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Garden Suburb Infant School



Our children develop their knowledge and skills through curriculum planning based on the requirements of the National Curriculum, the White Rose Scheme (this has been temporarily re-organised in Year 2 in order for the full curriculum to be taught before the SAT`s tests) as well as Mastering Number programme. Planning is carefully designed in small steps and through a PVA approach – Practical, Visual then Abstract, with numerous opportunities for children to apply their knowledge to real life situations.

In addition to the main maths lesson, all classes in Key Stage 1 have a Mastering Number session following the scheme and using Rekenreks.  Mastering Number aims to develop the children’s number sense and ability to subitize.

The school aims for all children to have a high level of fluency as well as a deep foundation of number and make connections between maths in the classroom and maths in the real world.


language development

We aim for the children to talk like mathematicians, and therefore we have a ‘no hands up’ policy during maths carpet sessions which, applied alongside ‘think, pair, share’, ensures that all children have a chance to use relevant vocabulary. We also insist that children answer in full sentences and stem sentences are given to support this.

Key vocabulary is carefully planned, specifically taught and then displayed in the classroom. All classes have up-to-date maths working walls which include pupil voice.

Planning and training aims to ensure there is consistency in the use of maths language across the school.

learning behaviours 

As a school we have an enthusiasm for maths, and this is definitely passed on to our children. Our marking policy and the way teachers respond to incorrect answers is that they are not right yet and we encourage the children to be ‘Resilient Ruperts’ and ‘Reflective Rowans’ in order to make corrections themselves. Challenges are presented in an enthusiastic way and children rise to them.  We also aim to encourage children to be ‘Collaborative Colins’ in order to work together to find an answer or multiple answers. We aim to plan whole school Maths challenges and Maths Days which also give our school community opportunities to work together to solve problems through combining all of our six learning behaviours.

physical activity 

We aim for every topic to be taught through the PVA approach to maths in all year groups. This means that all the children have to be able to ‘make’ the number, the calculation or shape before moving on to the next stage. We use a range of equipment including real life objects (e.g. straws, buttons, pasta) and then recognise mathematical equipment such as cubes, Numicon, Dienes and number lines. After making, the children will then need to draw a visual representation which could just be their own representation or a drawing of the mathematical equipment such as cubes, Numicon, a part-whole model, a bar model or a number line.

Children also have regular practise at writing numbers. They may draw them in a variety of ways – big and small, using a variety of mark making tools.

cultural capital 

We aim to ensure that children have a strong understanding of why they learn maths and how it is important in the real world.  We therefore plan frequent real-life challenges in maths lessons. We also have Maths Days when the children have the opportunity to work on real life challenges such as solving codes, building bridges and creating mathematical art. The children are also given opportunities to ‘find’ maths in the school, in art and also around our local area. Maths homework is carefully designed to encourage parents and children to use the real world to support learning in maths.

creative curriculum design and progression 

The White Rose Scheme is carefully designed with clear progression including small steps, and the Mastering Number programme is set out with a smooth progression. Teachers also enrich this curriculum with problems and challenges from the Mastery Curriculum and NRICH website. There are regular ‘book looks’ in order to check for progression within classes as well as across year groups.  Staff are always looking for, and stressing maths in other subjects PE the children are exposed to position, direction, shape and counting, in Art lessons they will learn about shapes and quantities and maths comes up in DT, especially when cooking.


If you were to walk into a maths lesson at garden Suburb Infant School, you would see:

  • Teachers demonstrating secure subject knowledge, teaching lessons which are explicitly adapted to be both ambitious and to meet the needs of pupils with Special Educational Needs.
  • Teachers asking open questions giving children time to ‘Think, Pair, Share’ and then asking lots of children to answer without putting their hands up
  • Children answering in full sentences, confidently explaining their thinking or strategy, using given sentence stems where necessary
  • Vocabulary for a lesson on display and teachers referring children back to it frequently throughout the lesson
  • Children using hands on resources and then drawing their own visual representations in order to solve calculations and problems
  • Children working in mixed ability groups, working independently but also co-operatively as required
  • Teachers ensuring that pupils apply mathematical concepts and challenge themselves through the use of problems and ‘real world’ tasks
  • A supportive classroom environment where mistakes are shared and seen as only a step to the correct answer, therefore all pupils feel able to ‘have a go’
  • A relevant working wall which supports children with their learning and understanding

Click on the documents at the bottom of the page, to see how our Curriculum Intent in Mathematics relates to our whole school Curriculum Intent, as well as our Mathematics Policy.