Maths at St. John's: Our Intent

At St. John’s we aim to develop in children a positive attitude to mathematics and the children see it as a valuable subject. Maths introduces children to concepts, skills and thinking strategies that are essential in everyday life and it supports children in other learning across the breadth of the curriculum. We hope that by studying mathematics at St. John’s it will stimulate curiosity, foster creativity and equip the children who attend St. John’s with the skills they need in life beyond school.

At St. Johns we aim to increase a growth mindset way of thinking about problems so that they can readily make sense of the numbers, patterns and shapes they see in their maths work and the world around them. As we develop the children’s confidence in maths they learn to look for patterns, use logical reasoning, suggest solutions and try out different approaches to problems. The children at St. Johns develop an understanding of mathematics through a process of enquiry, reasoning and problem solving.




At St. Johns we work hard to provide learning opportunities that enable all pupils to make good progress. We aim for children to master the key areas and domains in mathematics. The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress will always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly will be challenged to deepen their understanding by being offered rich and sophisticated problems and not accelerated through to new content.


Lessons at St.John’s begin or end with ‘Flashback 4’s’ which we believe are vitally important to ensure the children at St. John’s commit key learning to their long term memory and embed key concepts, facts and knowledge. We want the children at St. John’s to know more and remember more so they can apply their knowledge and do more in mathematics. In short we believe the ‘Flashback 4’s’ are a brilliant method of constantly recapping and reinforcing prior maths learning.


Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention by members of staff during lessons. Children are assessed at the end of each topic to ascertain the depth of their understanding; this is used to inform future planning and target any children who require additional support. Progress is further informed with the use of standardised tests.


All classrooms have a display area specifically for mathematics called the Maths working wall. These working walls have been carefully thought out by members of staff displaying items to support and develop the children’s learning. Each working wall contains the following headings:

  • Key Vocabulary
  • Fluency
  • Representations and Models
  • Mathematical Reasoning
  • Problem Solving


In the Early Years’ Foundation Stage there are also specific indoor and outdoor mathematical areas for children to access in their everyday provision.


Teachers are offered CPD where needed and teachers who are new to year groups are supported to understand St. John’s approach to mathematics.



To summarise at St. John’s our children:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, 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, making relationships 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. 




Assessment in mathematics takes place daily in lessons due to teachers targeted questioning and class discussions. This questioning and discussion addresses misconceptions and errors as well as deepening understanding and mathematical reasoning in the children at St. Johns.


The children also complete a weekly arithmetic test in order to reinforce and continue to practise key arithmetic methods needed in all maths topics and lessons.


Subject monitoring in maths takes place which involve Maths insets delivered by subject leaders, learning walks and book looks. In addition to this staff are encouraged to come to leaders to discuss any queries regarding the maths curriculum.

Standardised tests (NFER Maths tests) are used to support our teachers’ assessment. These results are recorded in Insight and evaluated appropriately by teachers to inform future planning and children who need extra support.


Homework is set from the online programs ‘MyMaths’ and Atom Prime.


The children use Times Tables Rock Stars which is very popular platform for practising times tables. Times Tables Rock Stars is a maths programme that is designed to take all the worry out of learning times tables and has a proven track record of boosting children’s fluency and recall in multiplication and division.





Below you can find an overview of the Maths topics taught in each year group at St. Johns