At Skyswood Primary and Nursery School we provide a curriculum which caters for the needs of all pupils and sets them up with the necessary skills and knowledge for future success, in education and beyond. We ensure sustained levels of challenge through varied and high quality mathematical activities, with a focus on number fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem solving. A wide range of mathematical resources are used to ensure practical, concrete and relevant mathematical experiences. Pupils are encouraged to explain their choice of methods and reflect critically on their learning, building a progressive range of reasoning skills. Our children become resilient learners through our growth mind set approach. We aim to develop a love for learning for all children and have high expectations of all pupils in terms of their mathematical potential.

Our Calculation Policy clarifies progression and expectations in calculation with examples that are ‘mathematically transparent’, where process and strategy are central to the child’s understanding. Children are encouraged to develop a range of strategies which can be used selectively in order to apply the most efficient strategies for solving a wider range of problems. We recognise the importance of children applying their learning to real life situations and the importance of children making relevant links and connections within their learning. We believe that building links between intuitive mental methods (number sense) and written methods of calculation is crucial to each child’s mathematical development.

In line with the National Curriculum, our intent is that;

  • All pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

  • Pupils will reason mathematically by following lines of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing arguments, justification or proof using mathematical language.

  • Pupils can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. 

At Skyswood Primary and Nursery School we aim to;

  • Present mathematics as a challenging, exciting, creative and relevant subject, and in so doing, promote a positive and confident attitude and a growth mind set approach for all pupils.

  • Ensure that children are able to approach calculation problems with flexible thinking and embedded mental methods.

  • Break down strategies into small steps to support a deeper understanding, which is embedded and sustained over time.

  • Promote the use of precise and accurate mathematical language for all pupils.

  • Encourage pupils to explain their thinking clearly, using full sentences. This is supported by discussion in class between teacher and pupils, and between the children themselves.

  • Encourage learning through investigation and problem solving.

  • Explore cross-curricular links to enhance the learning of all subjects.

  • Ensure that all children achieve their highest potential in mathematics, irrespective of their background or ability.

  • Give all children a sense of success – if they understand what they are doing and it makes sense to them, this raises self-esteem and builds confidence.

  • Clarify children’s thinking and support their mathematical development through open-ended questioning and discussion.

  • Encourage children to explain their own methods so that they are in control of their own learning.

Links to all key stages-

Calculations Policy February 2018



At Skyswood, we ensure that all children throughout the EYFS develop secure mathematical and calculation foundations through an engaging, flexible and age-appropriate curriculum. 

Adult-led sessions are supported by learning through play, daily mathematical experiences and a number rich environment. We believe that meaningful and practical exposure to mathematical activities embeds the first building blocks for calculation and mathematical understanding, and underpins future learning.

We use the Herts for Learning Essential Maths to ensure progression and coverage throughout each key phase. Teachers introduce a range of strategies, in line with our Calculations Policy, to ensure full understanding of mathematical concepts prior to learning formal calculation methods. As a school, we have made the decision to fully consolidate a range of calculation strategies that underpin key concepts before progressing to formal calculation strategies in Year 5. All strands of mathematics are covered through a cyclical approach where topics are revisited and built upon as children progress through each year/key stage. 

Lessons reflect a high quality of modelling, practical activities, discussions and questioning, along with the use of manipulatives. Much of the learning is recorded in books, although this is not a daily expectation.

Differentiated challenges are provided to ensure that all children are able to access the learning at an appropriate level. Children are encouraged to select their own level of challenge in accordance with our ‘limitless learning’ approach, which encourages children to develop a strong growth mind set and excel in the different areas of mathematics without a ‘ceiling’ being applied to their learning.

A personalised curriculum is provided for children who benefit from pre-teaching, rehearsal and the reactivation of previous learning. Where necessary, children will also receive small group intervention to further develop their skills and confidence in the subject. This additional support is planned in detail between staff and senior leaders during termly Pupil Progress meetings.

Mrs Loukes, our maths specialist, works alongside Miss Harvey as Maths Subject Leader and supports staff with their professional development and with the delivery of the maths curriculum. Mrs Loukes has written our Calculation Policy and trained all teachers in ‘number talk’ strategies to support a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Number talks encourage children to explain their thinking, reflect upon their learning and match appropriate strategy to task.

All teachers have received the Essential Maths training, or received ‘internal training’ provided by Miss Harvey or Mrs Loukes.

