Westhaven School Subject Strategy – Mathematics


Our intent in teaching mathematics at Westhaven is to encourage a love of the subject, yes, but ultimately to also empower our pupils with the confidence and knowledge to function confidently in the world around them. We want our pupils to be able to live, eat and shop well, spend and budget wisely. We want them to be able to manage their finances and homes, fill in forms and have a secure understanding of our banking systems. We want them to be able to tell the time, read timetables and to navigate maps to open up the world of travel to them.

It would be wonderful to see our pupils move past Key Stage 4 and pursue a career involving maths, but for many just securing basic functional skills math is more a reality and, certainly, necessity. 

At Westhaven School, we believe mathematics is an important part of children’s development throughout school, right from an early age. We intend on delivering a curriculum which: 

Allows children to be a part of creative and engaging lessons that will give them a range of opportunities to EXPLORE mathematics following a mastery curriculum approach. 

Gives each pupil a chance to BELIEVE in themselves as mathematicians and develop the power of resilience and perseverance when faced with mathematical challenges. 

Recognises that mathematics underpins much of our daily lives and therefore is of paramount importance in order that children ASPIRE and become successful in the next stages of their learning. 

Engages all children and entitles them to the same quality of teaching and learning opportunities, striving to ACHIEVE their potential, as they belong to our school community. 

Makes rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. 

Provides equal opportunities for children to apply their mathematical knowledge to other subjects (cross-curricular links). 

Is in line with the expectations in the National Curriculum 2014.

Our mathematics curriculum in the Foundation Stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is split into four strands (Geometry, Measurement, Number and Statistics) and assessed and monitored through our ‘Learning Ladder’ system. It is also linked to our Learning Quests and we do this to consolidate learning across all subject areas and to give pupils the opportunity to make cross- curricular links. In Key Stage 3, the maths curriculum remains strand-based. At Key Stage 4, the maths curriculum is linked to the qualification studied. 


Our approach to the curriculum is designed to develop children’s knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts from the Early Years through to the end of Year 9, before they move onto their qualification syllabus in Year 10 and 11. 

Pupils in the Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3 are taught in mixed ability tutor groups and have 5 lessons a week. Pupils in Key Stage 4 are taught in streamed groups according to the level of qualification they are studying (Entry Level, Functional Skills or GCSE). They have 4 lessons a week in year 10 and 3 lessons a week in year 11. 

All strands of maths are considered of equal importance at Westhaven. 

Teaching and Learning, Content and Sequence 

In school, we follow the national curriculum and use our own Schemes of Work as a guide to support teachers with their planning and assessment. 

The calculation policy is used within the school to ensure a consistent approach to teaching the four operations over time. 

At the start of each new topic, key vocabulary is introduced and revisited regularly to develop language acquisition, embedding as the topic progresses. 

All teachers of lessons are advised to begin with a short assessment to support retrieval practice and develop long-term memory. 

Children are taught through clear modelling and have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts. The mastery approach incorporates using objects, pictures, words and numbers to help children explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding at all levels. 

Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand and explain what they are doing.

Pictorial – children then build on this concrete approach by using pictorial representations, which can then be used to reason and solve problems.

Abstract – With the foundations firmly laid, children can move to an abstract approach using numbers and key concepts with confidence.

Children work on the learning intention at whatever entrance stage they are assessed as being at. Children can ACQUIRE the skill, APPLY the skill or DEEPEN the skill within the lesson. 

Reasoning and problem solving are integral to the activities children are given to develop their mathematical thinking. 

Resources are readily available to assist demonstration of securing a conceptual understanding of the different skills appropriate for each group. 

Children are encouraged to explore, apply and evaluate their mathematical approach during investigations to develop a deeper understanding when solving different problems / puzzles. 

A love of maths is encouraged throughout school via links with other subjects, applying an ever growing range of skills with growing independence

Leadership, Assessment and Feedback 

Assessment informs the teaching and learning sequence, and children work on the learning intentions they are assessed as being at. 

Feedback is given on children’s learning in line with our feedback policy. Formative assessment within every lesson helps teachers to identify the children who need more support to achieve the intended outcome and who are ready for greater stretch and challenge through planned questioning or additional activities. 

In order to support teacher judgments, children may be assessed using current and reliable tests in line with the National Curriculum for maths. Gap analysis of any tests that the children complete is undertaken and fed into future planning.

The maths leader has a clear role and overall responsibility for the progress of all children in maths throughout school. Working with the Governing Body, key data is analysed and regular feedback is provided, to inform on progress and future actions.


In the Foundation Stage, teachers use the EYFS profile to track progress and this is recorded via Tapestry.  In Key Stage 1, 2 and 3, teachers use the information from the Learning Ladders to plan math lessons based on what pupils already know and can do. When pupils have regressed in their learning, teachers take pupils back to a lower outcome and move back upwards when learning is secure. Pupils’ work is marked during lessons; this enables teachers to assess continually and to act on any misconceptions quickly. 

Pupils are assessed for Geometry, Measurement, Number and Statistics at Key Stage 1, 2 and 3 using the maths Learning Ladders. Data captures take place in terms 2, 4 and 6 and teachers meet with subject leaders in the subsequent Pupil Progress Meetings. This is an opportunity to discuss the progress of pupils and to identify any trends in progress or intervention needs. At Key Stage 4, pupils are assessed according to the qualification they are following. 


Links to useful info:

Parents edition- Useful Maths Websites


Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract (CPA) approach – exemplification materials for key skills in the early steps