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At Elmgrove we strive to provide a high-quality mathematics education to enable children to reason mathematically, appreciate the beauty and power of mathematics, and develop a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject. Maths at Elmgrove is taught daily as a discrete subject, however, teachers use every opportunity to develop pupils’ mathematical fluency and confidence in numeracy and other mathematical skills across the curriculum so that they understand and appreciate the importance of mathematics.

Maths Content

Pupils are taught to apply arithmetic fluently to problems, understand and use measures, make estimates and check their work. We aim to ensure 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.

Mastery is an essential part of mathematics at Elmgrove and involves acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. In the teaching of mastery, a range of elements of classroom practice combine to enable pupils to master mathematics. The use of concrete objects, pictorial representations and abstract elements are an essential part of this.

We want pupils to acquire a solid understanding of the maths that’s been taught to enable them to move on to more advanced material.

At Elmgrove, we have broken the National Curriculum’s objectives down into band targets.

Maths Lessons

EYFS: Ages 3 to 5

All children in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follow a statutory framework.

These are some of the things the children in nursery and reception will be doing:

  • Counting up to 20 objects
  • Saying and using the number names in order
  • Finding one more or less than a number up to 20
  • Starting to use the language of addition and subtraction; counting on and back
  • Sorting and matching objects and shapes
  • Comparing quantities and shapes
  • Finding and recreating simple patterns
  • Beginning to do some simple measuring, comparing lengths and quantities
  • Talking about things like size, weight, distance, time and money to develop correct vocabulary.

Assessment and progress in EYFS
Class teachers will be regularly assessing your child’s progress through observations and simple activities. Adults will collect together examples of your child’s work in a folder which you can see at some of the parent meetings. Some of this profile will include maths.

It is important to have regular and informal chats with your child’s teacher, as you drop off/collect for example, as well as at our termly parents’ meetings. If you are not sure what your child should be practising at home, please ask your child’s class teacher.

In Key Stage 1, pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. They work with numerals, words and the four operations, with extensive use of concrete objects and measuring tools. At this stage, pupils develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching also involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.

In Lower Key Stage 2, pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. Pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers. At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.

In Upper Key Stage 2, pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. They develop connections between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. Pupils 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. Pupils are introduced to algebra solving a variety of problems. By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Written Calculation Methods

There are a variety of different calculation methods used at Elmgrove. At the end of Year 6, your child should be able to confidently add, subtract, multiply and divide using a written method.

Click below for the policy:

Addition & Subtraction 

Multiplication & Division

Whatever method your child is taught at school, lots of practice at home using numbers and times tables in fun activities will be a great help.

Assessing in Maths

Pupils are now assessed against year group (also referred to as ‘band’) objectives. For example a child could be working at ‘Band 3’. This means they would be working towards achieving the Year 3 objectives.

Within each band, your child could be assessed as working:

Well Below Expected = working on objectives in a previous year group

Below Expected = beginning the objectives within the band 

Expected = working within the objectives within the band

Above Expected = secure in the objectives within the band 

At Elmgrove, we identify children who are working below the expected standard and provide additional support to allow these pupils to reach their potential. This support could include: focused teaching groups, interventions led by teaching assistants, one to one and small group tuition or teacher led booster groups.

We value parental input too. If you would like to know what you could work on at home with your child, please see your child’s class teacher.

Linking Maths to Real Life

In everyday life, the ability to think mathematically and solve problems is essential. In maths lessons, your child will often be solving word problems, investigations and puzzles – most of which are related to the real world. Many children find it difficult to know what kind of calculation is needed to solve a word problem. You can help your child to develop their problem-solving skills by encouraging them to explain their thinking to you whenever they are solving puzzles.

You can also help your child by asking them questions to help them to:

  • Tell the time (digital, half past/quarter past/quarter to and 24 hour time).
  • Read a bus or train timetable and calculate journey times.
  • Recognise different shapes.
  • Measure ingredients accurately when baking (in l, ml, kg or g).
  • Quickly recall their times tables.
  • Quickly recall basic addition and subtraction facts.

KS1 (Year 2) and KS2 (Year 6) SATs Assessments


In the summer term, every child in Year 2 in England will do SATs tests. These assessments allow us to see how much progress they have made from reception. They also allow us to predict how much progress they should make in Key Stage 2. The children in Year 2 will be assessed in mathematics, as well as reading comprehension, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Your child’s SATs results will be sent to the Local Authority and you will receive a copy at the end of the summer term.

Click here to find out more about the Key Stage 1 SATs tests.


KS2: Year 6 SATs Assessments

All Year 6 children are required to take externally-set assessments in English and maths in May. The children sit the following tests:

Reading comprehension
Punctuation and grammar
Maths: arithmetic
2 x Maths: reasoning

There is no mental maths paper this year.

The arithmetic paper will consist of a series of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions. There will also be lots of questions on fractions, decimals and percentages. To succeed in this paper, the children will need to be able to quickly recall their times tables to answer the questions quickly and accurately. They will also need to be sure of their written methods and be confident answering questions about fractions.

The reasoning paper will be made up of word problems relating to all areas of maths, including number, fractions, algebra, money, time, shape, statistics (graphs) and measures.

You will receive a copy of your child’s results at the end of the summer term. A copy of your child’s results will also be sent to the Local Authority and to your child’s high school. High schools often use these results to set the children into ability groups and to predict their GCSE results.

Your child’s class teacher will let you know what they need to practise at home at our regular parent meetings. Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you are unsure of what your child needs to learn.

To find out more about the Key Stage 2 SATs tests: