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At Abel Smith School we recognise that mathematics is an important life skill as well as fundamental to the vast majority of career pathways. In light of this, it is our intent that we provide a high-quality mathematical education which will ensure children move to the next stage of their education being numerate, confident and well-equipped.


Through quality first teaching, with our primary aim being mastery of the curriculum for all children, we aim to unlock children’s potential in maths and make it a fun, engaging subject which is accessible to all. Our intention is to show children they can master the maths curriculum and that maths is an area where all children can experience success and is not something to be anxious about. With this in mind, we recognise the importance of being fluent in the fundamentals of maths and provide a variety of opportunities for children to practise their automatic recall to make it more rapid and accurate.


Children who are working at greater depth in each year group receive input which challenges their reasoning and problem solving skills using the content which has been taught. Only once a rich offer has been provided where children can demonstrate they can make connections and use and apply their skills broadly would we consider moving on to what might potentially be new content.


Children who have learnt different written calculation methods outside school will have their understanding checked through practising our set methods in each year group to ensure their understanding of number is secure (with teaching for mastery in mind). If this is secure, then they will be able to continue to use either method.


Children at Abel Smith School will take part in a daily mathematics lesson taught by their class teacher. The structure of this lesson will be as follows:


10 minutes fluency focus – where the children practise and apply their arithmetic skills in a timed way. Children then mark their work using a calculator (where possible)


Main Lesson – children will focus on learning new concepts thorough CPA approach.

  • Concrete – helps children understand what they are doing through the use of manipulatives.
  • Pictorial – Builds on the concrete methods and can now be used to reason and solve problems.
  • Abstract – now that the foundations are laid, children are able to use numbers and concepts with confidence. ​​​


We use a teaching for mastery approach within our maths lessons. Our lesson design in consistent across KS1 and KS2. Children explore a maths objective and have time to practice mathematical thinking, before having the opportunity to move on to apply and reason. We have flexible maths groupings and cater to the needs of each child each lesson. We use live marking to provide instant feedback alongside 'Next Steps' to address misconceptions which are responded to the next day. 


Plenary – the lesson will end with a ‘reasoning or problem solving’ questions which focusses on the same learning as the main lesson. For example, if the main lesson was about calculating time intervals, the plenary question will put time intervals into a word problem for the children to solve.


The school has a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing their collaborative and independent skills, as well as empathy and the need to recognise the achievement of others.. Our mathematics curriculum is designed to ensure that all children experience challenge and success in Mathematics by developing a growth mindset.


Regular and ongoing assessment informs teaching, as well as intervention, to support and enable the success of each child. These factors ensure that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement at the end of KS2 well above the national average, as well an increasingly high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth, at the end of each phase.


We aim for children to have:

  • Quick recall of facts and procedures

  • The flexibility and fluidity to move between different contexts and representations of  mathematics.

  • The ability to recognise relationships and make connections in mathematics


A mathematical concept or skill has been mastered when a child can show it in multiple ways, using the mathematical language to explain their ideas, and can independently apply the concept to new problems in unfamiliar situations.


The school provides a range of wider opportunities to enrich the mathematics curriculum provided in the classroom, for example:

  • opportunities for the most able children to participate in additional workshops or challenges such as the maths challenge and quiz events

  • termly times tables challenges in KS2 as well as membership to Times Tables Rock Stars

  • cross-curricular opportunities where maths skills are applied across the curriculum

  • use of high-quality websites, like Nrich and NCETM, to set appropriate maths-rich activities in lessons

  •  use of interventions, in a tailored format, to support children with fluency