Maths at Swarcliffe Primary School

At Swarcliffe we recognise that maths underpins much of our daily lives and therefore is of paramount importance to us to ensure that our children have the best possible grounding in maths during their time with us. Our maths curriculum is designed to develop children's knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts. 

In Maths at Swarcliffe we aim to:

  • promote enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning through practical activity, exploration and discussion;
  • promote confidence and competence with numbers and the number system;
  • develop the ability to solve problems through decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts;
  • develop a practical understanding of the ways in which information is gathered and presented;
  • explore features of shape and space, and develop measuring skills in a range of contexts;
  • understand the importance of mathematics in everyday life.

As well as this, we endeavour to interest our children in their learning with a creative and cross-curricular approach. To do this, we use various texts within our teaching to explore strategies and concepts.

Examples of additional texts we use to enhance our Maths curriculum:

Ten in the Bed – counting forwards and backwards to 10 – Nursery/Reception

One Thing – number recognition – Nursery/Reception

Ten Little Pirates – Counting forwards to and backwards from 10/20 - Year 1/2

One Hundred Hungry Ants – Division, Multiplication and skip counting - Year 1/2  

One is a Snail Ten is a Crab – Place value – Year 1/2

Ten Times Better – Multiplying numbers by 10 – Year 3/4

Less than Zero – Data handling and negative numbers - Year 4

Divide and Ride – Division and prime numbers – Year 5/6

Spaghetti and Meatballs for All - Area & Perimeter – Year 5/6

At Swarcliffe the three aims of the Primary Maths Curriculum are at the heart of everything we do, these are:

  • Fluency in the fundamentals of mathematics so that pupils develop conceptual understanding, and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • Reasoning mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Problem Solving 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.





In the Early Years, Mathematics involves providing children with opportunities to develop and improve their skills in counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems; and to describe shapes, spaces, and measure.  Our counting is based around the five counting principles and initially getting these embedded for up to five objects is essential. Within our planning and the environment we promote the characteristics of characteristics of effective learning.  Children in EYFS learn best through; playing and exploring, being active and creating and thinking critically.


Throughout EYFS pupils are taught to;


  • count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20
  • place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number
  • add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer using quantities and objects
  • solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing

Shape, space and measure

  • use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems
  • recognise, create and describe patterns
  • explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes
  • use mathematical language to describe them.

At Swarcliffe, from Year 1 to Year 6 study Maths daily covering a broad and balanced maths curriculum based on Focus Maths which including elements of number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics. Alongside daily maths sessions an additional 10 minutes a day is spent focusing on basic skills. 

Key Stage 1

The focus of mathematics teaching in key stage 1 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources [for example, concrete objects and measuring tools].


At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching should also involve using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.


By the end of year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value. This will aid fluency throughout KS2 and build firm foundations on which to build.


All pupils should read mathematical vocabulary at a level consistent with their increasing word reading knowledge at key stage 1 and use mathematical vocabulary confidently.

Lower Key Stage 2

The focus of maths teaching in lower key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.


At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching will also ensure that pupils develop their reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It ensures that they can use measuring instruments with greater accuracy and make connections between measure and number.


By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12-multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.  We use Times Table Rockstars to support our teaching of the rapid recall of these facts and this is accessible by the children both at school and at home.

Upper Key Stage 2

The focus of maths teaching in upper key stage 2 is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio.


At this stage, pupils will develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With a firm foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures consolidates and extends knowledge developed in number. Teaching also ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.


By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.

Our Calculations Policy

Throughout the school we follow the approach of concrete-pictorial-abstract which allows children to fully understand the mathematical concept they are learning.  As a school we are investing heavily in manipulatives, such as Numicon and Place Value Counters, which allows children to bring the abstract to life. Children are encouraged to use these throughout all the key stages so they can develop a real understanding of any new concept, for example, percentages or ratio in Key Stage Two.  After children have experienced maths through concrete representations, they are then encouraged to represent them pictorially before moving on to abstract recording.

At Swarcliffe we recognise that mathematics can only be used effectively when the user understands the tool and has ownership of it.  With our calculation policy, we can be confident throughout school, that the hard work we all put into teaching the children each year to calculate, will be consolidated and extended throughout school.

By agreeing on the use of strategies and mathematical language the children will be taught in a consistent way in all classes, developing their understanding as they progress through school.  This will hopefully cause less confusion for the children and ensure they have the necessary strategies and scaffolding to enable them to solve mathematical problems.

Enrich, Enhance, Excite.

To support the children with their multiplication practice we use ‘Times Table Rockstars’ as an online and fun learning platform which also offer resources to be used in the classroom.  To ensure ALL children have access to such resources we run Key Stage Two Maths clubs during daily friendship sessions and a weekly afterschool club.  These are always well attended and the highlight for the children is challenging the teachers! Success on Times Tables Rockstars is celebrated in assemblies and achievements displayed in the main hall. 


Throughout school our children are encouraged to develop the rapid recall of number facts and participate in Mental Maths competitions within school.  Every half term a phase assembly focuses on different groups competing to win the phase competition.

Our Year 6’s enter a competition hosted by the Grammar School at Leeds and compete with 24 other schools from across Leeds.

As a school we celebrate NSPCC Number Day each year.  We dedicate the day to all things Maths and think creatively about how maths reaches across the curriculum.  The children have in recent years ‘dressed up for digits’ and raised money for this vital charity

Curriculum Impact


Active marking throughout each lesson allows for formative assessment to take place and feedback is given to the children instantly.  Active marking, verbal feedback and next step tasks within the lesson ensure they are meeting the specific learning objectives and develop the children’s understanding further. Teachers then use this assessment to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a mathematics curriculum that will allow each child to progress. As a result of these assessments children may be targeted for pre-teach or post-teach.  


Each term children from Year 2 and above complete a summative assessment to help them to develop their testing approach and demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. In Year Two and Year Six we also use previous SATs papers diagnostically to inform future planning and to determine children’s progress and attainment.  In order to prepare the children we use SATs like questions throughout our teaching.


We aim for each child to be confident in each yearly objective and develop their ability to use this knowledge to develop a greater depth understanding to solve varied fluency problems as well as problem solving and reasoning questions. We use a range of resources throughout the school to ensure a curriculum that is specific to each child’s learning needs.