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Shipham Church of England First School


Maths at Shipham



At Shipham Church of England First School we wholeheartedly believe that all children can, and should, achieve success within mathematics as this builds a firm foundation for understanding the world around them. We actively seek to inspire confidence and curiosity around mathematics and teach for a secure and deep understanding of mathematical concepts through manageable steps. ‘Talking’ the maths is one of the fundamental building blocks of our approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Regular opportunities to ‘talk’ the maths not only enable the children to explain their method, but also encourages them to really think about, and understand, how they tackle a problem and arrive at an answer. We use mistakes and misconceptions as an essential part of the learning process as we encourage our children to ‘grapple’ with the maths and apply their skills of resilience and perseverance to deepen their understanding.  


We embrace the aims of the national curriculum and aim for all pupils to:  


  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. 

  • be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including in unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios. To also create their own problems for their peers (and teachers!) to solve 

  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry and develop and present a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language. 

  • have an appreciation of number and number operations, which enables mental calculations and written procedures to be performed efficiently, fluently and accurately to be successful in mathematics.



Our Maths curriculum is relevant and engaging and provides both breadth and balance. Further to this, our curriculum adopts a ‘mastery approach’ which is informed by NCETM in EYFS and the White Rose small steps from years 1-4. Both are supported by clear skills and knowledge progression. Alongside the small steps are key questions used by teachers to further develop mathematical thinking and reasoning and enable children to better understand how and why maths works. Our children are taught maths in their mixed year groups for approximately one hour, daily. All children have opportunities for fluency, reasoning and problem-solving in each learning outcome, with work scaffolded to support as needed. Challenge is evident throughout the whole session and children are given opportunities to reason and prove their understanding. We also develop their skills, knowledge and understanding through practical experiences that have relevance and purpose in everyday situations. Our teaching of mathematics is systematic and progressively builds on children’s knowledge and understanding. 


In response to the needs of our children and the impact of the pandemic on their learning, we have adapted our mathematics curriculum to ensure that we are supplementing our maths teaching with daily mastering number (EYFS and Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 intervention if needed) and twice- daily times tables challenges (Key Stage 2). This ensures that our children are developing secure number sense and learning systematic approaches to the recall of number facts.  


Our expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security on the pupils’ understanding and readiness. Pupils who grasp concepts more quickly will be challenged to deepen their understanding through enriched learning opportunities rather than acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will have their understanding consolidated, including through additional practice, before moving on. 


A high-quality maths lesson at Shipham:

  • Has clear routines that ensures the children are ready to learn

  • Links prior and new learning how does what we’ve learned previously prepare and inform our learning today?

  • Uses focused instruction and ‘I do’- clear modelling by the class teacher with a varied range of visual representations that draws attention to mathematical structures, models correct mathematical vocabulary and common misconceptions.

  • Enables children to practise their learning through ‘we do’ – providing opportunities for the children to explain their answers and addressing key misconceptions.

  • Provides opportunities to check their learning through ‘you do’- independent practice and application. Learning is scaffolded where required.

  • Consolidates learning


We also embed and enrich mathematics throughout our whole school curriculum with the use of regular themed days, such as STEM days, NSPCC Number Day and the RSPB Bird Watch. Not only do these days provide further opportunities for the children to apply their learning and see mathematics in context, but they also reinforce the creativity and fun of mathematics. We also enhance and further support learning with our fantastic forest school, working walls and subscriptions to Numbots and Times Table Rockstars.



We aspire for children at Shipham to develop as confident and enthusiastic mathematicians who are able to enjoy the challenge and wonder of the subject. Armed with a bank of efficient and accurate skills, children ‘understand’, rather than just ‘do’ their mathematics and are able to apply these calculation skills to become resilient problem-solvers, with the ability to reason and articulate their ideas mathematically.


Developing fluent and systematic recall of number facts

Mastering Number

From Reception to Year 2, all children participate in daily NCETM 'mastering number' sessions. These sessions aim to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense. The aim over time is that children will leave Key Stage 1 with fluency in calculation and a confidence and flexibility with number.

Times Tables

At Shipham we are passionate about delivering high- quality, effective and challenging teaching. We want our children to love maths and succeed within the maths curriculum. Therefore, we felt it important to introduce a way to teach times tables that would give children the freedom and fluency in maths, without being a burden to learn. Using Claire Christie’s Times Table Booklets, we teach times tables twice daily. Below is an overview of the order of when the booklets are taught. 

Maths progression and skills documents

Maths curriculum enrichment


'Time Lords'

Our PTA, FOSS, kindly funded four watches for each of our classes. These watches will support us on our mission to support the children to develop their confidence and ability to tell the analogue time. Each day, different children in each class are chosen to be our class 'Time Lords' and throughout the day teachers and children ask our Time Lords for the time (with support given when needed).


Chess club

Every Tuesday we hold a lunchtime chess club in Oak class with Mr Ewens and there are lots of opportunities to play chess at our after-school club too.

Supporting Maths at home