The National Curriculum (2014) for Mathematics aims to ensure that the 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 non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

At The Orchards School, we are passionate about maths. Throughout their educational journey, we endeavour to ensure that all children have opportunities to reach their potential and have opportunities to develop a love for this core subject. In line with our School and Trust values, we aim for all children to view mathematics as an opportunity to develop resilience and become problem-solvers, not just within the subject, but throughout the curriculum and as individuals.

Our aim is always to provide children with a relational understanding of the different mathematical strands they experience. Although there are many processes involved in the subject and instances where rote learning can support fluency, we believe successful mathematicians are those that have a secure, deep understanding of the many abstract concepts. We aim to create an ambitious, connected curriculum, accessible to all pupils, where the children access high quality maths that is both enjoyable yet challenging which inspires and excites the children to FLOURISH AND GROW. It is vital to us that the children are confident, resilient learners who are not afraid to take positive risks: in turn, creating determination and rigour as they make sustained progress over a period of time.

During their educational journey at The Orchards, number is a principal focus. We believe children who are proficient with number can better access the wider mathematics curriculum and are equipped with a vital, life-long skill. Successful reasoning is demonstrated when children make educated decisions, reflect on and justify their choices and understand a process. Opportunities for children to reason are always considered in the medium-term planning, right through to the models and scaffolds provided and responsive questions asked by teachers in a lesson.

School policies are in place to support teachers make a positive impact on children’s learning. They help ensure practice is consistent and progressive across classes and year groups. We value our teachers’ skills and experience as individuals and their collaborative work. Although policies are to be adhered to, teachers- using their initiative and professional insight- may decide to provide children with the opportunity to explore alternative methods and representations to deepen understanding.

Secure learning happens when the concrete, visual and abstract are effectively interconnected rather than used in isolation or as part of a linear process. This approach is reflected throughout the school, with resources and representations chosen thoughtfully to help children gain a relational understanding. Children’s books are a place to record, showcase and take ownership of their learning. Furthermore, they act as a reference for discussion and help facilitate self, peer and teacher assessment.

We feel that it is pivotal that the children need opportunities to make connections across mathematical ideas and build upon prior knowledge to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly more difficult problems. It is important that our children leave The Orchards with maths skills ready to use in their wider world. We want to ensure that maths is taught with a ‘lifelong’ approach so that they recognise it is not just something you need at school, but for life after school and employment.


  1. Our children are encouraged to develop a growth mind-set and have a ‘can do’ attitude to mathematics for all pupils. A set of positive norms for the mathematics classroom are established including: the use of ‘The Power of Yet’; depth of understanding before speed; the answer is only the beginning; mistakes are valued and making connections is important. 
  2. Staff do not label pupils or place a ceiling on children’s attainment. 
  3. We believe that all children can achieve a good level of the key ideas within mathematics and our staff understand that maths is not a fixed continuum. 
  4. Our school believes that lessons should be based around small steps of learning and that the key ideas are building blocks for everyone. We feel that more time needs to be spent on teaching key mathematical ideas and concepts to allow for the development of depth and sufficient practice to embed learning. 
  5. Together, we feel that the class can work together on the same point, whilst at the same time challenging and supporting pupils to gain a depth of understanding and proficiency. Learning is adapted to suit the needs, with opportunities to support learners and challenge through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge of the same content rather than being moved onto content from future years groups‘
  6. Pupils’ difficulties and misconceptions are identified through immediate formative assessment and addressed with rapid intervention the same day (where possible). 
  7. Classroom practice will use carefully chosen concrete and pictorial representations help build procedural and conceptual knowledge together. Possible solutions are shared, analysed and discussed to deepen understanding. Teachers will use precise questioning during lessons to ensure that pupils develop fluent technical proficiency and think deeply about the underpinning mathematical concepts.  
  8. Our teachers have access to high quality resources to support lesson planning.

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