King William Street CE Primary School

  1. Curriculum
  2. Mathematics


At King William Street CE Primary School we aim for all children to

  • develop fluency in the foundations
  • ensure mastery by embedding mathematical reasoning and problem solving
  • make rich connections across maths and other curriculum areas.

Our mathematics lessons are based on the National Curriculum programmes of study and we use CanDo maths club to ensure small steps progression. Our DUO (Do It, Use It and Own It) approach is the vehicle through which we challenge all pupils within the expected year group of the curriculum.

Do it

These activities are designed to increase the children’s fluency in maths. They are straight forward questions which include opportunities to address misconceptions or draw on prior learning

Use it

These tasks involve problem solving. Problem solving skills, including word problems and empty box questions, are taught explicitly within maths lessons as well as within DUO activities. We use the ‘Jedi maths skills’ to teach children a range of problem solving approaches. We regularly teach whole class use it lessons where the children are presented with a range of problems and they need to identity which skill is needed to solve that problem. These problems come from the full breadth of the curriculum.

Own it

Pupils are challenged to reason and explore a problem at a deeper level. We challenge pupils through breadth and depth and not by increasing number size or accelerating through the curriculum. Pupils are challenged to think for themselves and justify their answers to questions. All pupils encounter challenge during the lesson. We use sentence stems to support responses. At least once a unit all children are given the opportunity to take part in a whole class own it lesson. This lesson is scaffolded so all children can achieve.

It is crucial that accurate mathematical language is modelled and developed throughout the lesson and that all pupils are expected to use it. In this way they can demonstrate their understanding and can minimise and challenge any misconceptions. Probing questions are evident throughout the lessons, with children responding in full sentences, sentence stems are displayed in every classroom to support this.

Manipulatives and models

Based on Research by Pamela Leibeck, we develop children’s understanding more if we ensure they make links between a practical experience (or context), the language to describe the experience, a model or image to capture the experience and symbols to generalise the experience. Therefore, we use practical resources (counters, tens and ones, numicon, etc) and models (bar model and images) as an integral part of maths learning to ensure connections are being made. This is across all year groups.

Choral counting

Every child counts daily (in standard increments, in decimals, in fractions) either at the start of a maths lesson or at some other point in the day. This counting should be relevant for year group expectations.


Every afternoon the whole class have an arithmetic lesson of about 20 minutes long. During this time the children take part in a teacher led activities to practice their termly foundation targets and times tables. Mental maths strategies are explicitly taught during these sessions.