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St Richard's Catholic

Primary School

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At St Richard’s Catholic Primary School, we strive for our pupils to become lifelong learners. We aim for excellence in all our school activities and encourage all pupils to achieve the best they possibly can. We teach life skills. Mathematics is a life skill.  It is an essential element of communication, widely used in society, both in everyday situations and in the world of work.  We at St Richard’s Catholic Primary School endeavour to nurture a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


We follow the National curriculum, whose aims in maths are that all pupils become fluent in the fundamentals of maths, are able to reason mathematically and can solve a range of problems by applying their mathematics.  In order to maximise the children’s success, we aim to instil in them a deep and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts. For this reason, we have adopted a ‘teaching for mastery' approach across the school. Children are taught a concept in depth over a prolonged unit, moving through small progressive steps to develop a deep, lasting competence and understanding. All year groups begin with place value, which underpins our number system, before moving on to calculation and other strands. Supported by the NCETM and Maths Hub, we are following the Primary Teaching for Mastery Programme, with our Intent that every child achieves Mastery in maths; a solid understanding of maths that allows them to progress. We aim to not just close the gap, but to raise achievement for everyone; providing all children with a deep understanding and sustained learning. Through our day-to-day teaching and our implementation of Maths Mastery.





At St Richard's, we have adopted a mastery approach to teaching maths where children gain a full and deeper understanding of a mathematical concept.  It is not merely being able to recall key facts or know a method, it’s to have the understanding of what the fact actually means and understand why a method works in the way it does.  In order to support this, we use the three stage approach of concrete, pictorial and abstract teaching:


Concrete: Concrete is the “doing” stage, using concrete objects to model problems. Instead of the traditional method of math teaching, where a teacher demonstrates how to solve a problem, children are encouraged to use apparatus to represent the problem how they see it using objects.


Pictorial: Pictorial is the “seeing” stage, using representations of the objects to model problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object by replacing it with a visual representation through drawing.


Abstract: Abstract is the “symbolic” stage, where children now progress to representing the object as a number or mathematical symbol showing their understanding of the problem.


We use a variety of manipulatives in our maths classrooms and display the learning on working walls to support children moving from the concrete to a pictorial and finally to the abstract use of numbers. Children are encouraged to talk through their understanding in a range of ways including the use of stem sentences as well as working together to solve challenges.


We provide opportunities for children to develop their fluency in mental maths across the school through the use of daily 'Maths Flash' sessions and recognise that both arithmetic (number facts) and mental calculation are vital. We use Times Tables RockStars from Year 2 as a way of encouraging and motivating children to learn the important times tables and division facts


We have subscribed each child to two online maths sites where they can access a variety of maths tasks to help them practice and consolidate maths learning.  They all have individual usernames and passwords for these.


TimesTables RockStars- Children can also practise their timetables by logging into their individual accounts for TimesTables RockStars


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