At St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that Mathematics is a key skill that helps us to make sense of the world around us. It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives. Through their growing knowledge and understanding, children learn to understand and apply their knowledge to solve real life problems.


We also believe that Mathematics equips children with a uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem-solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.


Mathematics is important in everyday life, many forms of employment, science and technology, medicine, the economy, the environment and development and in public decision-making. Different cultures have contributed to the development and application of mathematics. Today, the subject transcends cultural boundaries, and its importance is universally recognised.




  • Have a sense of the size of a number and where it fits into the number system
  •  Know by heart number facts, such as number bonds, multiplication tables
  •  Use what they know by heart to figure out answers mentally
  •  Calculate accurately and efficiently, both mentally and with pencil and paper, drawing on a range of calculation strategies
  • Make sense of number problems, including non-routine problems, and recognise the operations needed to solve them
  •  Explain their methods and reasoning, using correct mathematical terms
  •  Judge whether their answers are reasonable, and have strategies for checking them where necessary
  •  Suggest suitable units for measuring, and make sensible estimates of measurements
  •  Explain and make predictions from the numbers in graphs, diagrams, charts and tables.



At St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, we use a variety of teaching and learning styles in mathematics lessons. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in mathematics.


We do this through a daily lesson that has a mix of whole-class and group teaching.

During these lessons we encourage children to ask as well as answer mathematical questions. At St Cuthbert’s, we use the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach which helps children develop mastery across all the operations in an efficient and reliable way. Based on Jerome Bruner’s work, pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols. They have the opportunity to use a wide range of resources such as number lines, number squares, digit cards and small apparatus to support their work appropriate to their age and ability level.


At St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School, children use ICT in mathematics lessons where it will enhance learning, as in modelling ideas and methods. Wherever possible, we encourage the children to use and apply their learning in everyday situations.


In all classes there are children of differing mathematical ability. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children. We achieve this through a range of strategies – in some lessons through adapted group work and in other lessons by organising the children to work in pairs on open-ended problems or games. We provide scaffolds to support children with their work and there are always resources available to support learning.  We use teaching assistants to support targeted groups and to provide in situ feedback to ensure that work is matched to the needs of individuals.


We do this through careful planning and preparation, ensuring that throughout the school,


  • children are given opportunities for: practical activities, role play and mathematical games
  • the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach is used consistently
  • the development of mental and oral strategies with an emphasis on speed recall of number bonds and multiplication tables
  • the development of mathematical vocabulary
  • problem solving
  • individual, group and whole class discussions and activities
  • open and closed tasks
  • a range of methods of calculating e.g. mental, pencil and paper
  • understand mathematics through a process of enquiry and experiment
  • regular use of ICT games to reinforce, develop and enthuse learning




The National Curriculum for mathematics describes what must be taught in each key stage. St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School follows the primary mathematics framework, which provides detailed guidance for the implementation of the orders and ensures continuity and progression in the teaching of mathematics.


Every teacher in St Cuthbert’s has access to the framework for teaching mathematics and the curriculum map outlining progression, which has been designed by the subject leader to meet the needs of children in our school. In early years, the curriculum is guided by the Early Learning Goals.


Early Years Foundation Stage


At St Cuthbert’s, children follow the early years foundation stage curriculum. We give all children the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situation and to practise and extend their range of vocabulary and numeracy skills. They have the opportunity to explore, enjoy, learn about, and use mathematics in a range of situations. Mathematics is planned on a half termly basis and assessed using the criteria from the early learning goals. Mathematics is taught both as a discrete subject and within the whole early years curriculum to give children opportunities to use their Numeracy skills in real life situations.


Key Stages 1 and 2

In Key Stages 1 and 2, daily maths lessons take place. All classes in Key Stages 1 and 2 follow the same sequence starting with number and place value.


Key Stage 1


Throughout Key Stage 1, our Mathematics curriculum will provide many opportunities for children to develop confidence and fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. The use of practical equipment, such as concrete objects and measuring tools, will support the children to gain a deeper conceptual understanding before being challenged through tasks and questions to explain their reasoning and solve a range of problems. The children are equipped with the skills to recognise shapes and their properties and measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.


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. The children develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, children develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Children draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. The children can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.


By the end of year 4, the children should have learnt their multiplication tables up to and including the 12-multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work. Children should 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 the children extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. They develop the connections made between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. The children also 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 also ensures that children classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them. By the end of year 6, children are fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.




The impact of our curriculum means that pupils at St Cuthbert’s Catholic Primary School will leave primary school:

  • being able to achieve success in all areas of their lives
  • being an enthusiastic mathematician
  • confident to take risks in their maths
  • with a love of maths
  • being able to reason mathematically and solve mathematical problems
  • with a rich and varied mathematical vocabulary
  • with the passion and skills to access the KS3 curriculum and beyond


  • All pupils to achieve to the very best of their ability with no child left behind.  
  • Attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is at least in line with the National Average.
  • The % of pupils working at ARE within each year group will be at least in line with the National Average.
  • The % of pupils working at Greater Depth within each year group will be at least in line with the National Average.
  • Attainment in the Multiplication check, at least in line with the National Average.
  • There will be no significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)

For more information, please see our other maths policies. 


Progression of Skills

St Cuthbert's Catholic Primary School is part of the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust

A company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales under company registration number No 7841435.

Registered Office: Fenham Hall Drive, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 9YH