Subject information


At Northgate our primary intent is to have an engaging and inspiring curriculum with high academic ambition for all pupils. Our mathematics curriculum is one which is accessible to all through a progressive scheme that supports and builds on previously acquired knowledge and skills. Our curriculum maximises the development of every child’s ability and academic achievement through small step progression that deepens understanding year on year to ensure children know more and remember more.

The  National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all children:

  •  Become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics
  •  Are able to reason mathematically
  •  Can solve problems by applying their mathematics

At Northgate, our curriculum is based on Herts for Learning ESSENTIAL maths, which follows the National Curriculum. The maths sequences support the delivery of a spiral curriculum, in which learning is built upon step by step, sequence by sequence and year on year. The materials are aspirational and ensure progression and coverage throughout all year groups. We strive to ensure that children are taught to become competent mathematicians by embedding the skills and processes necessary to enable children to use and apply their maths learning in a variety of contexts.


At Northgate, our approach to the teaching of mathematics develops children's ability to work both independently and collaboratively. We recognise that in order for pupils to progress towards deeper and more complex problems they need to be confident and fluent across each yearly programme of study.

Our learning sequences are designed to cover the National Curriculum statements and key concepts, through small learning steps with a mastery approach. They aim to develop both conceptual understanding and procedural fluency. Our learning sequences include the following:

  • A brief review of prior knowledge, from the previous lesson, previous week, previous term and the previous year  at the beginning of each lesson
  • Time to introduce new topic specific vocabulary.
  • The delivery of carefully modelled teaching - with concrete resources and pictorial representations - in order to develop deep understanding in mathematics. Once secure, the children are asked to solve problems where they only have the abstract i.e. numbers or other symbols. Building these steps across a lesson or sequence can help children better understand the relationship between numbers and the real world, and therefore helps secure their understanding of the mathematical concept they are learning.
  • The children actively participate through purposeful questioning, whole class discussions, talk partners and by using their own resources to demonstrate their thinking.
  • Regular recording opportunities encourage children to represent and internalise their learning. Children may be encouraged to use models, drawings, symbols and concrete resources to demonstrate this.
  • Speaking frames are used to support the development of the language of mathematics. They enable the children to articulate their thinking using accurate vocabulary, and support core skills such as conjecturing and generalising to investigate and problem solve.
  • Teachers ensure that children have exposure to a variety of different question types and any potential misconceptions are uncovered and addressed at each stage of their learning. 
  • Opportunities are built-in for children to think deeply and develop explicit reasoning and problem-solving skills, so that they can confidently apply their learning to new contexts.
  • Teachers use a variety of approaches to check that the children are secure in their understanding, before moving on to the next step. They use questioning to elicit feedback from all children to expose and address any misconceptions in learning. All misconceptions are addressed through supported practice to enable all children to succeed. 
  • Teachers use a range of tools to support children in knowing more and remembering more in maths. These include working walls and steps to success. Children revisit and recall previous learning in different contexts including early morning work, lesson starters and re-activation sessions to identify any gaps and develop efficiency, accuracy and flexibility.
  • Online subscriptions to Mathletics and Times Table Rock Stars are used to provide children with opportunities to practise and embed learning outside of lessons and school.


The successful approach at Northgate Primary School results in a fun, engaging, high quality maths education that provides children with an understanding of the relationship between numbers and the real world. Our high quality maths curriculum, dedicated teaching team and incredibly hard working children, ensures that we are able to maintain high standards, with achievement well above the national average and a high proportion of children demonstrating greater depth across the school.