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Larkspur Community Primary School

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          Maths at Larkspur

This is a guide for anyone who is visiting Larkspur to explain our approach to mathematics across the school. It is intended to explain what you can expect to see/not to see during lessons.

Q. What will a typical maths lesson look like?

Larkspur we follow a mastery approach. All lessons are pitched at the end of year expectation objectives. Content will be progressive and challenging for all pupils. Lesson may be fast or slow paced: depending on how children grasp the concept being taught. There may be lots of starting and stopping – teacher led, pupil led, teacher led etc. All lessons will include fluency, reasoning and problem solving.

We aim for depth of understanding rather than acceleration through content.

Q. Where are the lessons and resources planned from?

Lessons are designed to follow a concrete>pictorial>abstract approach. Objectives are taken from the National Curriculum for each year group. Tasks and activities will be taken from a variety of resources such as NRich, NCETM, White Rose Hub, Abacus, Problem Solved and Talk It, Solve It.

Q. Maths Displays and Resources

Each classroom has a maths display which demonstrates problem solving and reasoning approaches: use of apparatus, opportunities to explain and prove concepts, inventing maths stories, making links and seeing patterns.

Each classroom also has a maths resource table which all children are trained and encouraged to use to support their learning.

Q. Are lessons differentiated?

All children are taught the same objective however lessons are differentiated through greater depth rather than acceleration through an objective. Some children will need extra support and others will be challenged with greater depth questions in which they apply their understanding.

We employ a Growth Mindset Approach so that all children will be guided towards choosing tasks that will challenge them at their level. Children work with talk partners and these are changed on a regular basis so that children will have opportunity to work with a variety of children. This provides peer to peer support and scaffolds their learning.


Q. What will tasks in books look like? Will I see different abilities?

Some work in children’s book will look similar however they may have completed this work differently. Some children will have been supported by the teacher/ TA or worked independently. Some will have used concrete apparatus or worked abstractly.

In order to promote a greater depth of understanding in mathematics you will not find repetition of procedural calculations (lots of fluency). You will see problem solving and reasoning happening. You will see children explaining in words and sentences and using mathematical vocabulary.

Q. How are teaching assistants used in lessons?

Teaching assistants are not restricted to the lower ability pupils within lessons. During the lesson the teacher and teaching assistant will circulate around the class supporting groups or individual learners where appropriate.

Through careful planning and preparation of resources, lower ability pupils are encouraged to work with some independence within the maths lesson.

Q. Where do you record evidence for fluency, reasoning and problem solving?

At Larkspur we are committed to giving pupils ‘Time to Talk’ during the maths lesson. If children are to become problem solvers then they need time to explain their understanding and reasoning. This cannot always be recorded however you will see this during observations of lessons. Classrooms will be noisier as children communicate their ideas to one another.

Each day children will work in their Fluency book and focus on their current multiplication and division facts as well as developing fluency within addition and subtraction. Teachers will assess their progress with a formal times table test every half term.

In Reception and Year 1 we are placing emphasis on learning number bonds within 10 and then within 20. Each day children will consolidate these by using concrete apparatus and then progress to learning facts off by heart.

Q. Are classes in groups or sets?

No. You will see whole class teaching. Children are paired in mixed abilities. We have high expectations for every pupil and believe all can achieve mastery at their own level.

Teachers will differentiate questioning to promote deep learning. Children are challenged through greater depth and mastery tasks: designing and solving their own problems, explaining and proving their answers and being expected to provide more mathematically accurate explanations by refining their language choices.



Mathematics Overview for each Year Group

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