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Our Lady and St Rose of Lima Catholic Primary School home page

Our Lady and St Rose of Lima
Catholic Primary School & Nursery

Learning, Living, Loving Together in Christ


The aim of our Maths curriculum at St Rose is for our children to be capable, confident and have a positive attitude towards mathematical concepts. We teach them that God has given them talents that they are entrusted to develop and use for the good of others. We have clear intentions for the three fundamental aims of the National Curriculum – fluency, reasoning and problem solving. Fluency is not simply the recall of number facts, but being able to see links between topics and learning. Reasoning requires the children being able to justify their answers and strategies. Problem solving is the ability to understand how a task should be approached and what steps are involved. The children should be taught that there are times when multiple strategies might be applied to solve the same problem and then evaluate which is the most appropriate. We see them as highly connected aspects of teaching. They are covered in each topic and should appear in most individual lessons.


The aims of the National Curriculum are to develop fluency and the ability to reason mathematically and solve problems. Reasoning is not only important in its own right but impacts on the other two aims. Reasoning about what is already known in order to work out what is unknown will improve fluency; for example, if I know what 12 × 12 is, I can apply reasoning to work out 12 × 13. The ability to reason also supports the application of mathematics and an ability to solve problems set in unfamiliar contexts. (NCETM)

It is our aim to develop the use of mathematical vocabulary and discussion. To develop this, we have spent time working on written journaling and this style of task (including the teacher modelling orally in teaching) will continue to be developed. To further develop and deepen the understanding of mathematical vocabulary, we have developed a Vocabulary Progression Document which sets out vocabulary to be taught in each year group. We have also developed ‘star vocabulary’ that will feature in each maths lesson.


Teaching children precise mathematical language and insisting upon its use supports children's ability to think mathematically. Having the language and using it empowers children’s ability to think about the concept. (NCETM)

To ensure that our children ‘know more and remember more’, lessons are carefully structured into small steps of teaching. These steps should be small enough steps so that most children can keep up, not need to catch up. These ‘small steps’ also occur across lessons. Lesson sequences are carefully planned and sequenced across a topic, in each year group from EYFS to Y6 . These are set out in our Whole School Progression Document. It is important to us that children ‘master’ their year group curriculum: they should develop a deep understanding of their year groups’ objectives and not be rushed to move on too quickly. These are made clear in each year groups’ Unit Markers.


Carefully structured teaching is planned in small steps. This provides both the necessary scaffold for all to achieve, and the necessary detail and rigour of all aspects of the maths to facilitate deep thinking. The small steps are connected and concepts are built. This leads to generalisation of the maths, and the ability to apply it to multiple contexts and solve problems. (NCETM)

We believe that our children should focus on Place Value, Calculation (the four operations) and Fraction before developing the rest of the mathematical content. We believe that if the children have a deep understanding of these areas, that the rest of the content should be more accessible. To allow for this, we have ordered the Whole Year Maps to give these topics priority focus. Teachers also know that the whole year maps are a guide and that they are flexible. If the class show that they need longer on a topic to allow for depth, the teachers, in conversation with the subject lead, can edit and develop them as necessary. We plan to monitor progression through the Whole School Coverage document at regular intervals to ensure that it is current and that classes are covering everything needed.


We believe that all children should have access to our Maths curriculum and that, unless a child has a specific learning need (set out in an EHCP), that they should be accessing the same content as their peers. Unless they have a specific learning need, children should be taught in class and be supported by their peers, teaching assistants and the class teacher. Differentiation will come through support, questioning and resources. We believe that in working alongside their peers, children who might need additional support, benefit from hearing the modelling of other children and of the adults in their classroom.

Mastery is characterised by a belief that, by working hard, all children are capable of succeeding at mathematics. On this basis, children are taught all together as a class and are not split into ‘prior attainment’ groupings. (NCETM)

Alongside their main Maths lessons, our children also receive further development of basic skills: this is done through sessions such as Big Maths; the use of Times Table Rock Stars; through interventions that support the lessons; arithmetic support and through the tasks set on their arrival into school (often referred to as “5-a-day"). These are planned by class teachers and should complement the deepening of understanding of their year groups’ objectives.


The long-term intent of our Maths curriculum

We hope that our Maths teaching inspires our children of Weoley Castle in our charge to enjoy maths and to feel confident and adept at the subject. We hope that our children might choose to go on to study Maths in further education as at the moment only 32% of people in our catchment have NVQ4+ or equivalent qualifications and sadly 32% have low or no qualifications at all. We hope that they leave St Rose with the ambitions of applying mathematical skills when working in higher skilled occupations as currently Weoley Castle has 38% of its population working in lower skilled jobs and the employment stands at just 60%. We intend to teach the children that through hard work, ambition and positive attitudes that they can grow to be adults in occupations that help improve, not only their own futures, but that create a better world for others using their mathematical skills and knowledge. Being in an area that is in the most deprived 10% of Birmingham means it is important to talk to our children about how we want them to grow up knowing how to use their mathematical understanding to manage their finances and not get into debt. To achieve these ambitious intentions, our teachers talk positively about Maths, give real-life examples and discuss the importance of it in everyday lives. We talk to children about their vocation and how God calls them to be the best version of themselves, giving them the talents they need to achieve.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)


Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. (DfE, 2014)