The Maths Curriculum
Mathematics is essential to everyday life!
A high-quality mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.
The national curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:
- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.
Maths in Key Stage 1
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in Year 1 and Year 2 is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This involves working with numerals, words and the four operations, including with practical resources.
Pupils develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Teaching also involves using a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money.
By the end of Year 2, pupils should know the number bonds to 20 and be precise in using and understanding place value.
Pupils will read and spell mathematical vocabulary, at a level consistent with their increasing word reading and spelling knowledge at key stage 1.
Maths in Lower Key Stage 2
The principal focus of mathematics teaching in lower key stage 2 (Year 3 and Year 4) is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. Pupils will develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations with increasingly large whole numbers.
At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Teaching ensures that pupils draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can use measuring instruments with accuracy and make connections between measure and number.
By the end of year 4, pupils should have memorised their multiplication tables up to and including the 12 multiplication table and show precision and fluency in their work.
Pupils will read and spell mathematical vocabulary, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.
Maths in Upper Key Stage 2
Upper key stage 2 mathematics teaching (Year 5 and Year 6) ensures that pupils extend their understanding of the number system and place value to include larger integers (whole numbers). Connections between multiplication and division with fractions, decimals, percentages and ratio are also established. Children will also focus on developing their understanding of written methods for the four rules of number.
At this stage, pupils develop their ability to solve a wider range of problems, including increasingly complex properties of numbers and arithmetic, and problems demanding efficient written and mental methods of calculation. With this foundation in arithmetic, pupils are introduced to the language of algebra as a means for solving a variety of problems. Teaching in geometry and measures extends pupils' knowledge previously developed in number. Teaching also ensures that pupils classify shapes with increasingly complex geometric properties and that they learn the vocabulary they need to describe them.
By the end of year 6, pupils are able to access written methods for all four operations, including long multiplication and division, and in working with fractions, decimals and percentages.