambitious Mathematics curriculum, which meets the specific needs of every pupil in our school.  Our aims are for every learner to:


  • 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;
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language;
  • can solve problems by applying their Mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.


We aim to raise children’s aspirations through carefully planning opportunities which promote enjoyment, curiosity, exploration, investigation and discussion in Mathematics.  Given that the majority of our children have English as an Additional Language (EAL), these opportunities are underpinned by:


    1. Language Development and the Understanding of Key Mathematical Vocabulary

Our learning environments are language rich and are regularly updated and adapted, so that all learners can access them on a daily basis. By explicitly teaching and recapping precise mathematical vocabulary, we aim for our pupils to have the tools to accurately explain their methods, connections and reasoning in full stem sentences.Staff consistently model and promote different stem sentences within every Maths lesson, as this supports our pupils in structuring their mathematical ideas or generalities, providing a framework which embeds their knowledge and builds deeper understanding. In turn, further strengthening their memory of every area of the curriculum. To further develop children’s acquisition of mathematical language, regular writing opportunities are provided, which enable our pupils to apply skills and challenge them to explain their understanding and reasoning coherently and accurately.  


     2. Oracy Development

In every lesson, our pupils are provided with the opportunity to discuss their mathematical knowledge in pairs and within groups.  In addition to this, our pupils are encouraged to stand up when they are speaking to their class and to present their thinking in full sentences with precise vocabulary.  Our aim is for our children to develop the oracy skills which will enable them to effectively question, teach and support their peers across all strands of our Mathematics curriculum. 


     3. Learning Experiences

At the core of our coherently planned and sequenced daily teaching, is the aim for every learner to develop a balanced, deep and fluent understanding of all areas of the Mathematics curriculum, which will be built on over time.  We aim for our pupils to be able to independently solve increasingly sophisticated problems, by quickly and accurately applying their knowledge and by exploring rich connections across the curriculum. In order to broaden children’s life experiences, we provide first-hand learning opportunities, which expose children to the Mathematics in the world around them.  We have an annual STEM Week in school where children work on an exciting project, which encourages collaborative work with peers, critical thinking and promotes valuable connections being made across the wider curriculum. In addition to this, through incorporating investigative opportunities into our daily teaching of Mathematics, we aim for our pupils to develop an understanding of the ways in which information should be systematically gathered and presented within investigations.


Our intent is for the majority of our pupils to move through the Mathematics curriculum at broadly the same pace.  However, we understand that every child has their own strengths and needs and so the decision to move our pupils on to the next step is based on how secure their understanding is and their readiness to progress.  Pupils who grasp concepts quickly, will be challenged to deepen their understanding further.  Whilst pupils who are not sufficiently fluent will be provided with additional time and support, in order to consolidate their knowledge and build their confidence. 


By consistently revisiting previous learning, though quick quizzes and Flashback 4, we aim to ensure that every pupil knows more, remembers more and is prepared for the transition to the next stage of their education and their lives beyond this.  Ultimately, we intend to instil a passion for Mathematics in our pupils, which they will take with them throughout their lives.


At SMSJ, we know how crucial it is for staff to have current, up to date skills in this ever changing society and the subject leader endeavours to share updates on a regular basis, which provide staff with the subject knowledge and first-hand experiences to be flexible to the changing needs of our pupils and to deliver effective, engaging lessons. New staff also receive hands on training to ensure that they are confident in delivering effective Mathematics lessons at SMSJ. 


Mathematics and our School Vision 

At SMSJ, we firmly believe that ‘With God, all things are possible’ (Matthew 19:26), and we are dedicated to ensuring that all learners live and breathe this throughout their Mathematics lessons.  We nurture all children, providing them with the tools and resources to become independent learners and to curiously investigate and question the unknown. We inspire them with exciting opportunities to plan and carry out their own investigations and to learn about how Mathematics offers us a unique insight into the wider world, providing the solutions to some of history’s most intriguing problems. Therefore, we aim for our pupils to understand the key role of Mathematics in everyday life, through planned opportunities for them to apply their skills across the wider curriculum in subjects such as Science and Design Technology. We understand that all of our learners at SMSJ achieve in their own way and at their own pace, whether when gaining knowledge of new mathematical concepts, building the confidence to present mathematical ideas to their peers, becoming resilient in accepting that things can and do go wrong, or persevering when investigations require an adaptable yet systematic approach.  Mathematics at SMSJ is led with passion and commitment as we believe that all learners deserve the very best education. 

Home Learning


The White Rose are currently offering free access at home to a range of fantastic home learning resources, which include video tutorials, worksheets and answer sheets.  The children will already be very familiar with this scheme, as it is the one that we use in our daily teaching of Maths in school. Use the following link and click on the year group of your child to access their learning.


The following resources provide additional ideas for games/activities that you can use to support children's mathematical understanding at home.

Knowledge Organisers


At SMSJ, we understand the importance of children retaining key knowledge of all areas of the Maths curriculum. This knowledge then forms the foundations of children fluently and independently problem solving and reasoning.  Knowledge Organisers contain key Maths facts and vocabulary for children to learn. By being able to quickly recall this knowledge when needed, children begin their Maths lessons from a similar starting point.  This in turn increases their confidence and raises their aspirations, by becoming curious learners who consistently challenge themselves.  Click on the links below for your child's yearly Knowledge Organiser.

