Mathematics is studied in its own right because of its relevance to everyday life.  It is the study of patterns and problems and has its own specific vocabulary, knowledge and skills.  At Alvechurch, we aim to equip pupils with the skills to be able to select which mathematical approach is the most effective in different scenarios to give them the knowledge and skills to function effectively in their future life and next stages of education. Maths lessons provide the opportunity for all pupils, regardless of their ability, to work through fluency, reasoning and problem-solving activities. Our intent is for pupils to demonstrate a deep, conceptual understanding of the topics covered and to build upon this on their journey of maths throughout the next steps of their learning. We want pupils to enjoy maths and to display a ‘can do’ positive growth mind set so that they are resilient and inquisitive problem solvers.

In years 5 and 6, the key focus is to ensure that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers. This should develop the connections that pupils make between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio. Pupils should develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures should consolidate and extend knowledge developed in number. Teaching should also ensure that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.

By the end of year 6, pupils should be fluent in written methods for all four operations and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages to enable them to progress in their next stage of education.

Pupils should read, spell and pronounce mathematical vocabulary correctly.


At Alvechurch, we are in the early stages of implementing a ‘Teaching for Mastery’ approach. This is based around the NCETM’s Five Big Ideas which underpin a mastery curriculum.

Mathematics will be met by pupils across the curriculum in a variety of ways – through developing fluency of calculations; securing and deepening understanding so that they can reason and problem solve and by undertaking more in-depth open ended investigative tasks.  Pupils will study mathematics as part of a whole class, in small groups or individually.  As a department, we aim to ensure that children are equipped with the mathematical skills needed to meet the demands of everyday life in the modern world.  We strive to make learning a fun and positive experience for all.

The Shared calculation policy written in conjunction with feeder first schools, focuses upon using a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach (as set out in the Representation and Structure of the NCETM’s Five Big Ideas).

Concrete – providing pupils with the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial – pupils then build upon this concrete approach by using pictorial representations which can be used to support reasoning and problem solving.

Abstract – once the foundations are laid, children move to the abstract approach using numbers with confidence.

Staff receive training so that they are up to date with the Mastery Approach and consistent methods are applied throughout the school.

At key stage 2, pupils have six lessons per week.  Within this time, they have a focused arithmetic lesson as well as a more open-ended investigative lesson to help develop resilience and metacognition. During other lessons, they are encouraged to develop fluency, problem solving and reasoning skills. Pupils are expected to complete ‘Bell Tasks’ giving them an immediate focus when they enter a maths classroom.  Retrieval starter tasks will also support progress and encourage pupils to retain/recall previously taught concepts. Mental arithmetic skills are incorporated into weekly planning, alongside developing written calculation methods, all the while encouraging pupils to select the most appropriate method.

We do not follow one particular scheme, but staff are provided with long, medium and short term plans. The mid-term plan is progressive, in that key topics, such as understanding multiplication and division are taught prior to fractions and decimals. Topics are also revisited throughout the year to in order to recall previous learning and to ensure a depth of understanding. The Mymaths website is used as a teaching tool, as well as a wide variety of books and other resources including those from:  White Rose Hub, NCETM, NRich, Deepening Understanding and I See Reasoning to name a few.

Homework tasks are set once a week to reinforce lesson content. These tasks are shared with students and parents via epraise.  A variety of online learning platforms are used to supplement these tasks and to provide different types of learning for pupils.  These include the following sites:

Home – MyMaths

Times Tables Rock Stars – Times Tables Rock Stars (


Pupils are provided with individual logins.

Pupil Books and Marking Policy

Marking follows the whole school policy, and should include a balance of self, peer and teacher marked tasks.

Teachers should complete a whole class feedback sheet weekly (or sometimes fortnightly if the topic lends itself to that). This will identify pupils who have done particularly well with a topic, those who need further support, as well as general misconceptions that need to be addressed:


On entry to year 5, all pupils take the GL9 assessment which is externally marked and provides us with an initial baseline. This is then repeated at the end of year with the GL10 assessment so that progress across the year can be reviewed using an externally marked, standardised assessment.

Throughout the year, students complete end of unit assessments (designed by the KS2 maths lead) to review understanding of objectives covered within a unit.

Regular arithmetic/calculation tests from Testbase are completed as a constant check on fluency of calculations and repeated errors are used to set targets/next steps.

In year 6, students continue to complete the regular Testbase arithmetic tests.  They also complete practice SATS papers interspersed across the year in preparation for their SATS in May.

Across key stage 2 (years 5 and 6) the following content is covered:


  • Place value
  • Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
  • Fractions, decimals and percentages
  • Ratio and proportion


  • Length, mass, capacity, time and money
  • Conversions between measures
  • Perimeter, area and volume


  • Identifying 2D and 3D shapes and their properties
  • Comparing and classifying shapes
  • Position, direction and movement
  • Angles


  • Interpreting, constructing and presenting data.


  • Equations to find missing numbers
  • Simple formulae.

Click the link to view the Year 5 Maths Milestones and see the programme of study and expectations for each pupil by the end of the year.

Click the link to view the Year 6 Maths Milestones and see the programme of study and expectations for each pupil by the end of the year.


At the end of their mathematical education in key stage 2, we expect pupils to:

  • Be prepared for their next step in learning
  • Talk about maths positively showing enjoyment for the subject.
  • Recall key facts and procedures and perform basic numeracy skills fluently.
  • Understand and use key mathematical vocabulary correctly in and out of context.
  • Solve problems and reason clearly and logically.
  • Recognise and apply the most efficient strategies to solve calculations, problem solving and reasoning tasks.
  • Use metacognitive strategies, encouraging them to review and reflect upon their own learning.
  • Apply their maths skills widely across other curriculum areas.
  • Have made good progress between entry at Year 5 and exit of Year 6, achieving age related expectations.


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