How we teach Maths

Our children are taught maths in their small class groups. These groups are fluid meaning that the children will be taught with children of a similar ability and they can move groups at any point to ensure good progress. Any child who has achieved year group expectations in class is then given the opportunity to work on these objectives in greater depth.

National Curriculum objectives are taught throughout the year and in this way coverage of the objectives is ensured. The content of lessons is determined by the National Curriculum, and by our gap analysis, based on half termly summative assessments as well as teachers’ ongoing assessment. Teachers monitor the progress and attainment of each child through termly assessments and against year group statements taken from the National Curriculum.  Evidence is gathered via observation, marking and feedback as well as from formal testing.

Our children benefit from a structured maths week, which includes problem solving and investigations. However, if children have not understood sufficiently, with the majority meeting year group expectations within that week, then the learning will continue during the following week.


                   By the end of Year 2, children should have a secure understanding of number and place value and recall key number facts                                          such as number bonds with speed and accuracy.

By the end of Year 3, children should be fluent and be able to recall 2,3,4,5,8 and 10 times tables with speed and accuracy.

By the end of Year 4, children should be able to recall all multiplication facts up to 12 x 12 with speed and accuracy.

Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 are following the Mastering Number programme that focuses on securing a sound understanding of number to help children become fluent in calculation and in their understanding of flexibility with number.

Children are encouraged to learn their times tables and children are taught strategies to enable them to recall these facts. To help improve the speed in which these facts are recalled, children complete speed squares at least twice a week. Once a speed square has been completed in under   4 minutes, they move to the next one where they apply their knowledge of times tables facts in a different way. For example, times table facts recalled in a different order or applying the skill to decimal numbers.

Across Key Stage 1 and 2, children complete mixed arithmetic questions daily to support, reinforce, practise or pre-teach methods and concepts.


Maths skills are used in other areas of the curriculum at The Python Hill Academy. Applying in this way encourages learning at greater depth. For example, during science and geography topics, measure and data are incorporated when – for example – presenting results or looking at temperatures . In history, looking at timelines and dates reinforces children’s grasp of number. In P.E. we encourage children to measure, whether this is distance, time or repetitions, much of our work in D.T. incorporates measuring activities also.

Teaching Methods

Our aims in all of the maths we teach in school are to: improve fluency (speed and accuracy), encourage reasoning (through talking and justifying) and to solve a range of problems by applying content.

We teach by firstly using concrete objects to model ideas to children/ allow children to explore. Then we represent maths using pictures and diagrams, and finally we use mathematical symbols. This approach is reflected in our calculation policy.


Differentiation can be seen in all maths sessions through the use of a process led success criteria as invented by Shirley Clarke. This is tailored to the group that they are in. The groups, as for other subjects, remain fluid for all children.

Flexible interventions aim to ensure progress for any children who have not understood an element of maths being taught that day/ week. The aim is to ensure at least good progress is made. After school booster sessions are provided for year six children, to prepare them for their SATs tests in May. Our teaching methods allow children to extend their maths independently, throughout the course of maths units being taught.

Maths at The Python HIll Academy is constantly evolving, as we face the challenges of new assessment procedures, national tests and a demanding curriculum.