At Blackwater Primary School, we believe everyone can achieve in maths.

We encourage a positive attitude in our children where mistakes are seen as opportunities for learning, encouraging them in the belief that by being resilient they can succeed. We wish to dispel the misconception that people are born with or without a gift for maths and that with high expectations and resilience the sky is the limit for all.

We wish to enable our children to achieve mastery in mathematics by providing learning opportunities to develop:

  •          fluency in understanding and manipulation of number and calculation methods.
  •          the ability to reason mathematically
  •          the ability to problem solve in maths and across the curriculum.

We aim to provide challenging and nurturing learning environment where mistakes are viewed as opportunities for new neurological pathways to be formed.  We set high expectations and levels of challenge but plan and deliver learning opportunities that are accessible for all.  We create interesting contexts where children can apply their maths learning across the curriculum. 


 The National Curriculum

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
  •  become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • can 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.’ (National curriculum page 3)
Overview of Maths Learning in KS1 and KS2
We know from research that retrieval and revisiting old learning is crucial for children to achieve a deep understanding of maths.  Our curriculum is built around that principle.
Our curriculum:
  • Organises learning into sequences of learning made up of 'small steps'.
  • Enables children to embed learning by revisiting maths topics on a weekly basis throughout the year.
  • Focuses on key pieces of 'declarative knowledge' each half term.
Planning the learning
We follow a long term plan to ensure coverage of the national curriculum.  We plan for mixed ages teaching them together or in year groups, depending on the maths topic and the needs of the children.
We revisit maths topics on a rolling programme with one focus per week using intelligent practise to ensure all of our children are mastering key concepts and procedures.
In addition, each year group has a focuses on a key piece of declarative knowledge we call our 'sticky facts'. By focusing on specific number facts or formulae, children achieve automaticity and free up processing capacity and remove barriers to grappling with the maths.
Take a look at the long term plans below to see what your child is learning throughout the year in terms of fluency retrieval, declarative knowledge and maths topics. 
Pyramid Planning
Maths topics are sequenced in small steps.  Using their professional judgement, teachers adapt small steps taken from White Rose Maths to best meet the needs of their learners.  NCETM spines are used for reference and are a great resource for professional development of all staff.
Our children 'nail' each small step of learning before moving on to the next 'brick' in the pyramid.  Teachers use formative assessment to ascertain children's readiness to move on to the next step in their learning.  Ask your child what happens if we don't 'nail' each small step.  The pyramid comes crashing down!  Take a look at some example pyramid plans from this term.

Blackwater Maths Lesson Outline


This outline is to ensure that ALL maths lessons at Blackwater School have a consistent approach that embeds previous understanding of concepts, procedures and knowledge whilst creating the environment and opportunity for new learning.


Fluency - retrieval and revisiting previous learning following a cyclical programme to embed declarative, procedural and conceptual understanding.


Key components are:

Declarative knowledge: “Sticky facts” (Specific number facts or formulae using targeted retrieval to achieve automaticity).

Procedural knowledge:  Rehearsal of systematic methods in line with calculation policy to achieve accuracy and efficiency in calculating.

Conceptual understanding:  Focus on underlying structures and relationships to achieve good ‘number sense’.


Reconnect to old learning - recap learning from previous lesson using retrieval practise to ensure a secure foundation for next step


New Learning - Teaching of new knowledge in small steps taken from pyramid planning. Next steps taught making explicit the links with pyramid planning on the working wall.  Clear modelling using procedures and representations consistent with the calculation policy with explicit focus on teaching misconceptions throughout. Opportunities for purposeful practise using variation to deepen understanding.



Opportunities to practise a new procedure/concept where questions are given a ‘twist’. The ‘twist’ will  expose misconceptions, develop and provide opportunities to explain reasoning.


Deep Dive  

Problem solving opportunities:

Using strategies, procedures already learned in a new context.

Opportunities to explore and explain concepts, procedures, patterns and relationships.

Opportunities to deepen conceptual understanding and to ‘generalise’.


Evaluate - link to next lesson and end point.

How do our children calculate?
It is important that we have a consistent approach to teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division across the school.  Our calculation policy exemplifies how we teach these four operations.   
It is important to be consistent in how we represent the structure of number and the procedures we use to calculate. The calculation policy ensures clarity and consistency from Year 1 and Year 6 allowing children to rehearse systematic methods to achieve accuracy and efficiency.
Working Walls
Every class has a working wall that we use to map our learning journey so the children know what they have learned so far, their next step in learning and the end point!  Having a secure understanding of maths vocabulary is key for us at Blackwater so our working walls sign post the vocabulary for the topic we are working on as well as reminding us of the various terms for the four operations.  
Maths Learning in Wheal Friendly
Early number is so important!  At Blackwater we are committed to all of our children securing their mathematical understanding and number sense in nursery and Reception. We have a nursery and reception programme which is designed to embed early number sense, equips our children with the vocabulary and confidence to explain their mathematical ideas and understanding.  Take a look at the Nursery and Reception programme below.
Mastering Number
Ms Shuttleworth and Mrs Murley are passionate about early number and mathematics and joined the Mastering Number programme last year.  The programme is the brain child of Debbie Morgan (the creator of Numberblocks) and her team at NCETM and incorporates the most recent research in how children develop as mathematicians.  
EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2  work through a wonderful programme which aims to develop fluency, flexibility and deepen understanding of the composition, mathematical relationships between numbers as well as embedding the vocabulary and stem sentences to enable children to confidently articulate their reasoning.  It is empowering all of our children in maths!  We have signed up for the Mastering Number KS2 next year as it has been such a successful programme in EYFS and KS1.
What is fluency and how do we suppport fluency in school?
Being able to recall number facts, manipulating number and making connections is key to your child's success in maths.  To ensure our children are developing good fluency, we revisit concepts already taught on a rolling programme.  We also use the mastering number programme,  99 Club, Timestables Rockstars and Winning with Numbers  to ensure our children are nailing that fluency.
Everyone can achieve in maths!
We believe everyone can achieve in maths and we adapt learning to support our children who have more challenging barriers.  Take a look at the document below to see how we adapt learning and teaching to remove barriers and to enable all of our children to access and achieve in maths.
How can I help my child with maths learning at home
Having a positive mind set is key to success in maths. All of our children can achieve in maths.  Research shows that children who believe they have  ability in maths invariably do much better than children who do not have that self belief. We want to dispel the myth that you are born with mathematical ability!  We don't want to put limitations on any of our children.  ALL can achieve with the right support and understanding of barriers.  By encouraging your child to have a go, take risks, building resilience by keeping at it you will help your child develop that essential self belief.
Just like learning how to read children need to practise and learn key maths facts to enable them to progress.  Working on maths facts little and often is just like practising phonics to enable children to read! 
If you want to dive a bit deeper into how your child learns to count, add, subtract, multiply and divide take a look at the progression videos below.  Do of course get in touch with your child's teacher. We are here to help.
If you would like to find out more about this curriculum area, please email Mrs. Evison on