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Maths At St Michael's Primary School

Our vision for maths at St Michael's

We believe that all pupils can be masters at maths. Our pupils will know and understand that maths is a daily essential skill that will carry and continue to develop throughout their life. Our aim is that all pupils at St Michael's Primary will be confident mathematicians. They will be able to tackle challenge with a secure and factual foundation and systematic reasoning and thought process. We strive to include maths all around the school in displays, in conversations and in real life contexts. 

In March 2018 Ofsted visited St Michael's. They said "There is a clear approach to teaching fluency, problem-solving and reasoning in mathematics. Teachers help pupils to make good progress in lessons through their careful guidance. The most able pupils have a range of challenging problems to solve and make sensible choices when organising their work". Our results in maths across the school show that the mastery approach is successful as children in all year groups are making great progress. 

'Learning and growing together' in maths

Our lessons in maths are structured to enable children to develop into independent and collobrative learners. In 2014 th Primary National Curriculum changed and a new approach to the teaching of maths was launched called 'Mastery Maths'. We are following this approach at St Michael's as it's overall goal is for all pupils to becoming 'masters at maths'.  'Mastery Maths' was designed so that all pupils are given concrete foundations and can achieve. It closes the gaps of pupils who struggle at maths, because it's core principles are that 'all' children will achieve.  Maths lessons at our school are structured to include concrete, pictorial and abstract resources to support understanding of maths.. 'Mastery Maths' is an exciting method of teaching and learning maths, because it supports children who may have gaps in their understanding, whilst enabling our more fluent mathemticians to attain a much deeper understanding of mathematics.

Maths Problem Solving Open morning 

On Wednesday 1st November we welcomed parents into classes to see how problem solving is taught within our mathematics curriculum. Children in all classes worked alongside their parents to solve mathematical problems.

Problem solving is an important part of the mathematics curriculum, but also an important part of everyday life. Children across the school participated in  range of problem solving activities: Reception children investigated how to make the longest worm whilst Year 3 and 4 children cracked shape codes.

Thank you so much for to all parents that attended, it was wonderful to see you all enjoying mathematics with your children. 

Mrs Shobbrook Maths Coordinator

Information To support Parents with learning in maths

At St Michael's Primary school we want children to be fluent in number, drawing from a range of mental and written strategies allowing them to become competent mathematicians as well as developing their problem solving and perseverance skills to become independent strategic thinkers. A consistent approach is followed throughout the school in terms of calculation methods and coverage. Each year group study the National Curriculum objectives outlined, ensuring even coverage across the domains; opportunities will be available to further enrich mathematics through our creative curriculum, particularly in Science, Geography, Art and DT.

Mathematics lessons begin with exercises in mental mathematics. This helps our children learn to calculate in their heads. The mathematics curriculum is divided into nine key areas:

* Number and Place Value

* Addition and Subtraction

* Muliplication and Division

* Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

* Ratio and Proportion

* Algebra

* Measurement

* Geometry

* Statistics

Throughout Key Stage One and Key Stage Two we use a range of resources to ensure that your child receives a mathematical education in line with the National Curriculum. We use resources by NCETM, White Rose documents to cover all areas of mathematics. We ensure that children are fully secure in their skills by covering all areas in depth.

All Teaching is based on the new National Curriculum that was  introduced in 2014.  A link to the Government documentation is below: 


Mathematics - Times tables

Knowing key multiplication facts helps with learning in maths and develops links between multiplication and division.  Knowledge of key facts helps  develop depth of learning and supports using and applying learning of these facts in all areas of maths.  Start with easy tables first - easy times tables are -  10x, 2x and 5x times tables.

The UK National Curriculum in 2014 re-introduced the 11 and 12 multiplication tables; although we have always refered to them and learnt them at St Michael's.. We have introduced'Times Tables Rockstars' to the school as a school and home website, which will boost times tables fluency across the school.  

Language and Times Tables

There are many different ways to say the tables and they are all correct - but it helps if you are consistent and if you adopt the language your child already uses at school.  Check with the class teacher, for example:

  • three times eight is....
  • three multiplied by...
  • three eights are...
  • three lots of four are...

The Best  Methods for Learning Tables?

  • Stick to one table at a time to minimise confusion;
  • Start with chanting and writing them out slowly in order;
  • Then move on to completing the answers quickly in order - on paper or verbally with your child;
  • Finally, move on to completing the answers in any order.

Keep reminding your child that 3 x 4 is the same as 4 x 3 - this effectively halves the number of tables facts.

Each times table has a square number 3x3, 7x7  etc (see the numbers coloured red in the tables grid above). These are special "hand or foot holds" that can act as memory hooks – keep emphasising them.

Talk about numbers as you encounter them "5 x 8 = 40, that's Daddy's age’’, "3 x 6 = 18, that's our house number" . . .  This makes more memory hooks.

Tips and Tricks for Learning Each Times Table

The 2, 4 and 8 times tables are doubles of each other - with many common answers – 2 x 8 = 16, 4 x 4 = 16, 8 x 2 = 16.

The nine times table can use knowledge of the ten times table and work back or compensate; so for 5 x 9, think  (5 x 10 ) - 5 = 50 - 5 = 45.  Also note that the digits in the answer always add to 9.  There is also the finger on each hand method.  Use whatever helps makes the number facts stick.

The 3 and 6 times table are tricky. Do the 3s first then the 6s - expect these tables to be more difficult and make an allowance in time.

The 7 times table is hard but if you have learnt the other tables first you will find you have encountered most of the 7s already elsewhere - such as 7 x 4 = 28, 7 x 3 = 21  and 7 x 8 = 56.  

More ideas on tables can be found at the following link:


Maths is one area of the curriculum, where a parent's experience of their own schooling may influence the way they discuss maths at home. Jo Boaler has some useful tips to help us all create a more positive image of maths.

Jo Boaler advice for parents

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