Southmead Primary School

Southmead Primary School

Headteacher: Mr Nicholas Plumb

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Miss Kenshole is our Maths Lead.

Mathematics is a creative and highly interconnected subject. At Southmead we aim to develop and instil a confidence and enjoyment for mathematics that will stay with pupils for life. During their time with us, we help each child to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics whilst developing a deep, conceptual understanding which they can call on to reason mathematically and solve problems. Our vision is for pupils to be confident, skilled and resilient mathematicians, who understand that mathematics is a fundamental part of everyday life and the world we live in. Mathematics is integral to all aspects of life and we endeavour to ensure that pupils develop a healthy and enthusiastic attitude and a deep understanding, that can be used in each stage of their lives.

Our Curriculum

  • Our mastery approach to the curriculum is designed to develop children's knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts from Early Years through to the end of Year 6. At Southmead we consider mathematical concepts or skills are mastered when a child can show the particular mathematical concept or skill in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.
  • In school, we follow the National Curriculum (2014) and use White Rose Schemes of Work as a guide to support teachers with their planning, lesson sequencing and assessment. At Southmead, we utilise the White Rose Scheme’s spiral curriculum, which enables children to revisit and build on their learning, allowing them to make deeper connections. Whilst we use the White Rose Scheme to guide our planning to ensure coverage, teachers adapt their planning to meet the needs of the children in their individual class.
  • Teachers carefully supplement our White Rose planning with a range of quality reasoning and problem solving resources. These may come from sources such as NRich, NCTEM, I See Maths, Classroom Secrets and more. We believe that we provide a bespoke teaching and learning experience that is designed to interest, inform and inspire our children.
  • Our Calculation Policies are used within school to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of the key domains over time.
  • Maths lessons are designed with a concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA) approach, providing our pupils with the scaffolding required to access the learning at all levels. When children are introduced to a new concept or idea we expect them to begin with concrete resources and manipulatives.
  • Our mastery approach incorporates using objects, pictures, words and numbers to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding at all levels.


Daily Maths Lessons


  • We place a large emphasis on pupil engagement and design lessons which involve children actively participating in their own learning. As a result, our Maths lessons regularly involve strategies such as questioning, partner and whole class discussion, paired work and scaffolded practise.
  • We believe each classroom is a maths community where all contributions are valued. We encourage children to share their mathematical thinking and discuss things that they notice and wonder on a regular basis. We also celebrate mistakes, as we believe that they are evidence that we are learning. Through this, we are supporting children as they become more confident with their mathematical learning and developing skills.
  • Most of our lessons follow a traditional approach of a short starter activity, then a teacher input with scaffolded practise and finally moving on to small group or independent practise for those that are ready. Lessons may finish with a plenary or reflection.
  • From Years 1 to 6, maths lesson starters are used to revisit and extend prior knowledge, to support children with building their reasoning and problem solving skills, to help children learn and practise key mental strategies and to elicit children’s understanding in preparation for new teaching.
  • Many of our lessons begin with child exploration - instead of ‘Let me teach you...’ as a starting point, children are encouraged to explore a problem themselves to see what they already know. Lesson objectives (L.O.) are always shared with the children, however they may not always be shared at the beginning of the lesson because we may want the children to reason for themselves. We believe this allows our pupils to have more ownership of their learning.
  • During our teacher input and scaffolded practise, children are taught through clear modelling and have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts. Teachers will use this time to identify and support children with any misconceptions they may have.
  • Within the maths lesson, pupils are introduced to any new vocabulary that they may encounter and it is discussed. There is an expectation that pupils will then begin to use this new vocabulary for themselves.
  • Whilst discussing their mathematical thinking, children are supported by key questions and/or sentence stems. The key questions and sentence stems have been collated by staff so that there is consistency across the Key Stages. This vocabulary is displayed in all classrooms and teachers, as well as children, will often refer to it during lessons. 
  • At Southmead we use the following vocabulary to describe our Maths activities:
    • ‘Do it’ is for our fluency work which can often be differentiated further where necessary to allow all children to confidently access their learning at an appropriate level.
    • ‘Use It’ is to describe when children begin to complete some simple reasoning and problem solving tasks linked to the key objective.
    • ‘Own it’ is used to describe our more challenging problem solving activities where children are encouraged to explore, apply and evaluate their mathematical approach during investigations to develop a deeper understanding. These problems often involve multiple steps and applying their knowledge in different contexts.
  • Whilst we try to ensure that the children move through maths lessons at their own pace, all children have regular opportunities to develop their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills.
  • This year Key Stage 2 children are trialling and embedding some different strategies to support with problem solving. We have begun to use a character (Colin) and his 4 Cs (Consider, Construct, Calculate, Check) as a method for children to use when problem solving.
    • Consider – Children read the problem and write a statement to answer the question. They leave a blank where they will later input their mathematical solution. This supports children with focussing on what they have to find out before they begin. We also ask children to consider what they do know about the answer before they start solving. This may be in regard to the size of the answer or the units involved.
    • Construct –Children are then encouraged to construct some sort of diagram that could support them. This may be a bar model, a number line or for some younger children a picture. We hope that by doing this, children can then realise what operation and calculation is needed.
    • Calculate – Children complete the calculation using a mental or written method as appropriate.
    • Check – Children put their answer into the sentence they wrote at the beginning and check that it makes sense. They may also take this opportunity to check their workings and read the question again.
  • Resources are readily available to assist demonstration of securing a conceptual understanding of the different skills appropriate for each year group. Children also use our working walls in each classroom, to support their learning.
  • Children with additional needs are included in whole class lessons and teachers provide scaffolding and relevant support as necessary. For those children who are working outside of the year group curriculum, individual learning activities are provided to ensure their progress.


