At Netherthorpe Primary School we acknowledge and understand that Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. We try to ensure that our curriculum enables the children to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence when solving problems. We believe that mathematical language is crucial to children’s development of thinking therefore mathematical vocabulary is explicitly taught and applied.

The rationale behind our approach to teaching mathematics lays within the 2014 National Curriculum and more recently the NCETM Maths Hub programme 5 big Ideas.

The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

A central component in the NCETM/Maths Hubs programme are the 5 big Ideas that develop and underpin teaching for mastery:

- Coherence:  Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, and ensuring that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small.

- Representation and Structure:  Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the maths without recourse to the representation.

- Mathematical Thinking:  If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the children: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others.

- Fluency:  Quick and effective recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between contexts and representations of mathematics.

- Variation:  Varying the way a concept is initially presented to children, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. 



At Netherthorpe Primary School, children study mathematics daily covering a broad and balanced mathematical curriculum including elements of number, calculation, geometry, measures and statistics. We believe that children who use concrete materials, develop more precise and comprehensive mental representations and are more able to apply.  Staff therefore use a range of resources in the classroom to help the children to make connections between concrete, representational and abstract levels of thinking and understanding

Class teachers develop sequences of lessons for the week using the White rose documents as a starting point for the teaching of fluency, reasoning and problem solving.  Learning is taught, practiced and applied using a range of equipment and supplementary resources including NCTEM materials, Nrich, Ican reasoning & problem solving and Times Tables Rockstars. 

When delivering lessons, one concept, knowledge or skill is focused on each lesson and is developed to a deeper level in order to achieve mastery.  Lesson structure follows a ‘Ping Pong’ style input, consistently interspersed with frequent pupil activity, supported by well-planned slides to build up to the year group objective. Independent work then takes place and is usually self-marked with the children and misconceptions are addressed within each session.  Same-day ‘intervention’ may happen here with children that have struggled to grasp learning of main input and need support. The following points are considered for each lesson:

- Mistakes - the children might make are presupposed.

- Prior knowledge -  interweaved into examples and exercises.

- Problems - used that require applying the key concept to another context or unfamiliar setting.

- Stem sentence – key phrase of importance.

- Coherence: Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small steps.

- Representation and Structure: Representations exposes mathematical structure.

- Mathematical Thinking: Lots of interaction between teachers and children.  Alternative strategies explored and discussed.

- Fluency: Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics.

- Variation: Varying the way concepts are presented, give examples that display a concept well and those that don’t.  Varying practice questions.


Throughout each lesson formative assessment takes place and feedback is given to the children through marking and next step tasks to ensure they are meeting the specific learning objective. Teacher’s then use this assessment to influence their planning and ensure they are providing a mathematics curriculum that will allow each child to progress. The teaching of maths is also monitored on a termly basis through book scrutinies, learning walks and lesson observations. Each term children from Year 2 and above also complete summative assessments to help them to demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered. The results from both the formative assessment and summative assessment is then used to determine children’s progress and attainment.




Contact the School

Netherthorpe Primary school

Netherthorpe Street
Sheffield, S3 7JA

Main Contact: Elizabeth Gray - Head Teacher

Tel: 0114 272 6834