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Our Curriculum


Maths teaching at St James is aimed at giving all children the opportunities to develop and apply the goals set out by the national curriculum: develop fluency, problem-solving and reasoning skills.  To achieve  these goals,    we teach using a mastery curriculum in which we aim for all children to become fluent, independent learners. Mastering maths means pupils acquiring a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. We place a considerable emphasis on teaching mental calculation methods and making maths link to real-life as much as possible.

Formal written recording is practised regularly and is an important part of learning and understanding. St James’ School has developed a consistent approach to the teaching of written calculations in order to establish continuity and progression throughout the school.

During lessons, through discussion, questioning, exploration and practical activities we aim for all children to be confident mathematicians, develop a love of maths and be fluent learners who are able to make patterns and connections within the number system. Children work in depth at a concept, so they fully understand the subject before moving onto new learning, building their confidence and flexibility as they go. The mastery curriculum differentiates through depth rather than acceleration. Though the whole class goes through the same content at the same pace, there is still plenty of opportunity for differentiation. Unlike older teaching methods, where advanced learners are accelerated through new content, those pupils who grasp concepts quickly are challenged with rich and sophisticated problems within the topic, thus heightening problem-solving and reasoning skills. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent are provided additional support to consolidate their understanding before moving on. For more advanced learners, challenge can be achieved by proving their answers or explaining a method that they have used, or thinking of an alternative method to solve the problem. For other learners, they may approach the problem by using a range of concrete materials/manipulatives.

Glossary of terms
  • Concrete materials/manipulatives: Each maths concept/skill is first modelled by the teacher using concrete materials (blocks, cubes, counters, objects etc) to aid children’s learning and understanding. The use of such materials allow children to learn concepts through hands-on experiences.
  • Differentiation: giving specific instructions and or tasks to meet the needs of individual children.
  • Fluency: The ability to perform mathematical problems accurately and quickly.
  • Reasoning skills: Thinking through problems logically in order to arrive at the correct solution.  

Useful Maths websites

Useful curriculum websites


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