Holmwood School and Nursery

Maths - September 2020


Our maths curriculum is based upon the principles of teaching for mastery. At Holmwood School and Nursery, we see teaching for mastery in maths as allowing the pupils to gain a deep understanding of maths, allowing them to acquire a secure and long-term understanding of maths that allows them to make continual progress and be ready to move onto more complex topics.


We try to use as many storybook as possible when teaching new concepts in Maths.  When compared to teaching through worksheets, storybooks make mathematics more engaging. Quite often there is some sort of a problem or crisis in the story and characters use their mathematical knowledge and skills to solve it. As children become involved in the narrative and characters, they invest in understanding the maths.  Stories also allow children to relate mathematics to their own lives through contextualisation; pattern, problem solving, to telling the time. Another powerful aspect is the visualisation of abstract mathematical ideas. Through illustrations, abstract concepts such as odd numbers, division or fractions are represented visually.  And on top of the mathematical benefits of  using stories, they also support our ethos of promoting the love of reading and help to demonstrate the world that reading stories can open up.


Influenced, inspired and informed by the work of leading maths researchers and practitioners across the world, we have chosen to follow the schemes of learning produced by ‘White Rose Maths’.  They have brought together a team of highly experienced and passionate maths teaching experts to train, guide, help and support us to be the very best maths teachers.


We believe that everyone can do maths. Maths is a subject that everyone can and should be able to perform confidently and competently. Our expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the schemes of learning at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of the pupil’s understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils who grasp concepts rapidly should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems rather than acceleration onto new content. Those children who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier materials will consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice and support, before moving on.


For all areas of maths, pupil’s learning will begin with concrete experience, leading onto pictorial representations and ultimately secure mental strategies, which will allow them to solve abstract problems. When appropriate, pupils will be taught formal recording methods.


Please click on the links below to take you to the schemes of learning for each year group:

  • For Early Years please click here
  • For Key Stage 1 please click here

Please click here to learn more about our calculation policy.

Please click here for the Early Years Maths booklets for parents.

Please click here for the Key Stage 1 booklets for home learning which will support what is being taught in school.


Maths Monkey

There is more maths around you every day than you probably think! Our Maths monkeys support children in being able to recognise this.  Each class monkey will be sent home with a child, to spend some time doing maths things together.  Children record what they get up to in its diary and add any photos of doing maths together!

Here are a few ideas that they could do:

  • Going on a number hunt
  • Counting objects / animals / stairs
  • Cooking / baking
  • A visit to the shop to buy some sweets, how much have you spent? How much change?
  • Sorting stickers into a repeating pattern
  • Organising and classifying toys, books or cars according colour, size, length etc.
  • Play I’m thinking of a number, e.g. is it odd? Is it bigger than 20 / less than 50? Write down the questions you asked, how many questions did you need to guess correctly? 
  • Helping children to learn times tables or division facts
  • Learning number bonds
  • Finding and identifying 2D and 3D shapes
  • Exploring patterns out and about
  • Collecting and displaying data, e.g. how many red cars go past in 10 minutes? What is your family’s favourite fruit?
  • Playing free Maths games on the computer
  • Playing snakes and ladders or other board games
  • Exploring number lines, numbered and blank
  • Solving word problems

The most important thing to remember is........ to have fun!


Holmwood School and Nursery, Kensington Drive, Great Holm, Milton Keynes, MK8 9AB

01908 260596

office@holmwoodschool.co.uk / absence@holmwoodschool.co.uk