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Helmingham Primary School & Nursery


Curriculum Statement

Mathematics helps children to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives.  We believe that all children can succeed at mathematics. Our staff combine a positive mindset with strong subject knowledge to encourage a love of learning and a resilience that enables everyone to achieve.


That all pupils:

  • develop a positive attitude to mathematics as an interesting and attractive subject in which all children gain some success and pleasure;
  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately;
  • can solve problems by applying their mathematical skills to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios;
  • can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry – developing and presenting a justification, argument or proof using  mathematical language


We believe that ability within mathematics is not fixed. We aim to develop the attitudes of children and adults alike to develop a Growth Mindset and a “we can” attitude towards mathematics. We believe that through a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics, children learning together and immediate intervention that all children have the potential to gain a deeper understanding and develop a broader understanding of mathematical concepts.

Our definition of Mastery:

At Helmingham we have a core set of principles and beliefs for achieving mastery in mathematics. This includes a belief that all pupils are capable of achieving success in mathematics through good teaching, appropriate use of manipulatives, effort and a ‘can do’ attitude.

Mastery is not about memorising facts and procedures to answer test questions: it is about enquiry to develop an understanding in and manipulation of numbers to problem solve. It means using one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations.

For all maths concepts teachers need to ensure that children are challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems. After developing fluency, children will begin to show application of their knowledge and then move on even further to show a deeper understanding and prove that they have mastered the concept.

 Our Mastery in Mathematics curriculum:

We follow the White Rose scheme to allow teachers and learners to achieve a secure and deeper understanding of each mathematical concept. It is designed to give us the opportunity to address key points individually, and develop those concepts before offering the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding and application within them. In Early Years and, where appropriate in Year 1, the principles of the EYFS framework will be followed i.e. exploring maths and developing mathematical concepts through play.

Mastery Teaching and Learning: in mathematics lessons you will see the following:

  • quality teaching; tailored to meet the needs of the learners in each class with immediate intervention to address gaps in learning where necessary
  • resilient learners with growth mindsets and a ‘we can’ attitude towards mathematics, regardless of their previous level of attainment
  • teachers using high quality questioning to explore children’s understanding and develop it further
  • teachers making use of misconceptions to further understanding of key concepts
  • a wide range of methods to explore key mathematical concepts which appeal to pupil’s differing styles of learning, including use of concrete/pictorial/abstract representations
  • learners being given the opportunity, through careful planning, to linger longer on, and go deeper into mathematical concepts
  • pupils learning together
  • development of fluency, reasoning and problem solving


Assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning and is a continuous process and is used to inform future planning and teaching. Teachers make assessments of children daily through;

  • regular marking of work
  • analysing errors and picking up on misconceptions
  • asking questions and listening to answers
  • facilitating and listening to discussions
  • making observations

Termly formal assessments are carried out across the school.

In the EYFS, children’s achievements are on-going and are assessed against the Early Learning Goals. These are captured on Tapestry, which is an on-line Early Years Learning Journey.

Teachers in Years 1 to 6 track the progress on Pupil Asset Tracking tool which sets out the learning objectives for each year group, and can then be used to set targets for individuals.

These documents will help you understand the processes and the steps that we use to teach the different calculation methods.