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Image by Chris Liverani



At Burnhope we use the National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014) as the basis of our mathematics programme which states:

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 no routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.




At Burnhope Primary, our child learn through a mastery approach which is based on the principle of moving through CVA (concrete, pictorial and abstract stages).

For children to have a true understanding of a mathematical concepts there are three phases they need to master: concrete, pictorial and abstract. Children may begin their learning and understanding of new concepts by using apparatus such as base 10, multi-link blocks, matchsticks or Numicon.

After securing the learning with concrete apparatus, they then move on to a picture of the concrete and finally completely abstract methods which deploy only numerals. When children are able to apply a concept and are reliable with their outcome every time, they have mastered it.

Children then expand their knowledge by applying the principles with problem solving and investigations. Children also apply their knowledge across foundations subjects such as: tables and graphs in Science, coordinates in geography and time in history.

We are in our second year of teaching with Pearson’s Power Maths beginning right from reception. Power Maths is a systematic approach which covers all of the National Curriculum in detail. We also use apps such as Times table Rockstars and Top marks.


  • KS1 maths results have seen a steady rise and in 2019, 81% achieved ARE and 25% from greater depth which is above national expectation.

  • At KS2 a 3-year upward trend is evident with 86% reaching ARE and 29% reaching greater depth.

The impact of this is implementation was also noted in our January 2019 Ofsted:

The new programme for mathematics is supporting teachers in planning and delivering lessons that focus on pupils practising age-appropriate number skills. Pupils are productive in lessons and respond well to the structure this new strategy brings.

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