Maths vision statement

In Maths, our vision is to produce independent, risk-taking and creative learners who have a passion and genuine enjoyment for the world of numbers. At St Nicholas Priory, we provide opportunities for children to develop problem solving skills that are also relevant to areas across the wider curriculum. In addition to this, we allow the children to understand that resilience and teamwork are key skills required as a part of the learning process, and invaluable skills in allowing for success to happen. This child-centred approach ensures that all Priory learners are well-equipped to numerically meet the demands of working in the world of tomorrow.

Calculation policy

At St Nicholas Priory, we believe that having strong, secure calculation skills allows the children to access and succeed with a wide variety of mathematical problems. As a school, we are also understanding that not all children learn the methods at the same pace, and also that not all methods are appropriate for all children. Our calculation policy has been designed to reflect this. Through the policy, there is no reference to age for any of the calculation steps. We believe that the children progress onto more formal methods when they are ready, and we plan lessons taking this into consideration. The methods shown in the policy are the methods that the children will be taught in the school. The policy can be viewed below:

Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving

In maths, the terms fluency, reasoning and problem solving are often mentioned. So, what are they and how do they apply to our lessons at Priory?


Fluency begins with the ability to learn and recall mathematical facts, both quickly and accurately. This starts in EYFS and KS1 with facts such as number bonds, progressing onto times tables knowledge, and even knowing key decimal, fraction and percentage equivalents in KS2. True fluency occurs when the children are able to recall known facts in multiple contexts, and when they are able to correctly select the most appropriate methods to solve a problem.
At St Nicholas Priory, we work on building these skills through weekly times table practice and, in KS2, daily starter tasks in lessons that recap and review knowledge on the four operations, in order to improve fluency.


Reasoning in maths is a skill that closely relates to the child’s ability to think mathematically. Their reasoning skills allows them to link the fluency and problem solving. They have to reason about the most suitable facts and knowledge to use, in order to solve the problem.

At St Nicholas Priory we strive to develop these reasoning skills through open dialogue in the lessons around the thought process behind the choices the children have made. This can take the form of whole class discussions, 1:1 questioning and feedback, or peer supported group work. This enables all children to verbalise their thought process and share ideas with others, drawing on the feedback to inform their choices.

Problem solving

Problem Solving in maths is more than just answering a word problem in a lesson. This skill requires the children to use and apply their fluency and reasoning skills in unfamiliar contexts, in order to successfully complete a problem. This is not a skill that can just be taught in isolation though, as what the children may need and how they might have to apply their knowledge will vary from problem to problem. Therefore, a procedural approach to this will help the children refine their skills.

At St Nicholas Priory, we aim to give the children strategies to draw upon to support them in the developing of their problem-solving techniques. This includes question prompts that the children can use, as well as considerations about the type of problem it might be. For example, is it a trial and improvement problem, a working backwards problem, or a pattern-seeking problem? Giving the children exposure to a variety of problems and how they present will allow the children to develop a range of skills that they can then apply more successfully into new contexts.

Love of maths

At St Nicholas Priory, we believe that maths is subject that all children can learn to love, and can take part in because they enjoy it, not just because they have to. In order to promote this way of thinking, we give the children opportunities within the school to take part in games and competitions against each other. We have a weekly Times Tables Rock Stars competition, where all classes in KS2 compete for a trophy. To allow all children to play a part in this, the winning class each week is decided on the percentage engagement of the class. It means that every person who plays helps their class, no matter how challenging they find the questions.

Enrichment opportunities

At St Nicholas Priory, we believe that maths should be celebrated and that children should have an opportunity to showcase their skills in this area. In 2022 and 2023, we entered a competition in Norwich for maths. This allowed us to compete against schools from all across Norfolk in a range of mathematical challenges. We plan to continue to attend these competitions, to show what Priory children can achieve.

As well as attending competitions, we are now hosting competitions at Priory, and inviting local schools to come and take part. This then allows the children to compete against other children of their own age, and test their skills and knowledge.

We also sign up for further enrichment opportunities, including visits from specialist teachers and from other schools, to give the children more exposure to the fun and joy that maths can bring.

Maths outside of the classroom

Learning in maths is something that is a journey, as new approaches and methods continue to be developed. This can mean that children, parents and staff may have previously been taught a variety of different methods for answering questions.

As consistency of approach is key to ensuring success for the children, a YouTube channel has been started, where some videos have been recorded explaining how to answer questions that the children will be taught. These have been recorded displaying the methods that the children will be taught in school. As this is a developing page, any videos for solving problem that may be useful can be recorded. Please get in touch if you would like a specific video recording.

The YouTube channel can be accessed via this link: Mr KIngs YouTube Channel

The only way to learn maths is to do maths.
Paul Halmos