Case Studies

Case Studies

St Stephens Primary School



Our intent is to deliver the National Curriculum for mathematics. At St Stephens, the curriculum is accessible to all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement. We deliver lessons that are creative and engaging. We want children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects. We want children to realise that mathematics has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. As our pupils progress, we intend for our pupils to be able to understand the world, have the ability to reason mathematically, have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


At St Stephens, the Maths curriculum has been carefully organised to ensure progression across key areas. This allows the children to build upon previous learning and develop understanding how mathematical ideas build on one another. 

  • Children are taught to develop their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills through the concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. Within teaching and learning, the children develop both their procedural and conceptual fluency as they develop the how and the why.  They move fluidly between the concrete, pictorial and abstract to ensure that their mathematical concepts and relationships are deepened. Bar modelling is also used to support children in problem solving to help connect their understanding between the concrete mathematical experience and the abstract representation. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material will consolidate their understanding through additional practice and intervention, before moving on.
  • Children are taught the basic number and times-tables facts to develop a strong sense of number relationships.  Through ‘intelligent practice’ tasks, children develop their skills in recognising patterns, structure and mathematical relationships to deepen their fluency and conceptual understanding. In developing children’s ability to recall and apply their knowledge rapidly and accurately, they are taught different  mental calculation strategies. They are encouraged to choose the most efficient method when solving problems. The introduction of practical approaches and jottings with models and images are used so children can carry out calculations as they develop and secure their mental strategies and formal written methods.   
  • Children develop informal methods of recording calculations initially to help develop their fluency with formal methods of recording. Different apparatus (e.g. ‘Base 10’ and Place Value Counters)  are used to support the development of fluency and understanding. When solving calculations and problems, children are able to choose the most efficient and reliable method to help them solve problems. 
  • Children are encouraged to ‘talk their Maths’ to help develop their mathematical vocabulary, present their mathematical justification, argument or proof. The children are encouraged to engage in discussion when they explain their methods and strategies to the class or their peers. Through the use of stem sentences, support and modelling, children are assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as others. They are encouraged to use the correct mathematical terminology and to express their mathematical reasoning through complete sentences which deepens their understanding. 
  • Questioning is used to develop and support children’s mathematical reasoning, understanding and address misconceptions. Within the classroom a range of questions are asked to encourage the children to explain and justify their mathematical reasoning. 
  • Across the different key areas of the Mathematical curriculum, children who are making slower progress, are quickly identified for additional 1:1 or group intervention sessions and misconceptions are addressed within the lesson or the next day.

Across all areas of Maths, children draw upon their mathematical skills and knowledge by making connections. Children have the opportunity to practise their maths skills across other curriculum areas such as Science and Design and Technology. Children can also apply and practise their fluency skills through different applications and platforms such as Times Tables Rockstar, Numbolts and Mathletics both at school and at home.


At St Stephens, we believe that ‘excellence is in everyone’. Therefore, we have organised our curriculum to ensure that children are both supported and challenged in their learning to achieve the best outcomes. The impact of using concrete, pictorial and abstract approach ensures that children are both procedurally and conceptually fluent. Moving between the concrete and the abstract helps children to make connections and helps them  understand the how and the why. Children’s skills and knowledge are strengthened and they are able to draw upon their fluency, reasoning and problem solving skills across all areas of maths and other curriculum areas. Teachers and Learning Support Assistants ensure that children build secure foundations and intervene swiftly to help children address any misconceptions or deepen their learning. Through questioning and probing discussions, misconceptions are addressed and mathematical knowledge and skills are deepened further. Children are closely monitored through personalisation plans and the school tracking system to ensure they achieve to the best of their potential, regardless of their starting point. The impact of our Maths curriculum ensures that children at St Stephens are confident and have a positive attitude towards maths. They leave school, fully prepared to succeed in the next stage of their education.

Early YearsImage result for foundation maths clipart

At St Stephens, we provide children with opportunities to develop firm mathematical foundations in a way that is engaging, and appropriate for their age. Activities are based on practical real-life context to encourage inquisitive minds and critical thinkers. Underpinning children’s early mathematical learning are: 

Number: Children develop an understanding of the value of a number. They count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.  Using quantities and objects, the children calculate simple addition and subtraction problems. 

Shape, Space and Measure: Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns and  explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes. Through these areas, the children develop the use of their mathematical language when describing them. 

These provide strong foundations for the maths that children will encounter as they progress through the years in Primary school.

The Subject Leader for Maths is Mrs C Belli.