Home Page

Margaret Wix Primary School


What does a mathematician look like at Margaret Wix Primary School?

  • An understanding of the important concepts and an ability to make connections within mathematics.
  • Develops a broad range of skills in using and applying mathematics.
  • Fluent and can recall of number facts and the number system.
  • The ability to show initiative in solving problems in a wide range of contexts, including the new or unusual.
  • The ability to think independently and to persevere when faced with challenges, showing a confidence of success.
  • The ability to embrace the value of learning from mistakes and false starts.
  • The ability to reason, generalise and make sense of solutions.
  • Demonstrates fluency in performing written and mental calculations and mathematical techniques.
  • Know and use a wide range of mathematical vocabulary.
  • Show a commitment to and passion for the subject.

Intent - Why are we teaching this?


At Margaret Wix Primary School, we strive for all pupils to develop enthusiasm for learning so that they are fully engaged in mathematics and acquire the knowledge and skills that they will require to be successful both now, and in the future. We follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study; the breadth and depth of the curriculum provides support and challenge for all children. Additionally, we utilise Herts Essential Maths to make certain that learning is carefully sequenced, ensuring progression in knowledge, skills and mathematical concepts.


Varied and frequent practice in the fundamentals of mathematics provides pupils with opportunities to regularly rehearse core knowledge and skills as well as those that are newly-acquired. We aim for pupils’ long term memories to be strengthened through daily fluency practice. This in turn will develop pupils’ mathematical fluency, ensuring that they are able to apply their knowledge and understanding in different contexts, move fluently between different representations of mathematical ideas and make links between different areas of mathematics.


Lessons are adapted to ensure that all pupils can access learning and individual needs are met through a range of strategies including pre-teaching of skills and vocabulary as well as targeted precision teaching. We are acutely aware that pupils have missed learning in recent years, resulting in the need to urgently re-visit certain areas of the mathematics curriculum. Our aim is to support all pupils to reach their full potential in mathematics by utilising the concrete-pictorial-abstract (CPA) approach and making links to maths in real-life contexts in order to make it more purposeful and engaging. Pupils are also given the opportunity to take ownership of their own learning, often selecting their own level of challenge. In order for this to be successful, we endeavour to instil a growth mindset in all pupils using our school learning powers of curiosity, resilience, self-belief and respect for others.


We endeavour for children to regularly be provided with cross-curricular opportunities that include mathematics. Children have chances to develop their reading skills in maths lessons by reading problems and using the correct strategies to tackle unfamiliar words. Mathematical vocabulary is taught, displayed and referred to in lessons. Application of mathematics in other subjects is encouraged such as through collecting, analysing and presenting data in science.


The Margaret Wix community is diverse and we understand the vital need for representation within our teaching. We ensure diversity across the curriculum: careful thought and planning has gone into selecting whose stories we tell and how they are told. Our curriculum has been re-examined and we have endeavoured to reduce the western bias. We strive to ensure that BAME pupils see themselves reflected in our curriculum, all year round. We call our personalised curriculum ‘The Wix Way’. In mathematics, this includes learning about the Islamic origins of algebra, exploring Mayan counting systems and how they are different to our own base-ten system, and finding out about culturally diverse mathematicians.


The EEF 'five-a-day' underpins all we do for our SEND learners in mathematics. As part of The Wix Way, this means that small tweaks to the way we teach maths for all children could make a significant, positive difference for the pupils with SEND in our school.

Implementation - How are we teaching this?


Maths at Margaret Wix is taught using a mastery approach. This means that the majority of pupils progress through the curriculum at broadly the same pace. Scaffolds are in place to support pupils where required, whilst others are challenged through increased breadth and depth. Mastery also means being able to use knowledge flexibly and creatively, applying it to new, and unfamiliar problems. We make certain that rich and relevant links are made between areas of mathematics and help to ensure pupils have a secure understanding of an objective before moving on.


