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Children at Churchtown will be given opportunities to develop their understanding of number and equip them with the skills to solve real life mathematical problems and challenges following the White Rose Planning framework. This will be taught through a variety of lessons: Number Ninja (fluency) sessions and daily Reasoning and Problem Solving lessons. 

Number Ninja sessions are time for counting and quick recall of multiplication and division facts plus one/two other short, snappy activities to help keep basic skills bubbling alongside the regular practice of each of the 4 calculations- addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Reasoning and Problem Solving lessons encourage children to apply their basic skills in a variety of ways through different representations via the C-P-S approach, reasoning questions and the 5 strands of problem solving.


The principle of the concrete-pictorial-symbolic(abstract)  approach is that for pupils to have a true understanding of a mathematical concept, they need to master all three phases. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations. For example, if a child has moved on from the concrete to the pictorial, it does not mean that the concrete cannot be used alongside the pictorial. Or if a child is working in the symbolic, ‘proving’ something or ‘working out’ could involve use of the concrete or pictorial. In short, these are not always ‘exclusive’ representations.

mastery Approach  

At the centre of the mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics is the belief that all pupils have the potential to succeed. They should have access to the same curriculum content and, rather than being extended with new learning, they should deepen their conceptual understanding by tackling challenging and varied problems. Similarly, with calculation strategies, pupils must not simply rote learn procedures but demonstrate their understanding of these procedures through the use of concrete materials and pictorial representations. 

Top Tips to help your child

Helping your child  learn at home 

In the street

Recognising bus numbers

Number plate hunt. Who can find a 7? Add the numbers up.

Comparing door numbers

Counting – how many lampposts on the way to school?

Doing the washing

Counting in 2s – matching shoes

Sorting by colour and size.

Matching/pairing up socks.

Find four shoes that are different sizes. Can you put them in order.


What day is it yesterday, today, tomorrow?

Use timers, phones and clocks to measure short periods of time.

Count down 10/ 20 seconds to get to the table/ into bed etc.

Recognising numbers on the clock. If you cover a number, what number was missing?


Can you cut your toast into 4 pieces? Can you cut it into triangles?

Setting the table. Counting the right number of plates etc. How many more do we need?

Can you make shapes/ patterns out of the knives and forks. Can you put them in the right place in the drawers?

Helping with the cooking by measuring and counting ingredients.

Setting the timer.

Positional language at dinner time: what is on the rice, where are the carrots etc?

Going shopping

Reading price tags

Counting items into the basket

Finding and counting coins

Comparing weights – which is heavier



Are you taller than a …?

Marking height on the wall.

Cut hand shapes out of paper. How many hands long is the couch? How long is the table? Which is longer?

Who has the biggest hands in our family?

How many steps from the gate to the front door?


Cut a potato into shapes (circles, triangle etc). Use with paint to make pictures and patterns.

Cut out shapes from coloured paper/ newspaper and arrange into pictures.

Shape hunt: Can you find a square in your house (windows etc), a circle …



Here’s a simple recipe:

1 cup of plain flour

1 cup of water

1 tablespoon cooking oil

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Half a cup of salt

food colouring and essences (optional)

Put all ingredients in a large saucepan, and heat slowly, stirring all the time until it forms a ball. Keep it wrapped in clingfilm or in a covered tub to stop it drying out.

Then ….

  • Make numerals and shapes
  • Sort shapes into groups, or order by size
  • Make long and short wiggly snakes.

Putting cards into piles

Jigsaws (you can make your own by cutting up a magazine picture)

Snap (matching pairs) or Happy Families (collect 4 of a kind)

Snakes and ladders or other simple dice games.

Adding numbers on two dice.

Bingo, with numbers or shapes




Number rhymes and songs

Eg: 5 little monkeys jumping on the bed

One fell off and bumped his head

Mummy called the doctor and the doctor said

“No more monkeys jumping on the bed!”

4 little monkeys jumping on the bed …

Your child can teach you lots more or try this website which has the words and sings it for you:

Internet maths games

Maths calculation videos 



To see more of our maths calculation videos click here.