Skip to content ↓

Maths - 3 I's

Maths at Hempstalls

Intent - What are we trying to achieve?

At Hempstalls all pupils are on a mathematical journey to expertise. We endeavor that each and every child becomes a mathematics champion in their very own right. We aim to promote enjoyment and curiosity of learning through practical mathematics, exploration, investigation and discussion leading to sustainable learning for pupils for the future. We provide children with the mathematical vocabulary to ensure that they can explain their mathematical thinking, make connections and deepening their knowledge.

We pride ourselves on providing the best possible opportunities for our pupils by developing pupils’ ability to move between concrete, pictorial and abstract representations fluently and confidently. We teach methods rigorously and practice these over and over to ensure that all pupils reach a level of mastery. We want pupils to become fluent in declarative knowledge (I know that….), procedural knowledge (I know how..) as well as the conditional knowledge to know which method is most efficient and why (I know when…). Guided practice is crucial in order for this to prevail. We want our children to know more and remember more and we believe that teaching methods to the point of automaticity will help pupils tremendously as they progress through our school and prepare them for secondary maths.

At Hempstalls our ethos is that all can do maths, no one gets left behind and during lessons pupils must feel as if they belong in the maths lesson. All pupils must be able to celebrate success, no matter what their ability.

Implementation - how is our vision translated into practice?

Maths is taught daily in all year groups across the school. In Y1-6 this takes place in the morning and follows the national curriculum objectives. Teachers use ‘White Rose’ to support their planning but this is adapted according to the needs of the pupils at the time. In EYFS, maths is evident in the provision and within planning to ensure that opportunities for mathematics language are developed with the children. In nursery (3-4 year olds) a short daily input is used focused on a key concept for the week and in reception daily lessons take place as well as opportunities during provision.

New processes are taught using small steps and teachers only proceed when first steps are mastered and limit the amount of material to prevent cognitive overload. Pupil practice takes place after each step - moving away from the usual teacher exposition followed by independent work. New information is introduced in small scaffolded steps, modelling and carefully chosen examples provide clarity for all pupils and develop confidence and self-belief. Through teaching in small, manageable steps, pupils are achieving success in mathematics.

Vocabulary is taught and retaught to ensure that all pupils remember and use effectively. Stem sentences are modelled to children and an ‘I say, you say’ approach is used regularly across the school.

Systematic instruction – teachers are encouraged to teach children mathematical systems explicitly (following our calculation policy that breaks down the steps) and pupils are assisted when making connections. Some pupils will instantly make these links, but others will need scaffolding. This is especially prevalent for SEN and PP pupils. All pupils will spend longer on one task rather than short time on lots. Problem solving will be explored with the whole class and teachers will provide many examples and build children’s confidence in order to use and apply necessary skills needed to solve a problem.

Knowledge retention – teachers build on solid foundations and make connections to previous knowledge, each lesson starts with a review of previous knowledge. They re-teach, feedback and correct pupils where necessary. Teachers do not move on too quickly – this reduces clarity. Checking pupils understanding throughout each stage of the lesson is crucial to see if knowledge and skills have been retained and also to identify those who haven’t understood. These pupils can then be taught again by a teacher or teaching assistant.

Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract – All classes from the 2 year old room up to Year 6 learn through the CPA model. All pupils from Year 1 – Year 6 have access to their own maths boxes which they share with a partner. These boxes include age appropriate equipment such as counters, dienes, numicon and multilink cubes and are put out on desks during maths lessons.

Automaticity – Children from rec-Y2 take part in the ‘mastering number’ programme from NCETM. This is in addition to their daily maths lesson and works to focus on the recall of number facts and strategies that will support their development across the maths curriculum. Children in Y3/4 take part in additional arithmetic sessions three times a week to build arithmetical proficiency ensuring that they have the skills they need to solve more challenging problems.

Multiplication – The online times tables platform is used to develop fluency in maths. We promote times tables rigorously at Hempstalls during morning maths drill books and at home through the online times tables platform ‘TT Rockstars,’ which is used to develop fluency in maths. We have a clear times tables/mental maths progression grid from Year 1 – Year 6. Multiplication is taught using CPA: arrays and counting sticks are very prevalent in our curriculum. TT Competitions take place with schools in our Trust and incentives are used to encourage pupils to use TT to develop fluency. Children earn bronze, silver and gold badges depending on their times table speed on TT Rockstars.

Pre-Teach is taught at two-three times a week before the main maths lesson to provide the underlying skills needed for the main lesson. The purpose is to ensure that those pupils who find certain areas of maths difficult are well equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills needed for the lesson.

CPD – ongoing planning clinics, team teaching and staff meetings means that staff are clear of expectations and changes to the curriculum.


Due to the maths pedagogy here at Hempstalls, the high expectations and ethos of maths being accessible for all pupils, alongside the CPA journey, pupils are motivated and speak highly of mathematics during pupil book studies. Pupils enjoy being challenged and talk of feeling satisfaction when answering maths questions. They are able to use vocabulary to explain their knowledge.

An increased focus on automaticity means that children are more confident with methods and can spend more time working on their conditional knowledge through guided practice. This is evident from pupil book studies and learning walks.

Staff meetings and regular communication with colleagues provides opportunities for teachers to feed back about pupils’ achievement and assessment is used to provide clear next steps. Monthly reviews take place and focus on elements of maths that do not typically have as many retrieval opportunities in the main curriculum – time, measurement and geometry.

Pupil Progress - Termly assessment meetings ensure that progress is checked rigorously - teachers and teaching assistants discuss their classes in detail, highlighting any vulnerable groups. Strengths and areas for development are identified as well as any possible barriers to learning and any adaptations are put into place.

Pupil Voice - Regular communication with pupils about their learning is key to moving Teaching and Learning forwards. It allows pupils to voice their opinion about what they like / dislike about maths, what helps them with maths and most of all how we can improve lessons for all pupils. There is certainly an appetite for maths at Hempstalls and pupils show this on a day to day basis, tackling problems and concepts with confidence. During a recent discussion with a group of Year 6 children about pre-teach, one girl commented by explaining that pre-teach ‘Brings her up to speed with maths’ She used an analogy of a 100m race, that without pre-teach she would be ‘starting behind the start line, behind everyone else in the class.’



HempstallsPrimary School
Contact Us
Mrs Shutt: 01782 950082Hempstalls Primary Schooloffice@hempstalls.staffs.sch.ukCollard Ave, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle ST5 9LH
The Creative Learning Patnership Trust