The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time. They should develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

Reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language

Can solve problems by applying their mathematics 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.
The main areas in the new programme of study for mathematics are called domains. These are number, measurement, geometry, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra. Two of these, number and geometry, are further divided into subdomains. The way that the curriculum is organised varies across the primary age range – every year group has a unique combination of domains and subdomains. There is no longer a separate strand of objectives related to using and applying mathematics. Instead, there are problem-solving objectives within the other areas of study. Most of the changes to the mathematics curriculum involve content being brought down to earlier years.

Mathematics is taught mainly as a separate subject but every effort is made to link maths with other areas of the curriculum.  We try and identify the mathematical possibilities across the curriculum at the planning stage.  We also draw children’s attention to the links between maths and other curricular work so children see that maths is not an isolated subject.

Lessons have a flexible approach to ensure the pitch and pace suits the children. Teachers use their own judgement in how to approach teaching a concept and will incorporate group, paired or individual work as appropriate.

Pupils engage in:

The development of mental strategies

Written methods

Practical work

Investigational work


Mathematical discussion using precise mathematical language.

Consolidation of basic skills and routines

At Birkbeck we recognise the importance of establishing a secure foundation in mental calculation and recall of number facts before standard written methods are introduced.

The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content.

Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding, including additional practice if needed, before moving on.

Please click on the links below to access the relevant maths policies. 

Calculation Policy

Teaching and Learning Policy