What does maths learning look like at Dore Primary School?

Across the school, maths is taught daily so that pupils develop as creative, resilient mathematicians. As maths is such a huge part of the world around us, there are many cross-curricular links and our maths learning is developed through a vast range of other subjects such as Geography, History, Science, Computing and Art.

At Dore Primary School, the White Rose Maths framework is followed by all teachers to support with the planning and delivery of quality maths lessons.

The aim of this approach is to:

  • Support children’s ability to make links and connections between mathematical concepts,
  • Develop children’s reasoning and problem solving skills
  • Increase children’s fluency of number fact recall.

Our calculation policy (see attachment below) has been developed around the use of CONCRETE, PICTORIAL and ABSTRACT methods which support children to “SEE THE MATHS” and apply learning to new concepts.

Concrete – Children use practical apparatus such as base 10, place value counters, Cuisenaire rods, Numicon and plastic coins to complete calculations. The main focus is to investigate new concepts and ideas, develop an understanding of the place value of numbers and recognise links to prior learning.

Pictorial – Children draw images of practical apparatus to encourage them to begin developing mental pictures of calculations and visualise the calculation. Children make links between concrete and abstract representations.

Abstract – Children represent prior learning using mathematical symbols. They consolidate the understanding formed through concrete and pictorial investigation and use digits and symbols to represent calculations.

How does concrete, pictorial and abstract impact children’s learning?

  • Children show better retention rates of new concepts when they are introduced using practical apparatus compared to just using abstract symbols 
  • Using practical apparatus reduces cognitive demand on pupils 
  • Children develop a deeper understanding of concepts 
  • Using concrete and pictorial images reduces an overreliance on mathematical rules and encourages a deeper understanding of concepts 
  • Using practical apparatus address and overcome children’s misconceptions about mathematical concepts

What are the maths non-negotiables?

The maths non-negotiables are key recall facts which are taught in each year group to support children’s maths fluency. At Dore Primary School, children are encouraged to look carefully at questions in order to choose the most efficient method for solving calculations. Developing number fluency allows children to use mental methods to calculate, thus reducing cognitive load and increasing efficiency. In addition to regularly being practised during maths lessons, these recall facts are taught and revised throughout the day as part of classroom routines such as during classroom transitions. 

The White Rose 1 minute maths app is great fun for pupils in Foundation and Key Stage 1 to practise learning fluency facts at home. It includes lots of levels for children to work through and aim to beat their latest high scores. It’s free to download and doesn’t require a pupil login.

Times Table Rockstars is a brilliant website for practising times tables for children in Y2 and above. Please ask your child’s teacher if you are unsure of your child’s log-in for this useful resource.

What is SPADE?

At Dore Primary School, we have developed SPADE (Show it! Prove it! Apply it! Detect it! Explain it!) to encourage children to reason and problem solve as mathematicians. SPADE increases children’s links and connections between different areas of learning and also develops critical thinking skills in maths.

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Below are some additional links to support parents with Maths learning:


Maths News:

  • Start of our the Y5 Fantastic Voyage
    Y5H Denmark and Y5P Germany have had a brilliant start to the 2023-24 academic year. Our first learning journey I called Fantastic Voyage and this is an accurate description of the children’s adventure in year 5 so far. As part of their Learning journey we have:
  • Y5 Veg Patch Project
    Over the past few months, the Y5s have been undertaking the ambitious and challenging task of constructing vegetable beds in order to grow their own produce. We’ve been learning about “farm to fork” and how the fresh produce in our supermarkets is grown. This builds on the children’s Y3 Science learning on plant growth and … Read more
  • Y1 Maths
    Year 1 have been learning how to half and quarter!
  • Y1 Maths
    Y1 have been using different units to measure.
  • Maths Y1
    The children learnt how to recognise full, empty, nearly full and nearly empty with water.
  • Y1 Maths
    Year 1 have been measuring the mass of objects with scales.
  • Y6 – Maths – 3D Shapes: Euler’s Law and Platonic Solids
    As part of our unit of shape, Year 6 children have been exploring 3D shapes. In this lesson, children were investigating Euler’s Law (That, in many 3D shapes, the number of faces plus the number of vertices is 2 more than the number of edges or F+V=E+2), using polydron. Children were also built the 5 … Read more
  • Y6 – Science – Reflection
    In Science this half term, Year 6 are learning about light and seeing. Having established last week that light travels in straight lines, this week, we have been exploring how light can change its direction of travel by reflecting off a surface, always reflecting at an equal angle to which it approached the surface. Children … Read more
  • Y2 Maths – fractions of shapes
    We have been learning about halves, thirds and quarters. This week we used salt dough to help us represent different fractions e.g. two thirds. If you want to practise this learning at home, you could play on ’Fractonio’s Pizza’ on PurpleMash.
  • Y4 Bread Baking
    To finish our ‘Food for Thought’ learning journey, Y4 baked bread! We thought about some of the changes of state taking place in the process – including the reaction of yeast, the mixing of water and flour, and how butter can be made from shaking whipping cream (for a long time). Viki Garbett from twiddlefood … Read more
  • Y6 – Making ratios
    In maths, Year 6 have been learning about ratio. To help the children initially get to grips with what a ratio is, children created ratios using objects from around the room, simplifying the ratios when needed. This activity also helped demonstrate to pupils how flexible ratios can be compared to other part-whole concepts, such as … Read more
  • Y3 Hour of code – computing
    Year 3 celebrated the hour of code by using computers to create and analyse databases. This meant working collaboratively to first choose the fields to fill in, then adding this information. We learnt the databases hold losts of information but can be used to quickly answer questions.
  • Y2 – Maths – Empty number lines!
    Today, the children took their learning about empty numberline and went outside to apply it! They worked with a partner and made their own 0-10 or 0-100 numberlines and tested one another to estimate the position of different numbers.
  • Y1 Greater than and less than
    The children have done a great job learning about the greater than and less than symbols this week and have been using them to compare numbers.
  • Y4 Outdoor Maths
    For a change to a usual maths lesson, we put our learning on our new Outdoor Learning posts around the school field, so children were able to get some exercise while they were working. It proved very popular!
  • Design and Food Technology – Ice-cream!
    What better way to finish a series of Maths lesson using mass and capacity, than to use these skills to make ice-cream? The children worked brilliantly together to measure the incredients and follow the recipe to make delicious ice-cream. It was the perfect way to cool off in the hot weather!
  • Y4 Arches
    To link in with our learning about Roman technology and architecture, we created our own arches out of straight pieces of wood. To do this we had to carefully create a trapezium template (nicely linking with our recent maths work on 2D shapes). We used the template to mark out our wood, then used workbenches … Read more
  • Y1 Water Relay
    We worked on our team building skills this afternoon, whilst cooling off at the same time! The children had to transfer water from one receptacle to another, without spilling too much on the way. They did a great job supporting each other, and utilised their measuring skills to judge the winners of each race.
  • Infant Celebration Assembly – resilience in maths
  • Ancient Egyptian STEM in Year 3
    In recent weeks, the children in year 3 have been really getting stuck into a series of STEM projects (Science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics) as they investigate different aspects of ancient Egyptian life. Pyramid Angles We measured the angles that the Ancient Egyptians had built their pyramid and learnt how this affected the height and … Read more