St John's C of E Primary School


Maths is important to numerous jobs, in scientific, financial and engineering sectors, but also essential for sound personal financial management and dealing with everyday life! 


There are many elements to the teaching and learning of Maths: it is not only the ability to calculate (being mathematically fluent) but also the ability to apply these skills to real life scenarios (solve problems) and also to talk knowledgably about mathematical working (reasoning). To do this, children develop a secure grasp of mathematical vocabulary (see vocabulary progression) and are provided with high quality support by both teachers and teaching assistants to ensure they are meeting curriculum objectives. 


At St John’s, we use a range of resources to support children with learning maths, including when learning new content. We follow the medium term plan set out by WhiteRose Maths. The progressions of skills can be found here. We believe in the concrete-pictorial-abstract principle, where children need to use resources to ‘do’ and ‘see’ the maths, before using images and then being able to work independently (see the journey of concrete-pictorial-abstract in the attached document). This does not just happen during children’s early years but throughout their maths learning. For example, numicon is a key feature of our maths teaching in early years and KS1 and is used to teach early fluency and calculation skills. Diennes or base 10 apparatus are introduced in Year 2 onwards to demonstrate calculation strategies alongside place value coins.  Our calculation policy shows a clear progression of the strategies used alongside concrete, pictorial and abstract examples. (see calculation policy documents). 


Images are an important part of maths teaching and learning. Children are encouraged to draw images to explain their thinking of mathematical problems. The bar method is a type of image that is used to support children in understanding and solving word problems. It begins in early years where 1 symbol represents 1 unit, and progresses up the school where the bar represents a quantity (see bar method progression document). 


At St John’s, maths is found throughout the curriculum so children are given the opportunity to use their maths skills in other subjects and real life situations. For example, children use graph skills in science, measuring in DT, co-ordinates in geography and positional language in computing. 


Times tables are taught explicitly so that children achieve the objective of knowing all multiplication and division facts up to 12 x 12 by the end of Year 4 (see times table progression document). Children who are fluent in their times tables find accessing more advanced topics such as fractions, percentages and ratio much easier. Timestable Rockstars ( is a website and app that supports us with this. If your child is in Year 2 upwards, they should know how to log on – please see the teacher if they cannot. 

Progress in Concrete, Pictorial to Abstract methods

Progression in bar modelling at St John's

Maths vocabulary: progression across school