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“Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations or algorithms: it is about understanding.” William Paul Thurston


Mathematics Curriculum Intent

At Essa, we want to inspire, engage and challenge children by equipping them with the knowledge and skills to become passionate and confident mathematicians. Our curriculum is ambitious and engaging and allows children to develop a deep understanding of the different strands of mathematics as they progress through the school.

Mathematics plays a key role in a child’s development. Through the development of mathematical understanding, we aim to ensure that children begin to understand the world around them, interpret situations and solve problems. Research has proven that early mathematical understanding is strongly associated with later school achievement and we want to ensure that the foundations we give our children have a considerable impact on progress and outcomes, both educationally and in life.

We ensure that the children learn key mathematical facts that they can recall quickly and fluently such as times tables, number bonds and key calculations (substantive knowledge) but that they are also taught extensive procedural knowledge and are encouraged to explore reasoning and problem solving (disciplinary knowledge).

The curriculum allows our children to develop their mathematical knowledge and skills, using a wide variety of methods and these are progressive from EYFS to Year 6.  To ensure that this progression is embedded, we use 'Big Ideas' as 'golden threads'.


The 'Big Ideas' for Mathematics are:

  • Number sense

  • Calculating

  • Problem solving

  • Reasoning

These golden threads run through our curriculum planning from Reception to Year 6 and allow children to explore common themes across different units of work. Careful consideration is given to building a schema of mathematical knowledge and following a well-sequenced curriculum to allow children to make links over time and between units.


Our mathematics curriculum is not just about achieving correct answers but also being able to explain how and why they arrived at the answer, what makes it correct, and why other answers are incorrect.


Mathematics curriculum implementation:


The curriculum is built on the foundation of three 'Es':


Entitlement/core curriculum offer:

The development of mathematical knowledge and skills begins from day one in Reception. We value the importance of securing early number sense and all children in Reception receive a daily mathematics input, mathematics focus groups, and opportunities to develop themselves in mathematics continuous provision (indoor and outdoor) and completing daily challenges.

Number sense is built on in KS1 and KS2. We have a clear understanding of the National Curriculum content coverage and we follow the long and medium term plans to ensure clear progression through the school. Weekly arithmetic sessions ensure that number and calculation knowledge and skills are taught. These allow children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and be ready for their next stage of learning.


Children who demonstrate a love of mathematics have the opportunity to develop this in a number of ways:

  • Times Table Rockstars Club

  • Maths morning club

  • STEM and Maths activities in the hub at lunchtime


Children who excel in Mathematics have the opportunity to develop their talents in a number of different ways

  • Being part of the STEM department in Pupil Parliament

  • Leading STEM activities in the hub at lunchtime

  • 3D printing 



All of our school community (staff, senior leaders, governors and children are involved in measuring the impact of our Mathematics curriculum in different ways. This is planned for through the School Development Plan, and using our annual monitoring cycle and termly development plan to map out monitoring and review over the year.


Impact is measured by:

-       Collecting data from formative assessments (whole-class quizzes, assessment cups, counting activities, exit tickets)

-       Collecting data from summative assessments (weekly arithmetic tests, termly PUMA tests)

-       Pupil voice to determine what children have remembered over time 

-       Staff voice to determine effectiveness of provided planning and the impact of professional development

-       Parent voice in our annual survey

-       Reviewing learning in books

-       Reviewing progress made against steps to success each lesson and across a sequence of lessons

-       Governor visits to evaluate different areas of Mathematics

An impact statement is written each term by subject leaders to assess effectiveness of current provision, progress against objectives on action plans and inform and identify next steps.

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