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Maths at Gade Valley Primary School

Maths Subject Leader : Mr Gerard van der Westhuyzen

Curriculum Aims

At Gade Valley, we pride ourselves on preparing our pupils, in the best possible way, for their next step in education. Maths – as a subject – is at the forefront of this. We believe that pupils should have the opportunity to master mathematical concepts which will help them throughout their education and in their lives beyond school.

We aim to achieve this by:

  • Having the expectation that all pupils can succeed in Maths.
  • Giving pupils a secure and sustainable understanding of mathematical concepts by developing consistent models and approaches throughout our school.
  • Ensuring that pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practise with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Giving the pupils opportunity to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • Providing opportunity for pupils to apply their understanding of maths 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.


How We Teach Maths

As Maths is so important, we teach it in two discrete sessions each day. The first forty minute session is focused on teaching new skills : at Gade Valley we believe that pupils need to have a secure understanding of the core methods of Maths before they can move on to applying them in different contexts. In order to ensure effective progression and coverage throughout the school, we use the the excellent Abacus Maths scheme to structure the sequence of learning in these lessons. Teachers also make use of a wide range of resources which they use to scaffold learning and to support pupils. For example, Base 10, number squares, number lines, number frames, 2D and 3D shapes and place value cards.  


The second session of each day is ‘Take 5’. Teachers strategically choose a maximum of five key mathematical concepts for their pupils to revise and revisit. The learning in these sessions is based on ‘non-negotiables’ which all pupils are required to be able to achieve by the end of each academic year. These sessions are fast-paced and fun! 

All Maths lessons incorporate the 'Gade Valley Principles of Teaching and Learning' which we have devised as a staff. These principles guide teachers towards ensuring that the maximum learning potential of each session is realised each and every day. They include areas such as challenge, assessment for learning and learning behaviours. 


In order to ensure that our pupils are well prepared for the next stage of their education and so that they know their timestables confidently, every child in Year 2 and Key Stage Two has access, at home and at school, to the Timestables Rockstars online learning platform. Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. Our children really enjoy the “Rockstars” aspect of this program! Classes compete against one another to collect the most correct answers -  each weeks results are announced in Sharing Assembly on a Friday.


Each year, we hold several enrichment days in which children develop their understanding of Maths in the world around them. The aim of these days is to broaden children’s mathematical horizons. For example, classes have designed and made a class product which they have then sold to parents after school. Pupils were able to experience what it is like to work to a budget, manage a 'float', give change to customers and work out total profit. 


Early Years Foundation Stage:

Teaching in the Early Years Foundation Stage is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning. Teaching ensures that through child-initiated provision and daily experiences our children are confident when counting with numbers to 20, solving problems and using mathematical language to describe characteristics of number and objects. We support our learners in being critical thinkers and strive to ensure our setting is full of mathematical opportunities for children to explore, sort, compare, count, calculate and describe.


Key Stage 1:

Teaching throughout Key Stage One ensures that pupils are confident to manipulate numbers up to 100. The Key Stage One curriculum builds on the knowledge, skills and vocabulary taught in EYFS and provides opportunities for pupils to develop their competency in place value and the four operations. A high focus is placed on concrete, pictorial and mental strategies to equip pupils with a readiness for more abstract concepts to be introduced in Key Stage Two. Teachers model correct mathematical vocabulary and pupils are expected to use this vocabulary to articulate their ideas.


Key Stage 2:

Teaching throughout Key Stage Two builds on the solid foundations of the previous key stage. Pupils are introduced to formal calculation methods in Year Three and these are developed and built on each year in line with age related expectations. The frequent opportunities to reason and problem solve in real life contexts, provided by teachers, develop the pupils conceptual understanding and prepares them for the statutory end of key stage assessments.



Summative assessment takes place at the end of each term and pupils progress and attainment is discussed with senior leaders in pupil progress meetings. Formative assessment takes place on a daily basis and teachers adjust planning accordingly to meet the needs of their class.

