Alexander First School

Acquire knowledge, prepare for the future, research in action


Aims for mathematics at Alexander First School

Our aim at Alexander First School is for all children to enjoy and feel confident in mathematics, gaining the necessary skills for everyday life. In line with Government policy and best practice, the children are taught to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics (including calculation strategies); reason mathematically using mathematical language and apply their knowledge and understanding to problem solving tasks.

In order for the children to master fundamental mathematical concepts and develop their mathematical fluency, where possible, we employ the CPA approach and offer real-life contexts for their mathematical learning.

The CPA approach


Concrete – providing children with objects and resources to manipulate in order to demonstrate their mathematical thinking.

Pictorial – providing opportunities for children to represent their mathematical thinking through diagrams, images, drawings or models.

Abstract – providing opportunities for children to become more familiar with formal mathematical representations including signs, symbols and digits.

Intent for mathematics at Alexander First School

At Alexander First School, we aim to provide a mathematics curriculum which inspires a real interest in the subject and its applications to the wider worldencourages true depth of understanding and equips our pupils with mathematical life skills.


Through our engagement with the ethos and principles of teaching mathematics for mastery, we aim to instil a positive mind-set towards the subject, a culture of collaboration and learning from mistakes and misconceptions and opportunities to develop resilience in the face of a challenge. We encourage pupils to make connections and build on their prior learning in coherent steps. In keeping with the principles of mastery and the National Curriculum, our intention is for the majority of pupils to move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace.


With a focus on quality-whole-class-teaching first, which breaks learning points down into carefully-planned small steps and exposes pupils to a variety of representations and contexts, we aim to develop confidence and fluency in key mathematical concepts, structures and strategies.


Pupils who grasp concepts quickly are provided with questions to think more deeply about the specific learning point being taught. Those who are not yet secure in a concept should consolidate their understanding through additional adult support and additional practice where appropriate.


Key to our curriculum offer is the focus placed on developing pupils’ abilities to apply their understanding, reason mathematically and problem solve. We want Alexander First School pupils to think logically, systematically and be the problem solvers of tomorrow.


We are proud of the commitment we have made to improve the quality of maths provision through our mastery approach in recent years and can already see the benefits in pupils’ ability to explain their mathematical thinking and make connections.

Calculation methods

The children are introduced to a number of different calculation methods throughout their time at Alexander First School (see attached teaching strategies document). They are encouraged to recognise and use methods of calculation which they can complete accurately and with increasing efficiency. Wherever possible, children are encouraged to work mentally to solve calculations and consider which method is most efficient for a given calculation. In the face of more challenging multi-step problems, the children are taught to employ systematic formal written methods.

Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 mathematics programmes of study:


  • Number – number and place value, addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, fractions
  • Measurement – including time
  • Geometry – properties of shapes, position and direction
  • Statistics