Skip to content ↓

Maths - 3 I's

Maths at Hempstalls


Our aim at Hempstalls is to promote enjoyment and curiosity of learning through practical mathematics, exploration, investigation and discussion. We want every child to have the opportunity to ‘master’ maths - they can acquire a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Through this approach we ensure our children have a solid foundation for their understanding of the world and future opportunities. 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.

Here at Hempstalls we want our pupils to develop their knowledge of mathematics, knowing more and remembering more. They do this effectively by revisiting learning and making connections to key aspects of maths that they already know.

We intend to avoid overload, by teaching with clarity so that all pupils are able to keep up with lesson content. Motivation and satisfaction comes from success in maths - maths lessons are exciting for both pupils and teachers, often linking to real life contexts, whilst learning remains focussed on a clear outcome.

The curriculum enables success in conditional knowledge, our pupils have sufficient opportunities not only to practise facts and methods but also to identify how they would solve a problem. There is a clear sequence in content to ensure that pupils are confident enough to tackle problems successfully showing resilience - one of our Hempstalls’ values.


Small steps, lesson sequence, modelling and guided practice - staff 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 achieve success in mathematics. Teachers teach with clarity, they reduce materials to a minimum and prevent cognitive overload so that lessons are clear for all pupils. Vocabulary is taught and retaught to ensure that all pupils remember and use this effectively.

Knowledge retention - New learning is built on solid foundations and makes connections to previous knowledge. Staff know that 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 using the helpdesk or group working space.

Flexible and adaptable - Staff use the White Rose Maths small steps as a basis for their teaching but they also understand that sometimes the lesson may not go exactly the way they planned it - they may need to deviate away from the whiteboard and instead use more concrete resources to embed a concept or strategy. Review of Learning and building on connections will be crucial moving forwards. This pedagogy brings higher success rates throughout the school - more pupils are able to access the curriculum and it provides more clarity all round. SEND, EAL and PP groups have all benefited from Rosenshine’s principles of instruction.

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 manipulatives that are appropriate to the age groups such as counters, dienes, numicon and multilink cubes and are put out on desks during every maths lesson. 

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, mental maths starters and at home through the online times tables platform ‘TT Rockstars’. We have a clear times tables fluency progression grid from Year 1 - Year 6. Multiplication is taught using CPA: arrays and counting sticks are very prevalent in our curriculum. Our aim is for all pupils to know their times tables up to 12 by the end of Year 4. Research suggests that pupils who are confident at using times tables up to 12 are stronger mathematicians: they free up space in their working memory, which is crucial in successfully working through multi-step problems. 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 on a Tuesday and Thursday during assemblies 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 - Regular maths staff meetings take place to ensure that all staff are clear of the progression in different areas of maths and opportunities for CPA. ECTs and other new teachers to Hempstalls are supported with planning to ensure they can use the Rosenshine principles to underpin their lessons, have the opportunity to observe other teachers and take part in team teaching sessions. The maths hub provides support through the ‘sustaining mastery’ programme and other CPD opportunities are also accessed through White Rose maths and the maths hub. 

Parents and carers are kept up to date with mathematics in our school and Maths workshops are held regularly. Parents have regular opportunities to visit the school and join in with their child’s lesson. During a recent workshop, the feedback was extremely positive and many said that it gave them a clearer insight to how maths is taught and that they now feel more equipped to support their children at home. 


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. Pupils enjoy being challenged and there are genuinely high percentages of success in every class.

Staff meetings and regular communication with colleagues provides opportunities for teachers to feedback about pupils’ achievement and assessment is used to provide clear next steps. White Rose end of Unit block assessments are also used to ensure pupils are exercising good retention skills.

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.’

Peer Reviews - Working with our MAT allows me to not only observe best practice at Hempstalls, but also five other schools. Working collaboratively in this way is a brilliant way to learn from others, compare and discuss different teaching pedagogy and approaches. 

Sharing of work and book scrutinies happen regularly at Hempstalls. Teachers are provided with necessary feedback and the books show a clear progression in learning across the same areas in different year groups. Vulnerable groups are closely monitored throughout the school such as PP, EAL and SEND as well as the lowest 20% and appropriate support is put in place including extra sessions through NTP, access to preteach sessions, additional precision teaching groups and targeted questioning. This regular monitoring and proactive approach means all children are able to make progress in maths.

Pupil Progress - Termly assessment meetings ensure that progress continues to be monitored and areas of weakness can be highlighted quickly. Teachers and teaching assistants discuss their classes in detail, highlighting any vulnerable groups. Next steps are then mapped out delving deeper into any possible barriers to learning and what can be done to unpick these then aspects that are going well are shared with others to develop best practice.



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