Our Lady & St. Brendan's Catholic Primary School

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'Mathematics is the language with which God has written the universe.’ (Galileo Galilei)

Mathematics Curriculum Intent 

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 careers. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides: a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

At Our Lady and St Brendan's we develop confident, resilient mathematicians with the knowledge and skills for everyday life and future careers. Our mathematics curriculum nurtures and inspires inquiry and conjecture. It prepares children for their continuing learning journey, where doors will be opened rather than closed to future success. Supported by a culture of equality and aspiration we aim to remove disadvantage so that every child believes in themselves and can thrive. Through the curriculum, children are empowered to make valuable contributions locally and globally.

We are shaping assured, happy and resilient mathematicians who relish the challenge of maths. We see mistakes as being a crucial part of the learning journey and we celebrate them and reflect on what the mistake teaches us or how it helps us move one step closer to understanding. The pupils become independent, reflective thinkers, whose skills not only give them success in maths but also support them across the whole curriculum. Strengthening children’s capacity as learners and developing their independence, initiative, determination, and love of learning. Our approach to the teaching of mathematics develops children's ability to work both independently and collaboratively as part of a team.

Our mathematicians appreciate the contribution made by many cultures to the development and application of mathematics. Diversity in the field of mathematics – the achievements of eminent mathematicians past and present are a part of the rich diet from EYFS to Year 6. Equipping children with the knowledge and cultural capital they need for future success.

At Our Lady and St Brendan’s Catholic Primary School we reject the idea that some people are naturally good at maths and some ‘just can’t do mathematics’. Effectively supported by qualified, highly-skilled and enthusiastic teachers, pupils are encouraged and believe that with persistence with sustained effort they can and will succeed. Through whole-class interactive teaching, where the aim is for all pupils to work together so that the majority of pupils master concepts before moving on to the next part of the carefully sequenced curriculum. This is to ensure no pupil is left behind – through quality first teaching pupils can keep up not catch up.

Pupils with SEND needs which means that they cannot access maths within their year group expectations have an indvidualised and ambitious mathematics curriculum which follows an assess, plan, do, review cycle to ensure that they make progress and develop passion and curiosity for the subject.

This is the structure of the lesson in mathematics at Our Lady and St Brendan's:

Implementation and aims

We use the White Rose Maths small steps to structure the curriculum. The Ready to Progress Criteria Primary Guidance also forms part of the the mathematics curriculum at OLSB.  The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including 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 Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language 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.
Curriculum design is an exciting, continuous and fluid process which takes into consideration the needs, characteristics and interests of our children; their prior learning and experiences; and the statutory curriculum. It is constantly evolving to ensure local, national and global contexts are topical; that approaches to ever-changing technologies are embraced; and current educational research and best
practice informs pedagogy.

Teaching for mastery is the approach we have implemented across school – teaching and support staff have regular CPD and one to one coaching from the subject lead and external training from West Yorkshire Maths Hub. To ensure consistency and develop subject specific pedagogical development – teaching staff use the lesson structure in order to include all the elements of TfM within and across sequences of learning.

The five big ideas are the active ingredients in the maths curriculum at OLSB from EYFS in which the pupils lay firm foundations for the National Curriculum through to Year 6. Staff use the White Rose Maths small steps to structure the sequence of learning and ensure that the Ready to Progress Criteria for their year group are identified within each block of learning and that children are mastering these criteria. Our teaching staff also use a range of high-quality resources such as NRich and NCETM to support, stretch and challenge all learners within the classroom. 

In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the small steps and Ready to Progress criteria are developed into mediumterm ‘s plans – showing the learning journey through that particular block. These clearly highlight the key knowledge and skills, assessment opportunities, key stem sentences and appropriate manipulatives and representations, common misconceptions as well as any meaningful links to the outdoor curriculum and other subjects.

Teachers are expected to teach maths every day. This should include a maths lesson and an opportunity outside of this to revisit and retrieve a range of previously taught content in a low stakes, practise session (this should be around 15 minutes in addition to a 45 minute main maths lesson). These Quick 6 sessions enable the pupils to improve their recall of facts appropriate to their age, practise procedures and think mathematically. Instant recall of key facts is a focus in order to reduce cognitive overload and to enable pupils to use maths in essential aspects of their lives. However, these are taught alongside the conceptual understanding.


Assessment is used to inform teaching and address misconceptions and gaps in skills, knowledge and conceptual and procedural understanding. Teachers complete the White Rose end of block assessment for the previous year group prior to teaching that block to ensure learning is pitched correctly and all needs are addressed.  


Real life context and concrete examples that the pupils can develop their learning around and explore the maths through, are central to maths at OLSB. Pupils use manipulatives which support and challenge them and appropriate practical resources are chosen by the teacher. 



  • Through pupil voice we know that the children are eager mathematicians and are enthusiastic about their learning and enjoy maths lessons.
  • Our maths books evidence work of a high standard which children clearly take pride in; the Our Lady and St Brendan's lesson structure is clear in the work the children produce each day. Teaching sequences demonstrate good coverage of fluency, reasoning and problem solving.
  • Staff are surveyed to identify strengths and CPD needs.
  • Formative assessments; through daily low stakes retrieval practice (Quick 6), we check for children’s retention of previously taught concepts.
  • Low Stakes Quizzing and Fluent Recall: We use a range of low stakes testing throughout the teaching cycle to assess attainment and progress. From Year 2 to Year 6, children complete regular tests in Arithmetic and Times Tables.
  • Foundation Stage; summative assessment provided against the Early Learning Goals.
  • End of unit assessments are completed from the previous year group at the beginning of a new unit of work and these inform planning for the unit. Then, the end of unit assessment for the current year group is completed at the end of the learning sequence.
  • End-of-term summative assessments in Years 1 - 6; occur at three assessment points each year:
     Y1, 3, 4, 5 - Autumn, Spring and Summer assessments are from the NTS and past SATs papers are used in Year 2 and 6. These are standardised to ensure validity when considered with teacher judgements, books and an aggregation of the shorter weekly tests.
  • Following on from assessments, pupil progress meetings take place to monitor children’s attainment and progress and to discuss next steps going forward. ,

KS1 Calculation Policy

KS2 Calculation Policy

Progression in Place Value Representation and Vocabulary:

Progression in Calculation and Representation in Addition and Subtraction:

Progression in the Linear Number System Representations and Vocabulary:

Progression in Equivalence with Powers of 10: