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Mathematics rationale:


At Pensilva we believe that a high-quality maths education provides a foundation for understanding the world. Our aim is for all children to develop a love for maths underpinned by curiosity and enjoyment about the subject.

Our maths curriculum focuses on the Mastery approach to Mathematics which aims to provide all pupils with a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject, mastering one topic securely enough to move on and build on it with another more advanced topic.

We focus on 3 main areas of Learning across all our lessons and key stages:

Fluency: for pupils to become confident and fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics including number bonds, times tables and place value. These concepts provide the basics for all the maths that we do, so that once pupils are proficient in these they will be able to approach more complicated mathematical concepts with confidence.

Reasoning: for pupils to learn how to talk about the maths that they are doing in a critical and thoughtful manner asking questions such as: What do we notice? What do we expect to happen? How can I begin solving this? How could I prove my answer?

Our aim at Pensilva is that all of our pupils can think mathematically and begin to transfer their understanding to new contexts.

Problem solving: For pupils to apply their fluency and reasoning skills to solving a variety of problems which will increase in complexity as they become more proficient and confident.


Our maths throughout the school follows a cyclical approach with children returning to and building on topics each year.

KS1 pupils will learn:

  •        Number and place value including: Counting to and from 100, reading and writing numbers to 100, finding one more and one less, representing numbers using objects and pictorials, counting in steps of 2, 3 and 5, comparing numbers using <, > and = signs and using place value and number facts to solve problems.
  •        Addition and subtraction (with a focus on using concrete objects and pictures to support this)
  •        Multiplication and division including: multiplication and division facts for 2,5 and 10 multiplication tables, odd and even numbers, using x ÷ and = signs and using arrays.
  •        Fractions of shapes, set of objects, quantity and numbers.
  •        Measurement including: Using standard units to measure length, height, mass, temperature and capacity. Money and time to 5 minutes.
  •        Geometry including: properties and names of 2d and 3d shapes, patterns and sequences, position and direction.
  •        Statistics including: interpreting and constructing pictograms, tally charts, block diagrams and tables, asking and answering questions.

Our KS2 pupils will build and expand on all this knowledge. Our Lower KS2 curriculum focuses on ensuring that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the 4 operations. Pupils will learn to develop efficient written and mental methods to perform calculations accurately. Pupils in this age range will spend time increasing their confidence solving a wide range of problems including those with fractions and decimal place value. In shape pupils will be expected to describe and compare shapes with increasing accuracy.

By the end of year 4 pupils learn rapid recall of multiplication facts up to the 12 times table.


Our Upper Key Stage 2 curriculum introduces pupils to an increasingly complex range of problems and challenges them to use all the skills that they have been developing over their time at Pensilva.

By the end of Key Stage 2 pupils will have studied:

  •        Number and place value including: read, write and compare numbers to 10,000,000, rounding numbers, using negative numbers and solving problems using all of the above.
  •        Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division including: using the formal written methods, performing mental calculations, identifying common factors, multiples and prime numbers and using estimation to check answers.
  •        Fractions including decimals and percentages.
  •         Ratio and proportion including a variety of problem solving.
  •         Algebra – using simple formulae and expressing missing numbers algebraically, finding pairs of numbers to satisfy an equation.
  •         Measurement including calculating the area and perimeters of shapes.
  •         Geometry including: name parts of a circle (radius, diameter, circumference), recognise and find angles, draw and translate shapes onto a coordinate plane.
  •         Statistics: interpret and construct pie charts and line graphs, calculate and interpret the mean as an average.




Planning: At Pensilva lessons are planned and sequenced so that new knowledge and skills build on what has been taught before. Teachers follow White Rose Maths for coverage with an understanding that sometimes children find their own efficient methods along the way.

Each term the children will be given new KIRFS (Key Instant Recall Facts) which they can take home and practise with their adults at home. These are also practised daily in the classroom at the beginning of each lesson as a way of really supporting children with their fluency and confidence around with things like number bonds, times tables and number facts.

 All children in KS2 also have access to their own personal account of ‘Times Tables Rockstar’ where they can compete against other pupils and classes in school. If children move to the next level they will get a certificate and will move up on our display in the hall. This is something that all the children really enjoy and supports the lower KS2 children in getting ready for their multiplication test in year 4.

 Teaching: At Pensilva we employ a variety of teaching styles and opportunities for children to learn and develop their Mathematical skills and competencies, both individually and collaboratively. The main aim of all lessons is to develop children’s knowledge, understanding and skills, applying these to a variety of contexts. One of the key elements in lessons throughout the school should be on developing the children’s fluency and then building on deepening this knowledge with reasoning and problem solving activities to really challenge their understanding.

Objects and pictures are used to demonstrate and visualise abstract ideas, alongside numbers and symbols.

Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.

Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.



At Pensilva children are supported and encouraged to solve a variety of fluency, reasoning and problem solving activities and their books and class room displays reflect this. Children who are not making the required progress are given extra support through intervention sessions and support in class in order to meet our INTENT of developing pupils academically.

Feedback is given on children’s learning in line with our marking policy and children and staff work together to build on children’s targets. The children enjoy using ‘Think Pink’ in their maths books to improve their number work and their presentation in their books.  

In order to support teacher judgments, children are assessed using current and reliable tests in line with the national curriculum for maths as well as White Rose Maths assessments termly for arithmetic and reasoning & Problem Solving. - Analysis of any tests that the children complete is undertaken and fed into future planning.

Summative assessments are completed at the end of every term and at the academic year and help influence the overall judgement reported to parents in the end of year report.

The Maths lead and SLT undertake book monitoring, lesson observations, pupil conferencing and classroom display and equipment monitoring.