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“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and go away, but there will always be science, engineering and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.” – Katherine Johnson


“We will always have STEM with us. Some things will drop out of the public eye and go away, but there will always be science, engineering and technology. And there will always, always be mathematics.” – Katherine Johnson

At Ambler, we hope to promote a love of maths for all our pupils so that they leave us in Year 6 feeling confident and prepared for secondary school and later life. The information below aims to provide you with a snapshot of how maths is taught at Ambler.

Aims and objectives

  • To give the children a rich and balanced mathematics curriculum that develops their fluency, reasoning and problem solving, as laid out in the National Curriculum.
  • To present maths lessons in innovative ways that draw on creativity, exploration and investigation.
  • To ensure that children have a positive attitude towards maths and maintain high expectations of their own ability.
  • To model and let the children explore how they can apply their mathematical skills to everyday situations.
  • To build resilience and confidence when problem solving.


  1. A dedicated maths lesson everyday.
  • Lessons are 1 hour and 10 minutes long.
  1. Children are taught in mixed attainment classes.
  • Best practice at our school is keeping the whole class working on the same concept.
  • All children have equal access to the curriculum. Children with SEN, EAL or other additional needs will have these met through intervention and individual support plans.
  • Progress is continually assessed throughout the lesson and ‘groups’ may be formed as a result, to tackle a specific need or misconception.
  1. Each lesson has a clearly stated ‘Learning Intention’ referred to as the ‘LI’ and success criteria that is stuck into books.
  • The LI is referred to throughout the lesson.
  • Children use the numbered success criteria to self-assess whether they have met the learning intention that day.
  1. Consolidation of basic number skills at the start of every lesson to ensure fluency.
  • The consolidation of number bonds and times tables are a key focus.
  1. New learning follows a concrete – pictoral – abstract approach.
  • See the calculation policy for details.
  1. Opportunities for problem solving and reasoning are embedded in all lessons.

Let’s Think in maths

As well as the opportunities for problem solving and reasoning during everyday lessons, discrete investigatory style lessons are also utilised as part of the Let’s Think programme. Let’s Think lessons specifically focus on exploration of concepts, the use of open-ended questions and logical, systematic thinking. Each lesson is taught in an ‘everyday’ context and has strong emphasis on group discussion with the teacher acting as the ‘facilitator’. These style lessons are also adopted in literacy.



Ambler follows a policy of ‘my teacher doesn’t mark my book’. This approach cuts down on the time spent marking books at the end of a lesson and instead focuses on giving immediate feedback during lessons. Teachers and support staff aim to get to as many children as possible during a lesson to offer specific feedback such as help with misconceptions or the provision of extra challenge. At the end of each lesson, children self-assess their work and place their book in one of three conferencing trays:

  • Tray 1 – I need more support and I would like to be conferenced tomorrow.
  • Tray 2 – I feel reasonably confident but I would like more practise.
  • Tray 3 – I feel very confident and I need a challenge.

The teacher uses these self-assessments and their own assessment throughout the lesson to determine who needs support and challenge for the next lesson. Children that need further support or challenge then make up a ‘conferencing’ group for the following lesson. The teacher starts each new lesson with the ‘conferencing group’ as their focus and the remaining children are provided with a range of independent tasks to complete. The expectation is that each child is conferenced at the beginning of each lesson at least once every 2 weeks.



At Ambler, we follow the White Rose planning scheme however teachers use a range of resources such as NCTEM, NRICH and the National Curriculum statements to build their medium term and weekly plans. In many cases, staff work in year groups to create their weekly sequence of lessons but it is expected that each member of staff differentiates their resources according to the needs of their class. Each lesson has a Learning Intention and Success Criteria that is referred to throughout each lesson.

Plans are monitored by the maths co-ordinator and members or SLT on a termly basis.



Children are assessed continually throughout all lessons and staff will use this to inform day to day planning, On Fridays, the children complete a ‘Big Maths’ assessment which has a heavy focus on fluency as well as covering what the children have learnt that week. Times tables are tested on a weekly basis from Year 2 -6. Three times a year, the children will complete a formal assessment in test conditions as part of our termly ‘Assessment Week’ and this follows the White Rose scheme. These scores are combined with teacher assessment to track the children’s overall progress and track whether children are meeting the expected level for their age group.

In the summer term, both Year 2 and Year 6 sit the standard assessment tasks (SATs). These are marked internally in Year 2 and externally in Year 6.

Year 4 will sit the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) in the summer term which consists of 25 questions. Each child will sit this test online and will have 6 seconds to answer each question.



The use of concrete and visual resources is extremely important in order to promote the understanding of key mathematical concepts. Each class is equipped with a variety of resources which staff use on a daily basis and pupils are encouraged to use independently. All other resources are stored in a central area and can be accessed when needed.



It is expected that children should practise their times tables on a weekly basis. Further homework may be given if the teacher deems it necessary for a particular week. Teachers should set weekly tasks on Mathletics and children should be regularly logging in and using their ‘Mathletics’ account. Teachers can set specific assignments based on the topic they are studying that week. Children may also log in and practise their fluency skills through a wide range of games and competitions available on the website. All children are provided with log ins from Year 1-6.


Useful links for home-learning: – where teachers will set online work and activities. – great for games and quizzes. – great for games. – great for explaining tricky concepts with visuals. – great for puzzles and encouraging deeper thinking. – Year 6 only for SATs preparation.




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