Mathematics lessons at Penn Wood are made up of several important parts.

Children count every day, practising odd and even numbers; times tables; crossing hundred and thousand boundaries; and much more.  Encourage your child(ren) to become fluent counters by practising regularly at home counting in different amounts, starting at different numbers.  For example, practise counting in 3s, starting from 11, or count in 500s starting at 3200.

Mental Maths
Children should be able to explain their thinking about maths topics that they have learned in school.  They tackle questions like: ‘Explain how you know?’; ‘Do you agree or disagree with this answer?’; and ‘Which is the odd one out and why?’.  Help your child(ren) at home by asking them questions to solve in their heads in a short time limit.

Number Facts
It is important that children know a range of number facts appropriate to the level that they are working at.  This is because knowledge of number facts enables children to concentrate more on applying their knowledge to solve problems.  Examples of number facts that could be practised at home are: pairs of numbers that make 10, 20, 100, or 1 whole; times tables; equivalent fractions, decimals and percentages; and special numbers like prime numbers. 

Using objects, models and images
In mathematics lessons, children use a range of equipment and diagrams to help them to understand how numbers work.  Ask your child’s teacher for examples which you can use at home.

Maths in the real world
Children will be shown how the mathematics that they learn is used in real life.  Talk to your child(ren) about the maths that you use in your day to day business, such as estimating how much a shopping bill will be.  The teachers at Penn Wood are more than happy to provide further information on how you can support your child’s learning.

Numicon is a structured set of apparatus that provides a visual representation of number ideas.  It consists of two sets of concrete imagery to represent numbers and number relations; Numicon Shapes and Numicon Rods.  In the Early Years the Shapes are used to represent numbers form 1-10 and in the stages used after this, the apparatus are used to show higher numbers giving a important concrete image of place value.  Learning mathematical language often presents difficulties for children because, in the course of mathematics lessons, words which are familiar to children outside the classroom, are used in unfamiliar contexts.  Familiar word taken on different and unfamiliar shades of meaning.  For example, ‘take-away’ in a non-mathematical context describes a meal collected from a fast food outlet, whereas in the classroom it describes a subtraction structure.  When our children are taught with Numicon, they hear and say associated mathematical language whilst the imagery simultaneously supports their mathematical understanding. Numicon imagery is used to bridge the gap the children may have from the real word to the abstract world of number. 

Written calculations

Children develop a deep understanding of formal written calculations and practise regularly to become fluent.  Speak to your child's teacher to find out the methods that are appropriate for your child's age group.

Mathematics Mastery

Year 1 are learning maths using an approach called Mathematics Mastery. We plan to introduce it fully into Year 2 and Reception in September 2015.  The principles of Mathematics Mastery are implemented in all maths teaching across the whole school.
The Mathematics Mastery curriculum has been developed to ensure every child can achieve    excellence in mathematics. It provides pupils with a deep understanding of the subject through a concrete, pictorial and abstract approach (see the diagram below for an example of this approach). This ensures pupils fully understand what they are learning.


Key features of our Maths Mastery curriculum:
• High expectations for every child
• Fewer topics, greater depth
• Number sense and place value come first
• Language development a feature of every lesson
• Research -based curriculum
• Objects and pictures always before  numbers and letters
• Problem solving is central
• Calculate with confidence– understand why it works

Mathematics Mastery places emphasis on the cumulative mastery of essential knowledge and skills in mathematics. It embeds a deeper understanding of maths by utilising a concrete, pictorial, abstract approach so that pupils understand what they are doing rather than just learning to repeat routines without grasping what is happening.
None of the individual aspects of the Mathematics Mastery programme is ‘new’. They are tried and tested successful approaches that the best teachers, departments and schools have been using for years. However, what is special about Mathematics Mastery is that it brings these approaches and techniques together in a rigorous and systematic structure.

For further Information about Mathematics Mastery, please visit

Tracking Pupil Progress
In Mathematics Mastery assessment is continuous. From the beginning of every lesson, teachers and teaching assistants will be assessing what their pupils are, or are not understanding and use this to scaffold each segment of the lesson. Interventions will be both planned for and ‘live’, meaning that misconceptions are dealt with immediately and high attaining pupils are  challenged appropriately.