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Maths Curriculum Design

Mathematics is the abstract key which turns the lock of the physical universe.

John Polkinghorne


At Thorpe Willoughby CP School, we believe that mathematics is a gateway to the wider world for our children. We strive to create enthusiastic, inquisitive and articulate mathematicians who are resilient and reflective. Mathematical discussion is at the heart of our learning through shared work and class discussions. Our language-rich curriculum is modelled throughout lessons allowing everyone to ‘think and talk like a mathematician’.  Once a child can articulate their understanding of a concept, they can truly begin to make connections within their learning. 

Our Maths curriculum is designed to allow children to develop fluency, reason mathematically and solve problems in their understanding of the number system. At Thorpe Willoughby, we recognise fluency in number is key in order for children to progress throughout the mathematics curriculum. Children need to have a secure understanding of basic concepts in order to deepen their knowledge of the maths curriculum. We achieve this through working with the use of ‘concrete’ resources, visually representing concepts pictorially and then progressing to working abstractly. To develop a mastery approach, all children are encouraged to reason mathematically, challenge themselves, develop deep thinking and question their learning in maths.

We aim to nurture a whole school environment where our maths curriculum demonstrates our six school values and, through resilience, gives our children opportunities and confidence to tackle the mathematical challenges they experience. 


Through our half-termly curriculum themes, ‘thinking mathematically’ highlights the creativity and connections of mathematics across the curriculum allowing pupils to gain an appreciation of the beauty and the power of the subject, giving a sense of enjoyment and curiosity to maths in the wider world. Children are given opportunities to ask mathematical questions, to sequence, to appreciate the importance of accuracy, to organise and present information and see and apply mathematical relationships. These are the wider key mathematical skills we aim to foster.


We recognise through our mathematics curriculum that subject-specific vocabulary is important for children to acquire. This will support their mathematical knowledge and understanding. When planning maths, the vocabulary required to succeed is identified, planned and modelled and used within our teaching. Key vocabulary is displayed in classrooms to promote children to use it.


We aspire for our children to leave their primary education with a mathematical skill-set that enables them to reason and problem-solve confidently and accurately in a technologically evolving world.


What Maths Looks Like at Thorpe Willoughby


Within our Maths Curriculum, we ensure:


  • Children are taught in single year groups to ensure age-related learning objectives are delivered to all children.
  • Children learn with quality resources and support in order to move fluently through different representations and models of mathematical concepts.
  • Our maths curriculum is supported with the DfE accredited NCETM Mastering Number Project in Reception & KS1, Pearson 'Power Maths' (a maths mastery programme fully aligned to the White Rose progressions and schemes of learning) as well as White Rose resources, as a basis for how we structure our maths lessons in Key Stages 1 & 2.
  • Children in Year 2 & all KS2 children have access to a Times-Table Rockstars account which promotes children’s fluency with multiplication and division facts in a fun and interactive way.
  • Children are challenged; the use of unfamiliar problems allow for deeper conceptual understanding. Making real-life connections through discovery opportunities at the beginning of lessons, gives children an opportunity to be independent thinkers, make connections to previous learning and apply their skills in a new way. 
  • Maths is promoted and celebrated through topical and national events such as ‘England Maths Week’, NSPCC number day and ‘My Money Week’ ensuring that children are able to make links from their learning to the real world.
  • Links are made between Maths and other curriculum subjects when children are encouraged to use their mathematical thinking in cross curricular ways: sequencing, asking mathematical questions, domain specific thinking, organising information, presenting information, seeing relationships and accuracy matters. Each of the 7 areas are planned half termly within a specific cross-curricular subject (Geography, Science etc).