Maths opportunities outside of the daily maths lesson


  • Where possible and appropriate, links are made with other subjects across the curriculum, supporting children with applying their skills in different contexts.
  • Children in Key Stage 2 complete a short daily additional arithmetic activity, known as ‘Number Crunch’. This involves all children having a set of differentiated questions targeted at a specific objective or strategy to practise. These are often different from the learning objective in that day’s Maths lesson. These short activities are intended to allow children a chance to revise, consolidate and practise. As children move up throughout the school, we encourage children to take ownership of their own learning and decide which set of questions (bronze, silver or gold) they wish to try.
  • This year in Early Years and Key Stage 1, we are taking part in the NCTEM’s Mastering Number project. This project is designed to support children’s core number skills. Teachers are delivering an additional 10 minutes of whole class focussed teaching every day – outside of the daily maths lesson. The project involves teaching core number concepts to the whole class and has been carefully planned to allow all learners to access it. The project heavily uses Rekenreks as a core manipulative. Some of our pupils have had a little experience using these already but for most this is something new and exciting. Year 3 are also using the teaching materials from the project to support children with securing core number objectives from Year 2.
  • Homework is set across the school to develop and review children’s learning. We use Numbots (Key Stage 1 mainly) and Times Table Rockstars (Key Stage 2 primarily) to support children with developing their fluency with both number bonds and times tables. Other homework tasks may involve using MyMaths (in Key Stage 2) or a specifically designed task by the teacher, to consolidate the objective worked on during maths lessons.
  • Across our school, we are using different interventions to support our pupils to make good progress in mathematics. In each year group, we look at the needs of the children and either use an establish intervention (such as Counting to Calculation) or design some bespoke small group teaching activities to support them with filling these gaps or tacking that particular misconception. Maths interventions take place outside of core lesson time and we endeavour to make the short and frequent.


Assessment & Feedback

  • Assessment is carried out informally throughout the week, and formally every term as appropriate. Assessment allows us to identify gaps and build on existing knowledge to enable sequential learning across topics. Feedback is given on children’s learning in line with our feedback policy. Formative assessment within every lesson helps teachers to identify the children who need more support to achieve the intended outcome and who are ready for greater stretch and challenge through planned questioning or additional activities.
  • Each term (Autumn, Spring and Summer) year groups from years 1 to 6 complete summative assessments using either SATs papers or White Rose assessments. Teachers and support staff then fill out a question level analysis spreadsheet. Teachers then use this information, their other assessment information throughout the term (such as observations, marking & questioning) to make a judgement about where that child is with their learning.
  • Termly meetings are held with staff from each year group and key subject leads and SLT to highlight needs and priorities moving forwards.
  • Times tables are taught in class and consolidated using Times Table Rockstars in Key Stage 2. Each week these children complete a times table test. The tests are progressive, meaning that they start with the two times tables and move on to the tens and so on… We have times table ladders displayed in all KS2 classes to show where the children are. SEN children are differentiated by having half of the questions. We have found that this system has helped highlight the importance of times tables to both children and parents but as also helped us identify quickly who needs support with learning specific times tables.

As a result of our maths teaching at Southmead, you will see children that :

  • Are engaged and are challenged.
  • Have the confidence to talk about their maths, both during lessons but when applying their learning in different subject areas.
  • Speak enthusiastically about their maths lessons and speak about how they enjoy learning maths.
  • Demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures, including the recollection of the times tables.
  • Recognise and make connections within mathematics so that they can flexibility move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.
  • Are able to independently apply their knowledge to a range of increasingly complex problems.
  • Are reasoning with increased confidence and accuracy.
  • Show pride in their presentation and understanding of the work.


EYFS Maths Curriculum

Our EYFS Maths curriculum is based on the White Rose scheme that works towards the Early Learning Goals whilst also being grounded with mathematical thinking and talk. Key mathematical ideas and concepts are revisited and developed further, thus supporting the children’s smooth transition into Year 1 and beyond. Like the rest of the school, our teachers use the White Rose scheme to sequence lessons and as a bank of useful resources and ideas. Our staff add to this with their own activities to create a bespoke curriculum tailored to the children’s needs.

Our Maths teaching involves adult led focussed group teaching (after week 3) and incorporate many opportunities for both supported and independent learning and exploration through play. In the Summer term particularly, the length of these teacher led sessions increase and there are more whole class teacher lead activities, all to prepare the children for Year 1.

At Southmead, we integrate maths throughout the day (in addition to directed maths time). This may be seen through reading stories with a maths focus, singing songs and rhymes or by playing games. Additionally, the use of our classroom routines throughout the day is another opportunity for us to support the children with their mathematical vocabulary.

The teachers and children use lots of practical resources, such as objects to count and maths manipulatives to secure their understanding. Teaching staff support the children with making secure links between these resources and the mathematical concepts. Children use both the classroom and the EYFS outside area when completing supported and independent learning through play. 

This year we are working with the NCTEM on the Mastery for Number project. As part of the project, children are having an additional 10 minutes of whole class maths focussed teaching a day. This work is based on supporting with subsidising and securing early number.

Updated: October 2021

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  • Farah 1032
  • Watson 1059
  • Hawking 1045
  • Malala 1087
  • Key Stage 1: 92.5%
  • Key Stage 2: 93.6%
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