Organisation of the Curriculum

The 2014 National Curriculum forms the basis for our long term planning: setting out the expectations in each year group. Using GLOW Maths Hub's medium term document, this  planning organises the topics systematically term by term. Short term unit plans are prepared for daily teaching.

The curriculum is taught through the units as follows with all year groups teaching the same units at similar times – except targeted teaching groups.

Number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions, measurement, geometry, statistics.


Teaching of mathematics at St John’s has links with Shanghai/Singapore maths. We have embedded the CPA (concrete, pictoral, abstract) approach to lessons. All concepts are introduced with concrete resources for children to feel and manipulate. As their conceptual understanding develops, they move towards the pictoral and abstract stages. The children are encouraged to record their mathematical understanding in these different representations. Children are not pushed to move through these stages until they have shown understanding gained by the teacher through skillful assessment.

The teachers role in lessons is to:

  • demonstrate a clear model – this is to remain on display throughout the lesson for children to access and refer to and illustrates the success criteria.
  • create success criteria with the children
  • allow time for discussion and pair work
  • continually assess children’s understanding using multiple hinge questions where appropriate
  • provide support or scaffolding when needed
  • present challenge and to develop understanding through expert questioning.

Visualisation is a core mathematical skill. Teachers provide many opportunities for children to explain their understanding by writing or drawing what they understand. Teachers use this to uncover misconceptions, assess and then challenge children.

Developing a keen number sense is a vital part of our maths curriculum. Children are always asked to explain how they know an answer, if they can show it a different way/an easier way to build upon their conceptual understanding.

Working Walls
Laminated squared display paper is used to model mathematical recording on display walls. Displays are broken down into sections:
  • Key vocabulary – specific to each unit, shared and explored with the children early on and then referred to throughout the unit;
  • Challenge – a clear illustration, question(s) or statement to show children the purpose of the unit – ‘we will be able to’;
  • Prior learning (‘we already know’) – clear visual demonstration of what children can already achieve;
  • Today’s learning – the daily model. This moves across the wall each day; likewise, so does the prior learning.

These display are pivotal in recording the learning journey throughout each unit, they are created with the children during the lessons so are relevant and purposeful. In addition to this, model and success criteria may be display on squared flipchart paper for reference.

Mental skills

Mental skills are taught throughout the academic year. This includes the modelling of mental strategies and time to practise key mental skills. To further develop mental skills, children complete a mental mathematics tests fortnightly.

Times table practise happens regularly throughout the week. Children are tested on their timetables each week with the results being sent home so parents and carers can support their practise.



Children are all trained on the use of Numicon, Dienes and Place Value Counters to support their learning as well as a vast array of other manipulatives - even a bundle of straws can support their learning. These resources are always at hand in the classroom and the children should be trained to have the initiative to use them when they feel they need to.

Calculation Policy

The calculation policy sets out a clear progression throughout the school for the four operations. It shows the expectations for the end of each school year. Please feel free to have a look at our calculation policy by clicking the link below.