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Russell Lower School


Our maths subject lead is Mrs Z Hitchings.
The aims for our Maths curriculum taken from the National Curriculum
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.
Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which pupils need to be able to move fluently between representations of mathematical ideas. The programmes of study are, by necessity, organised into apparently distinct domains, but pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.
The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.
We teach Maths using the content and skills of the National Curriculum.  This is supplemented by the selective use of additional materials from the White Rose schemes of learning and the White Rose Calculation policy - see below.

At Russell Lower School, we have embraced a Mastery approach to foster independent mathematicians who embrace challenges, take risks, and apply their mathematical skills confidently in real-world situations. Our goal is for children, at every stage of learning, to exhibit a profound conceptual understanding of each topic and continuously build upon it as they advance through their education. To achieve this, we are dedicated to providing a comprehensive, well-rounded, and progressive curriculum for all students, starting from the Early Years up to Year 4. In the Early Years, we utilize Development Matters and the Early Learning Goals as our foundation, which then smoothly transitions to align with the National Curriculum objectives for years 1 to 4. This seamless progression ensures that our students are well prepared and equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel as they move through their educational journey.

Our calculation policy offers the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to cement children’s learning and allow them to confidently progress over time.  We want our children to be fluent in the fundamentals of maths and to be able to reason mathematically and solve problems.

            Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline…providing the solutions to some of history’s most intriguing problems.’

National Curriculum (2014)

As a school we have adopted the White Rose Maths Hub schemes of learning.  The WRMH planning is a national project designed to provide schools with the most up to date processes and procedures in Mathematics teaching and learning.  We aim to develop a whole school culture of deep understanding, confidence and competence while building resilience in our learners. 

Our Russell Maths days and cross-curricular links to other subjects such as Science, R.E, D.T and P.E. allow the skills and knowledge to be used outside of the Maths lessons.

We encourage maths talk through describing, explaining, convincing, justifying and proving.  We believe that the ability to ‘talk maths’ is fundamental when progressing as a competent mathematician.  Maths talk starts in the early years at Russell and continues throughout the children’s learning journey.  Maths lessons are planned to include ‘Talk Partners’ to give opportunities to share and convince.  For example, persuading, proving and justifying when describing ‘which one doesn’t belong’. 

            In order to learn mathematics effectively, pupils primarily need to talk about their mathematical ideas, negotiate meanings, discuss ideas and strategies and make mathematical language their own.

Lee, C (2006)

Students who grasp concepts quickly are encouraged to further enhance their understanding by engaging with a diverse range of complex problems. This approach allows them to progress swiftly through new material. Meanwhile, students who may not have reached age-appropriate expectations are provided with many opportunities to strengthen their understanding through additional practice before advancing. Pre-teaching opportunities are also offered to instil confidence and bridge any knowledge gaps they might have.


At Russell we follow the White Rose Maths Hub schemes of guidance to aid our teachers to deliver an ambitious, connected curriculum. White Rose is used from the Early Years all the way through to Year 4.  The White Rose Early Years overview supports the ethos of the EYFS while allowing teachers to create a rich curriculum that meets the needs of the children in the cohort. Our calculation policy is embedded in our delivery to ensure a consistent approach to teaching the four calculation operations over time.  We strive for our pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of maths and to be able to reason and problem solve.  We use the concrete – pictoral – abstract approach to help children to make connections between different representations. Our Early Years children focus mainly on the concrete experiences to meet the two Early Learning Goals of Number and Numerical Patterns.


We promote mathematical vocabulary and language so that the children can discuss the maths that they are doing. We want children to have a love for maths and want to find out more.

With the Early Years children working on the two ELGs of Number and Numerical Pattern the blocks that we cover in years 1 to 4 are ordered in a particular way knowing that some things have to learnt before others, e.g. place value needs to be understood before children are working with addition and subtraction. We have an emphasis on number skills that need to be carefully ordered, while other areas of maths such as shape and statistics don’t depend on each other and their placement in the year is not crucial for future learning. The ‘small step’ approach that WRM provides means that topics are broken down into smaller parts that are built upon.  This provides the level of flexibility that our teachers needs to meet the requirements of the children in their class.  The small steps allow opportunities to build upon the children’s prior knowledge to develop new skills. In place value (counting) for example:

Within all lessons we are working towards Rosenshine’s 17 Principles of Effective Instruction and use of the Great Teaching Toolkit. Short-term plans (based on WRH guidance) set out the learning objectives and success criteria for each lesson, identifying engaging activities and resources which will be used to achieve them.  We start every lesson with a flashback4 that reviews learning from the last lesson, last week, last block and last term/year. Our mathematical vocabulary is the introduced and this is modelled and encouraged throughout the lesson. Within the lessons prior learning from the block and previous blocks is consolidated through re-cap and reinforcement to ensure children can make links between skills/knowledge and previously learnt skills/knowledge such as finding bonds to 10 when adding three single digit numbers.

