Home Page

Maths at Gade Valley Primary School

Maths Subject Leader : Mr Gerard van der Westhuyzen


At Gade Valley, we pride ourselves on preparing children, in the best possible way, for their next step in education. Maths – as a subject – is at the forefront of this. We believe that children 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 children can succeed in Maths.
  • Giving children a secure and sustainable understanding of mathematical concepts by developing consistent models and approaches throughout our school.
  • Ensuring that children become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including 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.
  • Giving the children 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 children 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.



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 children 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. This year, we have taken the decision (due to the ongoing pandemic) to adjust the sequence of learning to initially focus on key arithmetic skills. The changes we have made reflect the needs of our children and are specific to each class. We believe that these changes will ultimately enable our children to not only close gaps in their learning, but, will also result in them making rapid and sustained progress over the course of this academic year. 


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 children 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 win the TT Rockstars Gnome which is announced in Sharing Assembly on a Friday.


Each year, we hold a Maths Week in which children develop their understanding of Maths in the world around them. The aim of this week is to broaden children’s mathematical horizons. Children at Gade Valley love this week and it is often a highlight of the year!


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 with counting with numbers to 20, using mathematical language to describe characteristics of number, shape and objects and solving problems. 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 children 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 children to develop their competency in place value and the four operations. A high focus is placed on concrete, pictorial and mental strategies to equip children with a readiness for more abstract concepts to be introduced in Key Stage Two. Teachers model correct mathematical vocabulary and children 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. Children 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 children's conceptual understanding and prepares them for the statutory end of key stage assessments.



Summative assessment takes place at the end of each term and children’s 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.


Children at Gade Valley Primary understand and value the importance of Maths, this is evident through pupil voice and monitoring which takes place every half term by the curriculum leader. Our Maths Curriculum is high quality, well thought out and is planned to build on prior learning. Most crucially, children at Gade Valley tell us that they really enjoy Maths lessons and the challenge that their lessons provide!


We give pupils the opportunity to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge across the curriculum and to realise that Maths has been developed over centuries and has provided the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. As our pupils progress further in their education, we intend for them to be able to understand the world, have the ability to reason mathematically, have an appreciation of the beauty and power of Maths, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


Through high quality first teaching, guidance and effective feedback, children will achieve age-related expectations by the end of each year group. At the end of Key Stage 2, children who leave Gade Valley are well prepared for their next steps of their mathematical education and are effectively equipped to succeed!

Up to March 2020, the following measurable impact includes:

  • 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 4)

  • Mathematical fluency sessions (Take 5) have been trialled, introduced and embedded. These sessions are providing extremely popular with the children and have been successfully embedded. Each teacher has received support through a series of three ‘learning support’ observations.
To see our learning in Maths, please visit the Maths page on the 'Curriculum Blogs' section.

Maths Overview Autumn 1 : Recovery Curriculum

Maths Skills Progression