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Maths at the Skylark Federation



Our ‘Intent’ – in designing our bespoke, South Downs curriculum – is for Maths (and all other subjects) to be relevant and have a strong local resonance with pupils. In doing so, our intention is that all learners reach their full potential through a maths curriculum that is tangible and real for pupils of the South Downs. That is not to say our curriculum is narrow-sighted: we use children’s local understanding to project their minds across the globe. We are an outward-looking Federation of village schools.


The Skylark Federation follows the Maths Mastery approach, to introduce and consolidate the building blocks that children need to study maths successfully and to a high level.  Children study mathematics daily covering a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics. Due to the interconnected nature of mathematics, we aim to teach maths in a cross-curricular manner as well as discretely to teach the practical application of mathematical skills. Teachers plan a range of opportunities to use maths inside and outside school. We focus not only on the mathematical methods but also on mathematical vocabulary. We also want pupils to have a Growth Mindset ‘can do’ attitude, by being resilient, determined in the face of a challenge, cooperative, creative and most importantly, having a positive attitude to making mistakes and seeking solutions.

We aim for each child to be confident in each yearly objective and develop their ability to use this knowledge to develop a greater depth understanding to solve varied fluency problems as well as problem solving and reasoning questions.




In Early Years, Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure.

Pupils are taught to:



  •        count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20
  •        place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number
  •        add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer using quantities and objects
  •        solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing


Shape, space and measure

  •        use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems
  •        recognise, create and describe patterns
  •        explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes
  •        use mathematical language to describe them.



Key Stage 1


The principal focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This involves working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools].


At this stage, pupils develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. Children apply these skills practically and across a range of subjects.


Throughout KS1 children learn the number bonds to 20 and become precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage aids fluency.


Pupils learn to read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1. We support this through the use of Stem sentences and Generalisations.


Lower Key Stage 2


The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This ensures that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.


At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. Children learn to use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number. Children apply these skills practically and across a range of subjects.


By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12-multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. We support children to achieve this by daily fluency tasks and all children are signed up to the online platform Times Tables Rock Stars.


Pupils continue to read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.


Upper Key Stage 2


The principal focus of mathematics teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This develops the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.


At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures consolidates and extends knowledge developed in number. Teaching ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. Children apply these skills practically and across a range of subjects.



Curriculum Impact



Children talk enthusiastically about their maths lessons and speak about how they love learning about maths.

'I enjoy maths because I like solving problems.'

'I really feel like I can do maths.'

'It's hard but it is enjoyable.'

‘Maths is important because you learn things and it makes you smarter’

'We like doing challenges, we have to think them through and then we feel happy and glad when we can do them'

'We use numicon and I love it!'

'I like using unifix and bricks and cubes!'



Pupils know how and why maths is used in the outside world and in the workplace. They know about different ways that maths can be used to support their future potential.

Children show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of their work.

At the end of each year we expect the children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention to help them achieve Mastery. We want all children to leave the Skylark Federation with a secure understanding of maths which they can confidently apply in different contexts.