What have we been learning in our Maths lessons?

TT Rockstars

We believe that times table knowledge underpins all areas of the Maths curriculum.  With this in mind, this year, we re-launched TT Rock Stars (Times Table Rock Stars). Here children can create their own avatar and battle against each other and other schools to help them improve their times table knowledge and the corresponding division facts. It is important, that by the end of Year 4, children can recall all of their times table facts (up to 12 x 12) quickly and accurately. TT Rock Stars is a great way for children to become confident and fluent in this skill and we celebrate children's achievements on a weekly basis with our TT Rockstars of the week and our school leaderboard.

The times table grid below can be used as an assessment to see which areas children need to work on in order to have fluency and accuracy up to 12 x 12.

Mathematical Vocabulary


'Words unlock the doors to a world of understanding.'


The development of spoken language at SMSJ is of paramount importance, given that the vast majority of our children have English as an Additional Language. Therefore explicitly teaching and recapping Mathematical vocabulary is embedded within our daily Maths lessons.  Using precise and accurate language enables our children to verbally explain their understanding and to make connections and apply knowledge across different areas of the curriculum.

The dictionary below provides you with all the mathematical words that children should know the meaning and spelling of by the end of Year 6.  This resource will also support the children with their Maths homework.

STEM Sentences


STEM sentences are embedded throughout our Maths lessons for three key reasons:


  • They improve children’s oracy skills and challenge them to widen their mathematical vocabulary;

  • They provide opportunities for our children to communicate their ideas with mathematical precision and clarity (through accurate vocabulary).  This will then improve their ability to explain their reasoning and show their depth of understanding, ultimately allowing them to question/teach one another effectively.

  • They structure key mathematical ideas or generalities, providing a framework which embeds knowledge and builds deeper understanding.


There are a number of different ways in which STEM sentences are used within our Maths lessons:


STEM Sentence 1


I Say, You Say, We All Say


If the rectangle is the whole, the shaded part is one third of the whole.


The STEM sentence is modelled.  Children are then chosen to repeat the STEM sentence, before everyone says the sentence together.  The repetition of a key concept helps children to embed mathematical knowledge.


STEM Sentence 2


Complete the Sentence


Example: Which is the largest decimal number?   0.001    0.01    0.1


The largest decimal number is ___.  I know this because ___.


STEM Sentence 3




There are 12 stars.  One third of the stars is equal to 4 stars.


Children are to vary key parts within the modelled STEM sentence to create a new STEM sentence of their own.


STEM Sentence 4


Create a Generalisation/Rule


When adding 10 to a number, the ones digit stays the same. 


The STEM sentence is modelled.  Children repeat the sentence, as the repetition of a generalisation/rule helps to embed mathematical concepts.


STEM Sentence 5




Children complete the STEM sentences below to explain the thoughts and reasons behind their answer.


I noticed that ___ so ____.


The answer can’t be ___ because ____.  Therefore, the answer must be ___.


I already know that ____ so ____.


The expectation in our Maths lessons is that children are to speak in full sentences, explaining their thoughts, methods and connections in order to prove that their answers are correct.



Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract Approach


Where appropriate, when teaching a new skill we use the CPA approach (Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract).  Firstly the skill (e.g. adding together two one digit numbers) is taught through the use of different concrete manipulatives, which children can hold and move (e.g. cubes).  Once they have developed a secure understanding of this, children move onto using mathematical drawings to represent the concrete manipulatives that they have previously used.  Finally, once ready to move on again, children are taught to use numbers to represent their drawings.  This approach provides flexibility in the teaching of Maths, which means that if a child is finding one of the steps too challenging or easy, they can be moved to the previous or next step in order to meet their individual learning needs. This approach ensures children develop a deeper understanding of each mathematical skill, enabling them to recall their learning independently at a later point and apply this knowledge in a variety of ways.



Numberblocks is a fantastic resource, created by the BBC, which we use alongside the White Rose scheme to support our early teaching of numbers, counting and calculations.  It includes a series of videos, which support the children in developing a deeper understanding of the numbers 1-10.  Having a strong foundation in number underpins children's understanding of all areas of the Maths curriculum as they move through primary school.  The link below can be used to access these videos at home. 




Flashback 4


We promote and celebrate children retaining the knowledge that they have previously been taught. Therefore every morning, the children complete 4 flashback questions which challenge them to recall prior learning:


Question 1 - a skill from the previous maths lesson.

Question 2 - a skill from the previous week.

Question 3 - a skill from the previous month.

Question 4 - a skill from the previous year.


The children then either tell the time on an analogue clock or name a 2D or 3D shape and its properties, as these are skills that our children often find challenging to retain.



Maths Stories


Stories can be a great way to support children's understanding of tricky mathematical concepts and provides them with visual prompts to help them recall their learning and apply it in different ways. The link below suggests books which can be used to support each area of the Maths curriculum, alongside the age ranges that they are best suited for. 



SMSJ Maths Mornings


We have lots of parents joining us for our termly Maths Mornings. We will be arranging more of these for the coming year and hope to see lots of you there. More information is to follow.