Ongoing formative assessment informs teachers of ‘next steps’ and informs future planning. Teachers use questioning, observation and work scrutiny to assess the children’s understanding, knowledge and ability to apply the skills they have learned. Regular and immediate feedback is provided for children through both verbal and written methods. Children are expected to respond to teacher feedback and critically reflect upon their own learning.

In addition to formative assessment, children also complete an end of term Essential Maths Assessment Task to support teachers in their summative assessment. In Years 2 and 6, these assessments are replaced in the Summer Term by the end of Key Stage National Curriculum tests.



The impact of our maths curriculum can be evidenced through the progress that our children make, the high levels of attainment and the positive attitudes to maths, where the vast majority of our children state that they ‘enjoy’ or ‘really enjoy’ maths in our Annual Pupil Questionnaires.

Children speak enthusiastically about their love for learning, demonstrating their growth mindset approach and speaking confidently about their chosen methods and strategies. They are able to relate their learning to real life experiences and apply their learning to a variety of contexts.

Pupils know how and why maths is used in the outside world and in the workplace. By the end of KS2 our pupils can confidently articulate the ways in which maths can support their future potential.

Mathematical concepts and skills are mastered in a way that enables our children to confidently explain their thinking using appropriate mathematical vocabulary. They are able to independently apply concepts to new situations and recognise appropriate links between mathematical topics and concepts. We embed this through our ‘number sense’ and ‘number talk’ sessions than run from reception right through to Year 6.

Children are able to demonstrate a quick recall of facts and mathematical procedures. This includes strong number bonds and a good knowledge of their times tables, through Number Gym (Bond Builder & Table Trainer), MyMaths and Times Tables Rock Stars.

Pupils use acquired vocabulary with confidence. They use a variety of methods independently and show a growth mind set when faced with problems or challenges. Children show flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of maths.

Pupils show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of their learning.

Teachers plan a range of opportunities to use maths inside and outside school. Our KS2 Learning Log Home Learning often features practical maths activities which enrich the maths learning that is current within the class. In addition to this, children in Key Stage 2 also receive a Times Table card, with activities set up to support their rapid recall of the times tables. In Key Stage 1, pupils work through our Maths Card Scheme, which supports the learning of mental maths strategies and strengthens their command of times tables.

The school also take part in various maths enrichment activities within the wider community, such as;

Abbot’s Hill Year 5 Maths Challenge

Alwickbury Maths Challenge in Years 4 and 5

Herts for Learning Maths Challenge in Year 6

Inclusion in Maths

Children who have special educational needs will be encouraged to join in with class learning and follow the same curriculum. They will receive support in a variety of ways to allow them to complete their learning, tailored to their individual needs and with a focus of increasing independence:

Examples are,

Support from one to one (where applicable), the class teacher or teaching assistant

A range of practical activities and concrete experiences to support their learning in maths

Use resources and manipulatives

Use a scaffold or template to help with the task

Work on a simpler version of the same task

Work with a partner or small group who can support them

Children with understanding outside of the age related expectations of the current and previous year group, will be supported through a personalised curriculum designed to develop key mathematical skills for their future and to build independence. Personal targets will be designed using  foundational mathematical learning broken down into smaller steps and will be assessed through using the Collett School assessment document.

Inspiring our Children in Mathematics

Addition Videos

Partitioning for addition (2- and 3-digit numbers)

Partitioning for addition (3-digit numbers)

Partitioning for addition (3- and 4 digit numbers)

Partitioning for addition (one decimal place)

Subtraction Videos

Subtraction by counting up and finding the difference (2-digit to 3-digit numbers)

Subtraction by counting up and finding the difference (3-digit to 3-digit numbers)

Subtraction by counting up and finding the difference (3-digit to 4-digit numbers)

Subtraction by counting up and finding the difference (1 decimal place)

Subtraction by partitioning (2-digit numbers)

Subtraction by partitioning (3-digit numbers)

Multiplication Videos

Grid method for multiplication (2-digit by 2-digit numbers)

Grid method for multiplication (2-digit by 3-digit numbers)

Division Videos

Division by chunking along a number line (2-digit by 1-digit numbers)

Division by chunking along a number line (3-digit by 1-digit numbers)

Chunking without a number line (one decimal place)

General Videos

Doubling 4-digit numbers

Halving 3-digit numbers

Halving odd 3-digit numbers

The ‘counting up’ method (calculating time intervals)

The ‘counting up’ method (finding change)


Other resources

National Curriculum: Mathematics Programme of Study 

Maths Cards Letter

Maths Parent Information Leaflet-front

Maths Parent Information Leaflet-inside

Home Learning Parent Information Leaflet-front

Home Learning Parent Information Leaflet-inside