Questioning, modelling and feedback are used to support the teaching and learning process, ensure progression within every lesson and aid assessment.  Lessons are supplemented with daily fluency through the use of Doodle Maths in Year 1, Flurrish in Year 2 and Times Table Rock Stars in Years 3 and 4. The use of times tables videos such as the BBC bitesize Supermovers are encouraged for the children to be active within the maths lessons.  

More so than ever we provide flexibility within the Maths lessons to meet children’s needs and understanding due to the impact of Covid 19. The WRM lesson by lesson guidance allowed time for objectives from the previous year to be built into the scheme of learning.  During the Jan-Mar 2021 lockdown Maths blocks were reordered so that units of work that lent themselves best to remote learning could be done at home, and other, more practically based units, such as X and ÷, could be taught in the classroom with the support of practical resources and manipulatives. 


Long term plans


In order to measure the impact of our Maths curriculum we use a range of formative and summative assessment in all lessons such as:

  • EYFS assessment

  • Questioning 

  • Daily fluency: Doodle Maths, Flurrish, TTRS

  • Lesson outcomes

  • End of block/term assessments

  • Pupil, parent, staff voice/questionnaires

  • Observations/learning walks/drop ins

  • Analysis of Classroom Monitor, used daily and weekly as a formative assessment tool.

  • Year 2 SATs and Year 4 multiplication check

Assessment information is collected frequently and analysed as part of our monitoring of teaching and learning cycle. This process provides an accurate and comprehensive understanding of the quality of education in Maths as well as indicating areas for development.

Academic outcomes and impact:

For this year we are aware of the following outcomes for Maths: 

For 2022/23 the average ARE+ is 87% which is 3% higher than the outcomes for July 2022. This demonstrates excellent recovery and impact of quality first teaching and interventions.

In EYFS 90% of pupils reached the expected standard in both number and numerical patterns

Other outcomes and impact:

Key findings: 

  • EYFS = no gender gap at ARE

  • Year 1, 3, 4 girls attainment is higher than boys. 

  • Year 2 boys attainment higher than girls.

  • Boys GDS very high in Year 3 and 4.

  • Year 3 PP much lower than Non-PP.

  • DoodleMaths fully embedded in Year 1 and 2.  Progress monitored monthly and children lacking in progress and identified and intervention is used to catch up.

  • DoodleTables used in all Year 2 classes.

  • TTRS Used in Year 3 and 4.  Progress monitored regularly and analysed.


Key actions:

  • Continue to monitor planning to ensure consistency across year groups.

  • Continue to focus on Dis-Ad and PP children during Maths lessons.

  • Begin to use INSIGHT for all data collection and analysis.



Foundation Stage Maths Workshop workshop – Wednesday 23rd November 2022

Do you want to know more about how we teach Mathematics at Russell Lower School?

Would you like to be able to better support your child’s Maths at home?

Would you like to know how we have changed the way we teach Maths in Foundation Stage at school this year, and why it is so important?


Each November we hold an information session/workshop in school for parents/carers to explain this further, to let you know how you can support your children, and to answer any questions you may have.

Following this, should you have any questions, please contact your child’s class teacher via the class email, or Mrs Brown at swanclass@russell-lower.co.uk 

Thank you so much for your continued support.

KS1 and 2 maths workshop - Wednesday 23rd November 2022

Do you want to know more about how we teach Mathematics at Russell Lower School?

Would you like to be able to better support your child’s Maths at home?

Would you like to know how we teach the four operations, and why this way is so important?


Each November we hold an information session/workshop in school for parents/carers to explain this further, to let you know how you can support your children, and to answer any questions you may have.

Following this, should you have any questions, please contact your child’s class teacher via the class email, or Mrs Hitchings at robinclass@russell-lower.co.uk  

Thank you so much for your continued support.