Key Developments and Information for 2022/23

Up to December 2022, the following measurable impact includes:

  • Maths books have been regularly scrutinised but the Senior Leadership team. Pupils continue to make good progress in their learning.
  • It is clearly evident that teachers are taking the time to address misconceptions by adapting their planned teaching sequence to ensure that their class has fully understood a concept before moving on.
  • Teachers continue to give high quality feedback through weekly 'Green for Growth' activities and in Key Stage Two, pupils complete a 'Weekly Evaluation' which provides children with a chance to reflect on their learning and to ask for assistance should they require it.
  • When pupils are less confident at the end of session (having filled in their traffic light as either orange or red), they receive a personalised 1:1 session - from the teaching assistant in their class. This enables them to recap the learning and to be more secure with the concepts taught in the session. 


Key Information for 2021/22

Up to May 2021, the following measurable impact includes:

  • Funding has been utilised and tutoring sessions have been offered to several Year 6 pupils. The pupils have received quality sessions provided by qualified, highly skilled teachers. All staff involved are Gade Valley teachers. 
  • The Year 6 class received an early morning Maths session, each school morning, throughout the Autumn, Spring and the first half of the Summer term. The sessions focussed on developing mathematical fluency and have had a great impact in developing the Year 6 children's confidence and their mathematical accuracy.    
  • During a recent learning visit, the Maths subject leader was interviewed by our Hertfordshire Improvement Partner (HIP) about Maths at Gade Valley. As part of the HIP visit, the Maths subject leader and the HIP observed lessons in all key stages. The HIP also met with children to talk them about their views and to look at their Maths books. 
  • Maths lessons and mathematical fluency sessions (Take 5) have been observed across the school by the Headteacher and subject leader. Teaching is consistently effective and pupils are consistently challenged during both lesson introductions and within the activities they are set. 
  • Maths books have been regularly scrutinised but the Senior Leadership team. Pupils are making good progress in their learning - it is evident that teachers are taking the time to address misconceptions by adapting their planned teaching sequence to ensure that their class has fully understood a concept before moving on. Teachers give high quality feedback through weekly 'Green for Growth' activities and in Key Stage Two, pupils complete a 'Weekly Evaluation' which provides children with a chance to reflect on their learning and to ask for assistance should they require it. Pupils who require assistance are then taught - usually through a personalised 1:1 session - by the teaching assistant in their class.  
  • Pupil voice in Key Stage 2 indicates:
  • The vast majority of children enjoy Maths lessons.
  • All pupils believe Maths is important and will allow them to get on in life when they leave school.

  • The overwhelming majority feel that the learn things in their Maths lessons and that their teachers feedback helps them to improve.

  • All children stated that they complete regular homework in Maths.

  • A very large majority of pupils know what they need to improve on in Maths.

  • Quotes from pupils:

  • "I like Maths because I am confident." - Nidhi (Year 5)

  • "I really look forward to Maths because I enjoy understanding the work!" - Logan (Year 4)

  • "I enjoy Maths because my teacher explains it well and gives me the help I need." - Lily (Year 6)       

Key Information for 2020/21

  • In the 2018/19 academic year, the overwhelming majority of pupils achieved at least age related expectations or above at the end of  Key Stage 2. (Please see link to 'Key Stage Results' below)
  • Pupils voice in Key Stage 1 and 2 indicates:
  • The large majority of pupils enjoy learning in Maths lessons
  • The overwhelming majority of pupils believe that Maths is important and will help them to get on in life when they leave school
  • A very large majority feel that the their teachers marking help them to improve
  • An overwhelming majority know what they need to improve on in Maths

Quotes from children:

“Maths in challenging!” – Finley (Year 6)

“Maths is fun when you’ve understood a new idea.” – Isabel (Year 5)

“It’s good when it’s hard – it challenges you!” – Sadie (Year 5)

To see our learning in Maths, please visit the Maths page on the 'Curriculum Blogs' section.