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 Vision for the maths curriculum at Countess Anne School

For pupils to:

- understand the basic skills of maths

-apply skills to real life situations

- develop deeper thinking

– talk confidently and fluently about maths

-use maniupilatives

- be inspired, curious and gain a sense of achievement

- make sense of and resolve problems or puzzles

- develop positive attitudes and flexibility of thought

High expectations that all pupils will achieve; deep and sustainable learning.

How we teach maths – at a glance.

From Y1- Y5, we use the Maths No Problem Scheme, a scheme inspired by a British research report and developed in Singapore.

In Y6, the scheme is adapted to ensure pupils are prepared for their national test in May.

The whole class works through the programme of study at the same pace with plenty of time on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum spirals through the years.

Differentiated activities:

Tasks are designed to be accessible while still containing challenging elements. (Higher order thinking skills.)

Lessons and activities are taught using problem solving approaches to encourage higher level thinking, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding. (Richard Skemp.) This links to the school assessment procedures using Bloom’s taxonomy of thinking skills.

Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach

Based on Jerome Bruner’s work, pupils learn new concepts initially using concrete examples, such as counters, then progress to drawing pictorial representations before finally using more abstract symbols, such as the equals sign.

Often, all three will be used within a lesson, depending on the pupils’ stage in learning.


The questions and examples are carefully varied by expert authors to encourage pupils to think about the maths. Rather than provide mechanical repetition, the examples are designed to deepen pupils’ understanding and reveal misconceptions.


International research

The Maths No Problem Primary Maths Series is founded on the international research of Piaget, Dienes, Bruner, Skemp and Vygotsky and has been tested and refined over the last 30 years in Singapore.


UK evidence

The MNP Primary Series was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. As a result, the Maths – No Problem! Primary Series are recommended textbooks for schools on the mastery programme.

The Primary Series is one of the few textbooks that complies with the UK’s high-quality textbook guidance published by the National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics (NCETM).

In a lesson:

A lesson begins with a quick review of previous learning or quick skill practise.

This is followed by the “In focus” task which often introduces the learning with a problem based approach and allows pupils to explore different ways of solving it.

Next, the content of the lesson is taught and pupils spend time on guided practice, which is led by the teacher, working on the new concept. 

Then pupils work independently in their workbook; support is provided by the teacher where needed as well as concrete and pictorial resources.

Maths journals are used by the pupils to: practise a new concept further; apply their learning to a new situation; think more deeply about the concept; reflect on what they have learned.

Plenary: reviews learning or misconceptions; extends learning.


Each of the teachers for years 1 to 6 have a list of assessment objectives of what should be covered in Maths. When a teacher works with their class it is these objectives that the pupils are being assessed against.

Progress against an objective is achieved firstly by demonstrating the skills of remembering, understanding and application. Once these are achieved a pupil is given the opportunity to deepen their understanding by using the processes of analysis, creativity and evaluation. This movement from ‘remembering’ to ‘evaluation’ is called Bloom’s Taxonomy and is how teachers at Countess Anne decide on the next steps of learnings for a child.

Formative assessment can be used by the teacher at any time within a sequence of learning. Within the pupils’ maths journals, they can be easily recongised by the colour of the paper. For example, a remembering and understanding task would be yellow; an application task would be green; and an analysis, evaluative or creative task would be blue.

All activities in both the Maths No Problem Workbook and the maths journal should be assessed and marked in relation to the language of Bloom’s Taxonomy.


Phase 2 (Yrs 4, 5 and 6.):

Work books should be neatly filled in using pencil.

Each lesson needs to be dated.

Corrections should be made in pink pen, writing neatly next to the incorrect answer.

There may be space on the page which can be used for working out questions.

Where lines are needed, pupils should use a ruler.

Maths journals:

A two square margin should be drawn on the left side of the page.

Pencil should be used.

Each piece of work should have a short title and should be dated. Both should be underlined.

Use of a ruler for all straight lines.

One number in each square should be encouraged.

Corrections should be addressed in pink pen, writing neatly next to the incorrect answer.

Assessment tasks should be trimmed so that they can be stuck neatly on to the page or folded and stuck neatly.