‘Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’

Primary National Curriculum for Maths 2014


Mathematics is both a key skill within school, and a life skill to be utilised throughout every person’s day to day experiences.

Mathematics equips pupils with the uniquely powerful set of tools to understand and change the world. These tools include logical reasoning, problem solving skills and the ability to think in abstract ways.  Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards Mathematics that will stay with them.

The National Curriculum for Mathematics describes in detail what pupils must learn in each year group. Combined with our Calculation Policies, this ensures continuity, progression and high expectations for attainment in Mathematics.

We are committed to ensuring that all pupils achieve mastery in the key concepts of Mathematics, appropriate for their age group, in order that they make genuine progress and avoid gaps in their understanding that provide barriers to learning as they move through education.


With these aspirations, our intent for the Maths curriculum is:

  • To ensure all pupils are fluent mathematicians who are confident in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time.
  • To support pupils to develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • To promote mathematical reasoning by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.
  • To encourage children to think creatively and 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.
  • To foster a positive attitude to mathematics and encourage a sense of enjoyment and curiosity.
  • To develop links between maths and other curriculum areas such as science, computing or P.E.
  • To develop the ability to think clearly and logically, with confidence, flexibility and independence of thought.
  • To develop a deeper understanding of Mathematics through a process of enquiry and investigation.
  • To develop an understanding of the connectivity of patterns and relationships within Mathematics.
  • To develop a determined ‘can do’ attitude towards maths.
  • To develop the ability to apply knowledge, skills and ideas in real life contexts outside the classroom, and become aware of the uses of Mathematics in the wider world.
  • To develop an ability and inclination to work both independently and collaboratively to solve mathematical problems.
  • To make sure that all children leave Alfriston Primary School as confident mathematicians.


At Alfriston Primary School, we have a teaching for mastery approach to Mathematics. This is delivered following the White Rose Schemes of Learning alongside a range of high quality resources (such as the NCETM mastery materials).   At the centre of this approach is the belief that all pupils have the potential to succeed. All children have access to the same curriculum content and, rather than being extended with new content from other year groups, they deepen their conceptual understanding by reasoning and problem solving.

Our teaching for mastery from EYFS to year 6 is underpinned by the NCETM’s 5 Big Ideas.  


The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles to implement our mastery approach:

  • An emphasis on Fluency with a relentless focus on number and times table facts.
  • Teaching is underpinned by a belief in the importance of Mathematics and that the vast majority of children can succeed in learning Mathematics in line with national expectations for the end of each key stage.
  • Activities are carefully planned to employ conceptual variation. This is where the same concept is explored through a variety of different representations. These opportunities provide intelligent practice that develops and embeds fluency and conceptual knowledge.
  • Factual knowledge (e.g. number bonds and times tables), procedural knowledge (e.g. formal written methods) and conceptual knowledge (e.g. of place value) are taught in a fully integrated way and are all seen as important elements in the learning of Mathematics.
  • Mathematical reasoning is emphasised. Children are encouraged to explain their mathematical thinking and describe their understanding.
  • Precise mathematical language is always used consistently by teachers. This means that mathematical ideas are conveyed with clarity and precision. Children are taught to use the same language when describing their maths.
  • Sufficient time is spent on key concepts to ensure learning is well developed and deeply embedded before moving on.