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John Clifford Primary & Nursery School ‘Be your best. Celebrate success. Together we will be successful.’


Mathematics at John Clifford


"The most certain way to succeed is to just try one more time."

‒ Thomas Edison

Why do we teach Maths?

Mathematics helps children to make sense of the world around them through developing their ability to calculate, to reason and to solve problems. It enables children to understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space in their everyday lives.  We believe that all children can succeed at mathematics. Our staff combine a positive mindset with strong subject knowledge to encourage a love of learning and a resilience that enables everyone to achieve. 

The 2014 National Curriculum for Maths aims to ensure that all children: 

  • Develop a positive attitude to mathematics as an interesting and attractive subject in which all children gain some success and pleasure; 

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately; 

  • can solve problems by applying their mathematical skills to a variety of problems with increasing sophistication, including unfamiliar contexts and to model real-life scenarios; 

  • can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry – developing and presenting a justification, argument or proof using mathematical language 

At John Clifford, these skills are embedded within Maths lessons and developed consistently over time. We are committed to ensuring that children are able to recognise the importance of Maths in the wider world and that they are also able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in their lives in a range of different contexts. We want all children to enjoy Mathematics and to experience success in the subject, with the ability to reason mathematically. We are committed to developing children’s curiosity about the subject, as well as an appreciation of the beauty and power of Mathematics. 


How do we teach Maths?


The content and principles underpinning the 2014 Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at John Clifford reflect those found in high-performing education systems internationally, particularly those of east and south-east Asian countries such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea and China. These principles and features characterise this approach and convey how our curriculum is implemented: 

  • Teachers reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of achieving high standards in Mathematics. 
  • The large majority of children progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. 
  • Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention. 
  • Teaching is underpinned by methodical curriculum design and supported by carefully crafted lessons and resources to foster deep conceptual and procedural knowledge. 
  • Practice and consolidation play a central role. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts. 
  • Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge and assess children regularly to identify those requiring intervention, so that all children keep up. 


To ensure whole consistency and progression, the school uses the DfE approved  White Rose Maths Hub scheme and the school’s ongoing engagement with the DFE funded Maths Hubs programme continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the approach. New concepts are shared within the context of an initial related problem, which children are able to discuss in partners. This initial problem-solving activity prompts discussion and reasoning, as well as promoting an awareness of maths in relatable real-life contexts that link to other areas of learning. In KS1, these problems are almost always presented with objects (concrete manipulatives) for children to use. Children may also use manipulatives in KS2. Teachers use careful questions to draw out children’s discussions and their reasoning. The class teacher then leads children through strategies for solving the problem, including those already discussed. Independent work provides the means for all children to develop their fluency further, before progressing to more complex related problems. Mathematical topics are taught in blocks, to enable the achievement of ‘mastery’ over time. Each lesson phase provides the means to achieve greater depth, with more able children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as exploratory, investigative tasks, within the lesson as appropriate.  


In mathematics lessons you will see the following: 

  • quality teaching; tailored to meet the needs of the learners in each class with immediate intervention to address gaps in learning where necessary 

  • resilient learners with growth mindsets and a ‘we can’ attitude towards mathematics, regardless of their previous level of attainment 

  • teachers using high quality questioning to explore children’s understanding and develop it further 

  • teachers making use of misconceptions to further understanding of key concepts 

  • a wide range of methods to explore key mathematical concepts which appeal to pupil’s differing styles of learning, including use of concrete/pictorial/abstract representations 

  • learners being given the opportunity, through careful planning, to linger longer on, and go deeper into mathematical concepts 

  • pupils learning together 

  • development of fluency, reasoning and problem solving 


We have adopted the White Rose Maths Hub Teaching for Mastery Scheme of Learning. For more information, please see the calculation policy below. 


What are the outcomes for our children? 

The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the d to recognise the achievement of others. Children can under-perform in Mathematics because they think they can’t do it or are not naturally good at it. The White Rose Maths Hub scheme of learning addresses these preconceptions by ensuring that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset. Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 in line with national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.


Take a look at our Maths curriculum below

Some of our amazing Maths work!





Our Maths Policy

Maths Links