Differentiation involves ensuring timely support or additional challenging tasks are provided. Pupils have access to a range of concrete resources that can be manipulated in order to build understanding. A variety of models and pictorial representations are used to support pupils in understanding more abstract concepts and representations. Class teachers and support staff work with children who may need additional support or with those for whom further challenge is required. Deeper understanding is gained through pupils being tasked with solving more complex reasoning and problem solving questions.


The concrete-pictorial-abstract approach (CPA) to the teaching of mathematics means that children have access to physical resources in every lesson as well a range of visual representations. All pupils are able to access these resources.


We believe that rapid recall of key number facts, and the ability to manipulate numbers and calculate mentally using core strategies, is necessary for pupils to confidently and competently access other areas of the mathematics curriculum. Consistent, daily rehearsal of areas of fluency is the most effective way of pupils to achieve this and, as a result, we have implemented daily ‘Maths Meetings’ that allow children to progressively build upon these key skills. The use of Times Table Rockstars and Numbots both within school and at home enables pupils to practise recalling key number facts in an engaging way.


Our 'Maths Magicians' initiative is focused on the basic number facts and concepts that children should know and be able to recall. There are twelve stages for each year group and include facts such as one more and one less, doubles and halves, number bonds, how to multiply and divide by 10, 100 and 1000, and more. Each week, as part of their home learning, children rehearse number facts and record this practice in their maths record books. On Fridays, children attempt a short quiz which, if successfully completed, enables them to move on to learning the next set of facts. Rewards are given as children move through the stages. This initiative provides opportunities for  interleaved practice, ensuring that key learning is revisited at least three times each year. 


Children are given opportunities to practise their reasoning skills daily. Maths lessons include investigative and problem solving opportunities and children are encouraged to use mathematical vocabulary to explain their understanding. The use of talk partners in every class ensures that children have frequent opportunities to reason and practise using mathematical vocabulary with their peers. Questions such as, ‘Is… always/sometimes/never true?’, ‘If…is the answer, what is the question?’ and ‘How many ways can you…?’ are utilised within lessons, as well as in developmental marking. Teachers model reasoning language and accurate use of mathematical vocabulary in order to prove answers and show a depth of understanding. Sentence stems are displayed in classrooms and are used to support children’s reasoning.


Mathematics is taught daily from Early Years to Year 6. Lessons are carefully sequenced to ensure children have opportunities to retrieve and build upon prior learning before applying it to different contexts. The use of Herts Essential Maths makes sure that teachers have logically and clearly sequenced lessons, ensuring suitable progression. New content is introduced using the CPA approach with teachers modelling strategies and solutions before pupils are given opportunities to apply their knowledge and understanding independently. Teachers utilise a variety of assessment for learning strategies, including questioning and mini-plenaries, to ensure they can quickly and effectively intervene and re-shape lessons where necessary.


Adults continually assess and identify misconceptions that need to be addressed before new content can be taught. These assessments are both formative and summative in nature. Teachers use same-day intervention to target pupils who need additional support with a particular concept. Summative assessments often inform pupil progress discussions with senior leaders. Targeted, precision teaching is then arranged, based on progress and attainment data.


We implement the 'Five-a-Day' strategy from the EEF within the teaching of mathematics in a variety of ways. There are five strategies identified as having strong evidence for their effectiveness in supporting pupils with SEND, which we use to underpin The Wix Way:

1. Explicit instruction

Explicit instruction refers to a range of teacher-led approaches, focused on teacher demonstration, followed by guided practice and independent practice. Explicit instruction is not just ​“teaching by telling” or ​“transmission teaching”.


  • Worked examples with the teacher modelling mathematical thought processes is helpful. Opportunities are then given for pupils to practise this skill.
  • Using visual aids and concrete examples promotes discussion and links in learning.


2. Cognitive and metacognitive strategies

Cognitive and metacognitive strategies are skills, such as memorisation techniques, that help pupils plan, monitor and evaluate their learning. 


