Our Aims and Important Documents

At The Willows, we strive to develop a love of all things mathematical. Every child is equally important and so our children are fully supported to enable them to develop at a level that is appropriate to them. As well as engaging our children through fun activities, our lessons focus on developing deeper thinking, rehearsing methods and learning new facts. Through challenging word problems, missing number tasks and open-ended problem solving where they explain their understanding, we challenge children to become masters of the subject. Children explain their answers rather than just giving a numerical answer and are encouraged to challenge others if they disagree and argue their case if they are convinced that they are correct.

We aim for our children to:

develop a positive attitude and approach to maths.

develop a secure understanding of the objectives being taught.

appreciate that maths is fundamental to all areas of the curriculum and the real world.

become confident at expressing their reasons and thinking using the correct mathematical language and vocabulary.

challenge and be challenged by others in a safe environment.

develop quick recall of the basic facts.

be able to solve problems by applying their knowledge of different approaches.

Our Mastery Journey

We strongly believe that a mastery approach is the best way for our children to learn maths. We feel that every child can achieve in maths and is able to develop a secure knowledge and understanding of the many areas covered in this subject. By striving to master maths, children will develop a deep, secure and adaptable understanding, feeling confident to problem solve and face new situations without immediately needing support.

We use the White Rose Small Steps to begin or learning journeys and implement them with documentation from the NCETM website. Staff plan their learning journeys in a way that is relevant to the class of children that they are teaching. Learning will not move on until staff believe that the children have a sound and secure understanding of a concept.

Children who struggle with a concept will be supported through practical resources and adult support. Children who quickly grasp a concept will be challenged to think deeply and reason about their learning.

The mastery approach applies the five big ideas to the teaching of maths and our staff are currently working hard to implement these ideas into their delivery. We are undergoing training through our Maths Hub and are excited to see how our children develop and grow in confidence.

The Five Big Ideas

The Five Big Ideas, drawn from research evidence, underpin teaching for mastery.

Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept, providing access for all children and leading to a generalisation of the concept and the ability to apply the concept to a range of contexts.

Representation and Structure
Representations used in lessons are used to support the children in building up mathematical understanding and allowing them to apply their learning to a range on contexts and models. The overall aim is that children will eventually (when they are ready) use abstract ideas to solve their maths.

Mathematical Thinking
Children need to work hard to develop an understanding through reasoning, discussing with others, explaining their thinking and trying out new things.

Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures will ensure that children are not hindered by the simple mathematical knowledge such as times tables and bonds of numbers.

Variation is twofold. It is firstly about how the teacher represents the concept being taught, often in more than one way, to draw attention to critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding. It is also about the sequencing of the episodes, activities and exercises used within a lesson and follow up practice, paying attention to what is kept the same and what changes, to connect the mathematics and draw attention to mathematical relationships and structure.


Important Documents

Below you will find links to various documents that give you information on the methods for how each operation is taught in each class and the progression throughout our school.

Once you have looked at them, should you still have further questions, please speak to your child’s class teacher or Mr. Knight.

Home Learning help videos:

Addition Methods

Expanded Addition (HTU)

Compact Addition (HTU)

Compact Addition (HTHTU)

Both Methods (HTU)

Subtraction Methods

Counting Up (TU)

Counting Up (HTU)

Expanded (HTU)

Compact (HTU)

Both Methods (HTU)

Multiplication Methods

Grid Method (TU x U)

Grid Method (HTU x U)

Grid Method (TU x TU)

Long Method (HTU x TU)

Long Method (THTU x TU)

Short Method (Decimals)

Division Methods

Long Method (HTU / TU)

Short Method (HTU / U)

Short Method (THTU / U)

Why is it important to learn times tables?

Times tables are fundamental to many aspects of mathematics and it is therefore very important for children to work hard to learn their times tables. The Government has set out the following times tables that children should know in each year group. Year 1 – count in multiples of 2, 5 and 10. Year 2  – recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 times tables. Year 3 – recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 times tables.  Years 4, 5 and 6 – recall and use multiplication and division facts for all times tables up to 12×12. The Government has requested that all pupils in Year 4 take a Times Tables Check to determine whether children can recall their times tables. More information can be found by clicking here.

The image below shows some of the areas where times tables are used:


Our aim with mathematical homework is to give the children chance to develop a skill or learn facts through repetitive, fun games. One of the ways that we set homework is through Activelearn Abacus because of the interactive games and the rewards that the children get for completing their homework.

What is ActiveLearn Abacus?

Abacus is a unique maths toolkit that’s carefully crafted to inspire a genuine love of maths and help every child master the national curriculum.

Abacus is written for the New Primary National Curriculum in England and built on evidence and research into what makes outstanding teaching and learning.

Importantly, Abacus has been built by a team of expert authors and teaching practitioners who understand the realities of teaching and learning in a UK classroom.

Headteacher: Mrs S. Barnett | Victoria Road, Kirkham, Preston, PR4 2BT
Telephone: 01772 684 371 | Email:

© The Willows Catholic Primary School. All Rights Reserved

Headteacher: Mrs S. Barnett | Victoria Road, Kirkham, Preston, PR4 2BT
Telephone: 01772 684 371 | Email:

© The Willows Catholic Primary School. All Rights Reserved (Login)