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Elmhurst School

An Academy of the Great Learners Trust


"I enjoy Maths especially when you are given the answer but you have to work out what the question was to start off with."  - Year 5 Child

Curriculum Intent

We are dedicated to enabling children to recognise the importance of mathematics in the wider world so that they are able to use their mathematical skills and knowledge confidently in a variety of situations in their lives.  


We want all children to aspire to become lifelong learners of mathematics and develop a deep and sustained conceptual understanding of the subject by delivering a mastery curriculum, where staff create opportunities for children to grow into independent learners. For children to be successful in this, it is essential that they are able to both develop their skills and think logically in order to solve problems and reason, working systematically and accurately. 


We have high expectations for every learner. We want our pupils to master maths rather than reciting methods and skills without meaning or understanding; a skill has truly been mastered when a student can represent a skill in multiple ways through exploration, practise and application. 

At the core of our curriculum is the CONCRETE, PICTORIAL and ABSTRACT 

approach to maths.​

  • Concrete – children have the opportunity to use concrete objects 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.​

Curriculum Implementation

The content and principles of the Early Years Foundation Framework, 2014 National Curriculum, Mastering Number Project, and the Teaching for Mastery approach convey how mathematics is implemented at Elmhurst.​

Mathematics is taught coherently and sequentially in Reception to Year 6 using both the 'Mastering Number' approach and the DFE-accredited 'Power Maths' scheme as as basis for how we structure maths lessons and learning tools to Mastery.  Units of learning are broken down into a series of small, connected steps with each building on the children’s prior learning. Each lesson focuses on one small step or a series of small steps. ​

Elmhurst is also participating in the National for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics (NCETM) 'Mastering Number' project to support the teaching of basic maths skills. This aims to secure firm foundations in the development of good number sense (a deep understanding of number) for all children from Reception through to Year 1 and Year 2. 


In Reception, daily Maths lesson follow the Mastering Number approach for approximately 5 weeks each half term. The remaining sessions are devoted to securing understanding of any gaps in children's knowledge and also on the Shape, Space and Measure work in the Programme of Study.  Each class in KS1, has a daily ‘Mastering Number’ session in addition to their daily maths lesson. 


Learning throughout the school is supported using a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach so that pupils develop a conceptual understanding of mathematics through a variety of manipulatives and representations. 


Alongside daily maths lessons in Year 2 and KS2, additional time is spent focusing on arithmetic and multiplication tables in order to build fluency and precision in these areas and to think about numbers in different ways. 

If you would like further information on our Maths curriculum or how to help your child at home, please get in contact with our Maths Leader, Mrs Dawn Hanwell, on 01296 481380 or

Page last updated: 11/09/23