  • Chunking the task will support pupils with SEND – this may be through instructions on a whiteboard, step-by-step modelling or real-life examples, which helps to reduce distractions to avoid overloading working memory.
  • Word banks support the use of key vocabulary.
  • Working walls, retrieval tasks and knowledge organisers support pupils by reducing cognitive load.
  • Prompt sheets help pupils to evaluate their progress, with ideas for further support.
  • Adults model thinking aloud to demonstrate metacognitive strategies.


3. Scaffolding

‘Scaffolding’ is a metaphor for temporary support that is removed when it is no longer required. Initially, a teacher would provide enough support so that pupils can successfully complete tasks that they could not do independently.


  • Support could be visual, verbal, or written. 
  • Partially completed examples, knowledge organisers, step by step modelling, pause and look demonstrations and sentence starters can all be useful.
  • Reminders of what equipment is needed for each lesson and classroom routines can be useful.
  • Scaffolding discussion through speaking frames, concept cartoons, talk tactics and sentences stems help to promote oracy within mathematics.


4. Flexible grouping

Flexible grouping describes when pupils are allocated to smaller groups based on the individual needs that they currently share with other pupils. Such groups can be formed for an explicit purpose and disbanded when that purpose is met


  • Allocating temporary groups allows teachers to set up opportunities for collaborative learning, for example to work with a learning partner, mixed ability group work, independent work and developing knowledge of a new concept.
  • Pre-teaching key vocabulary to be used in lessons to enhance group discussion. This is helpful when learning new skills and developing knowledge.


5. Use technology

Technology can assist teacher modelling. 


  • Use of a visualiser allows staff to model and share good examples from peers.
  • Online pictorial representations are used to support development of understanding.
  • Interactive games on iPads support pupils with developing fluency and retrieval.


The mathematics curriculum at Margaret Wix is enhanced with opportunities for children to enrich their mathematical understanding outside of the classroom:

  • Outdoor learning – all year groups have access to outdoor learning spaces that can be utilised in mathematics teaching.

  • Enterprise week – year 6 pupils learn about ‘real life’ financial maths and have the opportunity to set up their own small business.

  • Maths week – this annual event allows pupils to explore cross-curricular links, such as maths through stories, science and art.

Impact - What is the effect on the pupils?


The impact of the mathematics curriculum at Margaret Wix is demonstrated in the success of pupils and their confidence in demonstrating the knowledge and understanding they have gained in the subject. Expected progression and key stage end points can be seen below. Achievements in mathematics are assessed in a variety of ways, including ongoing marking and feedback in pupil books, termly diagnostic assessments and weekly practice, as well as end of key stage outcomes.


Pupil voice activities provide leaders with understanding of how the children feel about their learning and allows children the opportunity to reflect upon their learning, sharing this with staff.


The impact of our mathematics curriculum is continually evaluated by:

  • Regular monitoring that includes triangulating data with book looks, lesson drop-ins and pupil voice discussions. This includes ensuring that the EEF 'Five a Day' are utilised to make certain that all pupils make measurable progress.
  • Monitoring the engagement of pupils and their positive attitudes to learning. It has been observed that pupils are engaged and motivated in their learning, with many thriving on challenge. Children play an active role in lessons and are developing the abilities to think flexibly and creatively.
  • Ensuring feedback and assessment is regular and purposeful, addressing misconceptions and identifying gaps in learning, using these to inform planning and making sure that the curriculum meets the needs of all pupils.
  • Increasingly positive engagement in home learning.
  • Teaching staff attend regular maths training both within school and with external providers. Staff work closely with the Teaching and Learning Advisor from Herts for Learning to ensure skills and knowledge are updated and good practice is shared.
  • The subject has a link governor who makes at least termly visits to school. In addition, the subject lead also meets with the governing board to ensure that they are aware of the school’s current performance in mathematics, the action plan and the measures being put in place to improve attainment and progress in the subject.

Aspirations For The Future

Pupils develop an understanding of how subjects and specific skills are linked to future jobs.

Here are some of the jobs you could aspire to do in the future as a Mathematician:

  • Chief Test Pilot
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Astronaut
  • Land Surveyor
  • Accountant
  • Architect
  • Engineer
  • Teacher
  • Lecturer

Pupil Voice