St Barnabas CE Primary School Maths Subject Statement.

At St. Barnabas we follow the White Rose Maths Curriculum with the use of supporting materials taken from quality enrichment and extension programmes.

What is the intent of the White Rose Maths curriculum?

Our long-term aim is to produce an ambitious, connected curriculum accessible to all pupils in school right through from Reception to the end of Year 6 which has prepared them well for the move to secondary. This curriculum covers all the content of the National Curriculum and is based on research based pedagogy for teaching for mastery.

We provide a structured coherent curriculum to develop pupils into mathematical thinkers.

What skills does our curriculum develop?

We want pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics and to be able to reason and to solve problems. Our curriculum embraces these National Curriculum aims, and provides guidance to help pupils to become:

Visualisers – we use the CPA approach to help pupils understand mathematics and to make connections between different representations.

Describers – we place great emphasis on mathematical language and questioning so pupils can discuss the mathematics they are doing, and so support them to take ideas further.

Experimenters – as well as being fluent mathematicians, we want pupils to love and learn more about mathematics.

Why is our curriculum ordered in the way it is?

To learn mathematics effectively, some things have to be learned before others, e.g. place value needs to be understood before working with addition and subtraction, addition needs to be learnt before looking at multiplication (as a model of repeated addition). You will see this emphasis on number skills first, carefully ordered, throughout our primary curriculum. For some other topics, the order isn’t as crucial, e.g. Shapes and Statistics need to come after number, but don’t depend on each other. We try to mix these so pupils have as wide a variety of mathematical experiences as possible in each term and year.

Teaching for mastery

At St Barnabas we use a mastery approach to maths teaching. This is a research-driven teaching and learning method that meets the goals of the National Curriculum.

What does it mean in practice? In summary, a mastery approach… 

  • Puts numbers first: Our curriculum has number at their heart, because we believe confidence with numbers is the first step to competency in the curriculum as a whole.
  • Puts depth before breadth: we reinforce knowledge again and again.
  • Encourages collaboration: children can progress through the curriculum as a group, supporting each other as they learn.
  • Focuses on fluency, reasoning and problem solving: it gives children the skills they need to become competent mathematicians.

Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract 

At the heart of our mastery approach is the Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) approach. Research shows that when children are introduced to a new concept, working with concrete physical resources and pictorial representations leads to a better understanding of abstract concepts. We use CPA throughout our learning journeys..


Children should have the opportunity to work with physical objects/concrete resources, in order to bring the maths to life and to build understanding of what they are doing. 


Alongside concrete resources, children should work with pictorial representations, making links to the concrete. Visualising a problem in this way can help children to reason and to solve problems. 


With the support of both the concrete and pictorial representations, children can develop their understanding of abstract methods.Our maths resources help pupils with problem solving and number fluency, by nurturing confidence in mathematical thinking. We don’t think any child should be intimidated by numbers. In fact, we think they should be excited by what numbers can help them do.   

Our curriculum and resources help teachers too: 

  • Create lesson plans in minutes, and spend more time teaching
  • Use maths games and other activities to make maths fun
  • Explain core maths concepts and use colourful, activity-based resources to make them stick
  • Follow a logical, step-by-step scheme of work as it guides teaching priorities throughout the school year
  • Provide opportunities for more able pupils to explore mathematical concepts at a deeper level, while making sure no child falls behind.

For our calculation policies please click the links below.

Addition and Subtraction Calculations Policy

Multiplication and Division Calculations Policy

Visual Calculations Policy