At Wateringbury C of E Primary School we use concrete, pictorial and abstract approaches to achieving mathematical understanding.

concrete pictorial abstract

It is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. With the ambitious expectations of the National Curriculum, we aim to ensure that our children understand every mathematical topic, are able to explain their methods and can make connections between concepts.  Mastery of maths gives children the ability to reason and talk in depth about their work. All year groups follow this format with reasoning and problem-solving at the heart of each lesson.

The five strands of maths – number, calculation, measure, data handling, shape & space – are taught on a rolling programme throughout the year; concepts are continually revisited and reinforced, then extended to enable new understandings.  In each of the strands, pupils are taught to work mentally, to develop paper and pencil skills, and to understand how to apply what they know to real-life situations.

We have developed a consistent approach to the teaching of arithmetic for each group to enable each child to become fluent in the fundamentals of maths through varied and frequent practice so that pupils develop the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Each week, we teach an explicit arithmetic lesson which focuses on a specific skill that the children need to apply when tackling problem solving and reasoning questions.

Key objectives of our maths curriculum by year group

Please click on this link to see a document detailing the objectives of our maths curriculum for the current academic year.

Mental Maths

It is the expectation that multiplication tables up to 12 will be learned by the end of Year 4.  Pupils in Year 5 and 6 practise tables for speed and accuracy, but the focus turns to mental maths strategies.


Standard written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are taught.  A number of methods are used throughout Keystage One to develop an understanding of addition and subtraction through the use of number lines and a variety of concrete manipulatives.  By the end of Keystage Two,  most pupils will be using written methods for all four operations.  Click here to see our Calculation Policy.

Problem solving and investigations

Developing independence in mathematical thinking is key to producing confident and mathematically-minded children.  Pupils are given the opportunity regularly to solve problems and investigations in pairs or small groups.  They are encouraged to develop their own reasoning and strategies.

The language of mathematics

Accurate language is encouraged from the time our children start in Reception.  New vocabulary is introduced each year and the children are expected to use correct terminology.  Paired and group talk in maths is vital to building children’s  understanding and use of mathematical vocabulary.


Where possible, the use of concrete resources is encouraged to help children grasp abstract concepts.  Each classroom has its own set of resources, and keystage shared resources are regularly audited and updated.


The srmeasimathschool has a subscription to RMEasimaths and Times Tables Rockstars.