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Our Lady, Star of the Sea

Catholic Primary School

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Without mathematics, there’s nothing you can do. Everything around you is mathematics. Everything around you is numbers.
— Shakuntala Devi, Indian writer and mental calculator



At Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School, we recognise that the curriculum we deliver is the toolkit we send our children out into the world with. It reflects our context, core values and the kind of citizens we want to send out into the world. We have to be ambitious for them and prepare them for a rapidly changing digital world.


We have created a bespoke mathematics curriculum designed to foster key learning concepts that are embedded through the curriculum, embracing the context of our school and community. We ensure that key facts and skills are kept 'bubbling' and revisited throughout the year. Through 'Voice 21' and 'Thinking Schools' we encourage our children to 'talk maths'  through reasoning and problem solving. Our small steps of learning have been developed by drawing on a number of different sources including: White Rose Maths materials, Grammarsaurus maths, Active Maths, Gareth Metcalf's - 'I see reasoning' and in consultation with Primary Maths consultant Sarah Martin and Sefton's maths consultant Janet Smith.  Our ever evolving steps of learning is designed to support a mastery approach to teaching and learning as well as to support the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum.  


The Mathematics curriculum at Our Lady Star of the Sea aims to develop children’s ability to calculate, reason and solve problems.  A high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.  We strive to foster an engaging and accessible curriculum that ensures all children have access to a rich, deep, varied and enjoyable mathematical experience. 





At Our Lady, Star of the Sea, we ensure that the three main aims of the National curriculum - fluency, reasoning and problem solving - are included and intertwined in every maths lesson.  The three aims are taught explicitly and the use of STEM sentence frames in every lesson supports children in proving and explaining their reasoning and problem solving skills.  This will allow our learners to think mathematically, work independently and explain mathematical processes in depth, therefore providing deep and purposeful mathematical learning.


To support our children's learning, we introduce concepts by giving pupils the opportunity to build on their abilities by following the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach.  We aim to produce learners who are confident in using a range of concrete resources that are provided by examples given to them by their teachers but also independent learners who are able to select their own choice of equipment to support their learning.  Each classroom has 'choose to use' boxes on every table full of mathematical equipment such as numicon, dienes, place value counters, cubes, counters, 10 frames, number lines, dice and straw bundles which children have free access to. Laminated 'Thinking frames', oracy 'talk tactics' and 'what mathmaticians say' frames support the children in their reasoning skills. 

In addition to the children's daily maths lessons, children take part in 'Active Maths' lessons. These are taught on, at least, a bi-weekly basis and deepens key concepts in a fun and active way, outdoors or in the hall helping the children keep fit whilst taking part in maths.




Recipe for Teaching at Our Lady, Star of the Sea



At Our Lady, Star of the Sea our mathematicians will have:


  • Curiosity to make mathematical statements and investigate them 
  • The ability to reason about mathematics 
  • Have a good understanding of all the different concrete materials and 'choose to use' them to help with independent work
  • A good understanding of the correct mathematical vocabulary correctly and the ability to use it effectively to explain ideas, thinking and solutions
  • Resilience to be able to see the challenge of overcoming mistakes as important and exciting steps to learning and discovery
  • Perseverance in finding an answer by trying different strategies until the correct answer is found
  • Fluency in number bonds and times tables 
  • The ability to make links and apply basic maths skills to all areas of the curriculum and beyond


Throughout the subject of maths, our pupils will also demonstrate additional traits from our Star Pupil Profile including problem-solving, effective communication creativity and confidence whilst promoting a love of mathematics.