St Stephen's Catholic Primary School and Nursery, a Voluntary Academy



Subject Leader - Mr Luke Gilhooly


Here at St. Stephen’s Catholic Primary School and Nursery we have designed a Maths curriculum which is accessible to all and will maximise the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement.

We endeavour to deliver lessons that are creative and engaging. We want pupils to make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems.

We intend for our pupils to be able to apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.

We want pupils to realise that mathematics has been developed over centuries; providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. We want them to know that it is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment.

As our pupils progress, we intend for them to be able to understand the world, have the ability to reason mathematically, have 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.


At St. Stephen's we have changed our approach towards teaching Maths from 'blocking' out learning focuses to delivering a 'spiral curriculum' which aims to build on previous learning and help children to retain knew knowledge and for it to be embedded, but whilst also widening their understanding of Mathematical concepts.  



What is it and how is the curriculum delivered?









With the consistent deliverance of Abacus Active Learn, we endeavour all children to have a good conceptual understanding of Maths, numerical fluency, problem-solving skill sets and mathematical competence and confidence.

Children will achieve this through our narrow spiral curriculum; where the secure teaching of place value, number facts, models and images, doubling and halving is reviewed but stretched often.

We aim to ensure that all children are able to master mathematical concepts - with the understanding that some children may master concepts at different rates and may need support in doing so. 

Expected Standards 2020


Age Related Expectation

Greater Depth Standard

End of Key Stage 1



End of Key Stage 2




What is it and how does our curriculum deliver it?

Mastery means having a secure understanding of mathematical concepts and processes, combined with a genuine procedural fluency. A child who has mastered a particular skill is able to apply their understanding and solve different types of problem, including where the skill is either embedded in a different context, or where a choice of method has to be made. For example, a child who has mastered adding two 2-digit numbers should be able to identify where this is required, even when it is not presented in a straightforward way (e.g. ⬜ - 23 = 39) and also choose an efficient strategy for doing it (e.g. 40 + 22).

Some children will be able to achieve mastery with greater depth. This means that they are able to apply their understanding of a concept in a wider variety of contexts, some of which are more difficult. They can manipulate the facts they know and the skills they possess in order to solve more complex problems. More developed forms of mathematical reasoning are central to this process, and enable the recognition of a link between operations and processes. For example, a child who has mastered the addition of 2-digit numbers in greater depth will be able to explain why it is possible to add two numbers both with units digits greater than 5 and get answers with units digits less than 5 (e.g. 16 + 7 = 23). They may also understand why adding a number to its matching reverse (46 and 64) will always give a multiple of eleven.

Common features of mastery include:

  • An expectation that all children can succeed in maths, often achieved by keeping the class together
  • Giving children a secure and sustainable understanding of mathematical concepts by developing consistent models and images throughout
  • Ensuring children are fluent in mathematical procedures and number facts by rehearsing these in systematic ways
  • Children who master a concept easily are expected to deepen their understanding, for example by applying it to solve problems embedded in mathematical investigations or more complex contexts
  • Children who do not master an objective with the rest of the class should be supported to enable them to gain more experience and achieve mastery, for example through same-day intervention, plus longer-term help if necessary.