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Here at Swalecliffe our children are encouraged to choose the most efficient method for calculating, be it mental calculation, jottings or a formal written calculation appropriate to a given task. By the end of KS2, they will have been taught and be secure with using a compact standard method for each operation. Teachers plan and teach from our Maths Consistency Folder to ensure all children have equal opportunities. Teaching and learning at Swalecliffe is in line with the most recent National Curriculum and we have ensured that the school is well-resourced with equipment regularly updated so it’s fit for purpose.

Children are encouraged to:


  • Use models, images and manipulatives to aid conceptual understanding
  • Establish mental methods, based on a good understanding of place value
  • Use formal jottings to aid mental calculations
  • Develop the use of empty number lines to help mental imagery and aid recording
  • Use partitioning and recombining to aid informal methods
  • Introduce expanded written methods
  • Develop expanded methods into compact standard written form


There is clear progression of basic skills from Year 1 through to Year 6 with the use of our Calculation Policy and Number Menus (see Maths Mechanics). At Swalecliffe we feel mental calculation is important in order to speed up children’s thinking and reasoning. Our children have the opportunity to achieve their times tables badges, starting with 25 times tables, challenging their ability so they eventually achieve 100 Club status in both multiplication and division. This is an effective motivational tool and the children look forward to achieving all 7 badges to reach their goal – a 100 Clubber! Further up the school, this is then extended to decimal tables so that they can continue to strive for excellence.


Being able to reason and problem solve is at the heart of our curriculum so opportunities for these are integrated into each unit of work. Children have the opportunity to explore different types of problem solving tasks both in class and through use of the outdoor learning environment, which includes our Maths trail. Reasoning is encouraged throughout lessons both in written form and verbally in order to deepen the children’s Mathematical understanding.  


The children are tracked and assessed regularly in order to pick up and intervene to overcome any problems they may encounter.


All classrooms have maths working walls with key vocabulary displayed and used appropriately. The walls are referred to in lessons and often display children’s work and ideas. Teachers nurture an environment where children are allowed to make mistakes as part of their learning and they promote the idea that this is all part of learning. We feel this helps towards developing children’s confidence when discussing and applying mathematical ideas.


We pride ourselves on our use of high level probing questions to help children develop their thinking and reasoning skills. Through the use of number menus in their books, children are aware of what they have previously achieved and what they need to do next. This enables them to take greater responsibility for their learning which is part of the ethos at Swalecliffe. Maths Mechanics sessions provide time for children to focus on these key targets. In addition they are used to develop and embed foundation skills and to explore and address gaps in understanding or misconceptions.


Different learning styles are catered for with a great deal of visual and kinaesthetic teaching and learning in daily lessons. Pace and progression is ensured through the use of the Swalecliffe 4Ps (Prove It, Practise, Problem Solve, Perfect). The fourth P, Perfect, enables all children to apply the skills they have acquired to a range of mathematical contexts. It provides opportunities to develop reasoning skills, deeper thinking and a greater depth of understanding for all children.


As part of the Maths CACoT, the Maths Leaders meet regularly to share new ideas, keep up with government changes as well as monitoring maths books across the schools. Exciting, challenging competitions and events for all abilities across the schools are organised by the Coastal Alliance. Examples of these are The Times Tables Bees and Greater Depth Challenge Days. The children were also involved in producing maths video clips, demonstrating the strategies we use, to be put on the website; this is a great resource and support for both parents and children.