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Being a Mathematician

Be the ‘BEST’ you can be



At St Mary’s, our maths curriculum creates young mathematicians who are confident and aware of their own knowledge. We want children to enjoy maths and experience the wonder and variety of problems and applications that it presents. We aim to create mathematicians who are inquisitive, ask questions and relish the process of solving problems.


“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why.”
Bernard Baruch, American financier, philanthropist and statesman


We want their journey as mathematicians to be long, varied, exciting and to end in magnificence!

“The study of mathematics, like the Nile, begins in minuteness but ends in magnificence.”
Charles Caleb Colton, English cleric, writer and collector


We strive for high levels of academic success whilst also recognising that test scores are not the only judge of a greater level of understanding – but we also do not believe that the two are mutually exclusive. To this end we have adopted a mastery approach to teaching maths and use the White Rose scheme to deliver this.

Mathematics is not about numbers, equations, computations, or algorithms: it is about understanding.”
William Paul Thurston, American mathematician


As a school, we recognise that the key to showing our children’s potential in Maths is through developing their basic mathematical skills and deepening their understanding of mathematical concepts. As a result of this, we focus on the use of concrete resources and pictorial representations throughout each year group to support children when they are presented with abstract questions. Our overarching aim as a school is to promote a positive ‘can do’ attitude and encourage the children to know that we all can do Maths.  

 We aim for our pupils to:

 • become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so they are able to recall and apply knowledge rapidly.

• have the confidence to apply their mathematics to solve problems.

• use mathematical language to reason and explain answers.


We follow The National Curriculum 2014 which sets out the statutory requirements for Mathematics year by year. Please click the link below for more information:



The EYFS Statutory Framework 2021 sets standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to five years old and supports an integrated approach to early learning. This is supported by the ‘Development matters’ non statutory guidance. 


Developing a strong grounding in number is essential so that all children develop the necessary building blocks to excel mathematically. Children should be able to count confidently, develop a deep understanding of the numbers to 10, the relationships between them and the patterns within those numbers. By providing frequent and varied opportunities to build and apply this understanding - such as using manipulatives, including small pebbles and tens frames for organising counting - children will develop a secure base of knowledge and vocabulary from which mastery of mathematics is built. In addition, it is important that the curriculum includes rich opportunities for children to develop their spatial reasoning skills across all areas of mathematics including shape, space and measures. It is important that children develop positive attitudes and interests in mathematics, look for patterns and relationships, spot connections, ‘have a go’, talk to adults and peers about what they notice and not be afraid to make mistakes.

St Mary's KIRFs

To develop your child’s fluency and mental maths skills, we are introducing KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts) throughout school. KIRFS are a way of helping your child to learn by heart, key facts and information which they need to have instant recall of.

KIRFs are designed to support the development of mental maths skills that underpin much of the maths work in our school. They are particularly useful when calculating, adding, subtracting, multiplying or dividing. They contain number facts such as number bonds and times tables that need constant practise and rehearsal, so children can recall them quickly and accurately.

Instant recall of facts helps enormously with mental agility in maths lessons. When children move onto written calculations, knowing these key facts is very beneficial. For your child to become more efficient in recalling them easily, they need to be practised frequently and for short periods of time.

Each half term, children will focus on a Key Instant Recall Fact (KIRF) to practise and learn at home for the half term. Each child will receive a KIRFs Knowledge Organiser to take home, along with weekly homework to support their learning of their KIRF. The Knowledge Organisers will also be available on our school website, on your child’s class page.