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Why we teach Maths

Mathematics is a subject that has developed over thousands of years, providing the solution to some of history’s hardest problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


Aims of Maths

Pupils aim to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning problem solving. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to Science and other subjects.

The expectation is that most pupils will move through the curriculum at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage.

Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through rich and sophisticated Deep problems before moving on to new content.

Those who are struggling with fluency should reinforce their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.



Maths at Westacre


At Westacre, children study elements of number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics.

Each year group has two distinctive types of Maths lessons: Regular curricular lessons and R.A.P maths.

Year 5 and Year 6 have an extra arithmetic lesson.

In the regular curriculum lessons, children learn the new content appropriate to their age band, demonstrating their understanding through a mix of fluency, problem solving and reasoning questions.


Each day, we have a 15 minute R.A.P Maths lesson. These short lessons give children the opportunity to Retrieve and use previously learned knowledge, develop their Arithmetic skills and Practice areas of maths of they may find tricky.


In Arithmetic lessons, children focus solely on fluency skills where they learn and practise mathematical procedures.


At Westacre, a high priority is placed on children remember knowledge they have previously learned. This takes the form of ‘Can We Still…’ activities during R.A.P maths, which aim to test recall of previous maths topics children may not have practiced in a few weeks or months. Each year group tailors this retrieval activity to suit the particular needs of each year group or class.



Following guidance from the Maths Hub, children are not set for maths. Instead children are taught in their base classes which prevents any ‘glass ceiling’ to what they can achieve in the subject. Children are both supported and challenged through adaptive teaching so in each lesson, every child can reach their potential. We understand that for a select number of children with additional needs, access to the curriculum can be difficult so a small support group exists in each year group across the school which promotes a strong emphasis on personal progress.


Due to the interconnected nature of mathematics, at Westacre we aim to teach maths in a cross curricular manner as well as discretely to teach the practical application of mathematical skills. We focus not only on the mathematical methods but also focus on mathematical vocabulary and to use Maths Mastery to broaden and deepen mathematical understanding.

We use a range of resources throughout the school to design a bespoke and challenging curriculum that is specific to each child’s learning needs.



Teaching at Westacre


During maths lessons at Westacre, children are taught through a Teaching for Mastery approach. This involves the teacher modelling the skill being taught to complete a question [ 'I DO!'], then children working together with their peers and the teacher ['WE DO!'], and finally children have the opportunity to complete the skill independently ['YOU DO!']. 


They then may be broken up into smaller focus groups that provide support both for children who may struggle with fluency of the skill as well as those who may need assistance with a problem solving task. All children would ideally aim to develop their basic maths skills and apply them to different problems and real life situations. They access a variety of different concrete resources to support their learning, and each classroom has several maths toolkits which children are encouraged to dip into whenever they feel it would be beneficial.


No matter their level of attainment, all children are expected to develop their verbal reasoning skills. This means they should be able to discuss the maths they are working on with a partner or as part of a group, use correct mathematical terminology an ask questions about patterns or problems that they spot in the mathematics. They might use some of the reasoning sentence starters shown below:


All classrooms at Westacre have a blackboard dedicated to the teaching and display of Maths. While a teacher may use this to teach at or display key concepts/ vocabulary as a reminder, children are also encouraged to use the blackboard individually or in groups to solve problems and share ideas.


Pupil Assessment

Throughout each lesson feedback is given to the children through marking and next-step tasks to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective.

Teachers then use this assessment to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a mathematics curriculum that will allow each child to progress. The teaching of maths is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. Each term children from each year complete a summative assessment to help them to develop their testing approach and demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. CanDoMaths assessments are used across the school with Year 6 also using SATS papers and Year 7 also using White Rose assessments. The results from both the formative assessment and summative assessment is then used to determine children’s progress and attainment.

Assessments also inform the areas of focus for R.A.P maths lessons, interventions, classroom seating plans. It is also used to adapt lesson planning where appropriate.



Overview of Maths

Year 5


Year 6


Year 7

 Here you can find the latest information about Maths at Westacre. 





Please see the document below for more information about how we support the needs of all learners in Maths: