Mathematics at St. Anne’s Catholic Primary School

At St Anne's we try to make maths interesting and relevant to real life. We try to make maths as cross curricular as possible, using our maths skills in science and topic as much as we can.

We have recently updated our maths calculation policy which fits alongside our new maths programme of work INSPIRE maths. Our calculation policy can be found in our policies section of our website.

What is INSPIRE maths?

Inspire Maths is a whole-school primary maths programme based on the leading Singapore Maths series My Pals are Here!, and is currently used in almost 100% of Singapore's state primary schools.

•             Accessible Pupil Textbooks introduce concepts in a highly scaffolded way, enabling all children to develop critical thinking skills, make mathematical connections and become confident mathematicians.

•             Inspire Maths is built on a Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach, ensuring secure foundations and a deep understanding of mathematical concepts.

•             Inspire Maths uses a spiral progression to develop fluency and reasoning, and builds strong conceptual understanding and problem solving skills for mastery

INSPIRE maths is taught on a daily basis for at least 1 hour a day. The teacher uses the ‘I do, we do, you do’ approach during the lesson. All children have access to well resources maths boxes which have all the manipulatives they will need to help them in their maths. The teacher teaches the lesson (often using a visualiser so the children can see what the teacher is doing) and will then walk around the room assessing children and asking them questions to ascertain which pupils need more challenge and which need extra support.

For those who need extra support, the teacher (or TA) will take those children and go over the concept again and again until those children understand (at least to the concrete level). The children who need challenging further will be given extra activities/ challenges and investigations to improve their reasoning and mathematical thinking.


Concrete – Pictorial – Abstract (What is this?)




Things you can pick up and move, for example dice, counters, shells, pebbles, straws.



A picture to represent mathematics, such as a calculation (printed in books or drawn).



Numbers (1, 2, 3, 4) and symbols (+, -, x, ÷, <, >, =).


Please watch this brief for a coherent explanation of the C-P-A  approach.

Children at St. Anne’s are not grouped in ability sets anymore. All the children are taught the same maths, in the same way. However, children can access the main mathematical concepts in very different ways. This is the differentiation. Whether they are using the concrete manipulatives to help them, whether they are drawing pictures to support their maths, or whether they are approaching the maths using the abstract approach (eg. formal methods) Some children may not ever move onto the abstract approach for certain concepts whilst other will pick up the abstract more quickly and move onto more challenging reasoning problems and investigations which have been planned by the teacher.

At St. Anne’s, we believe that there should be no ‘ceiling’ put on the children’s mathematical learning and understanding.  All children can be mathematicians and will achieve. We do not make assumptions and restrict children in their mathematical learning. Every child is able to explore, manipulate and investigate a range of mathematical concepts and problems to the best of their ability. Children at St. Anne’s are given the opportunity to reason about their maths, develop their thinking around mathematical concepts and challenge themselves to think outside the box.

Maths isn’t always about giving the correct answer. It is the explanation and understanding behind the process of getting to that answer that is the most important part.


Information for parents


We have now offered workshops to all parents in school to explain the Singapore style approach to the teaching of mathematics here at St. Anne’s. We plan to run a workshop each year for new parents and a reminder for existing parents.

Please see link to the PowerPoint presentation which explains some key concepts and methodologies. There is also a handout to explain how you can help at home.

Please watch these useful videos which will explain the main concepts of Singapore maths; the part-whole model and the bar model.



How does INSPIRE maths link to the National Curriculum?


The new National Curriculum (2014) for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

- become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.

- reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language.

- can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

INSPIRE maths covers most of the National curriculum objectives, however, there are times that the teachers need to teach specific NC objectives because they are not covered enough in the INSPIRE math programme of study (eg  shape, time and money.)

Teachers also use high quality resources from NRICH, STEM, White rose hub resources and oxford owl online resources to help plan and deliver challenging yet hands on and engaging activities.

Please use the following link to familiarise yourself with the national curriculum objectives from Y1- Y6.



How do we teach maths in the Early Years?


In the Foundation Stage we aim to develop the children’s understanding of number, shape, space and measures in a broad range of contexts in which they can explore, learn, practise and talk about their developing understanding.

Mathematics (maths) is an important part of learning for all children in the early years and receiving a good grounding in maths is an essential life skill. As well as numeracy, it helps skills such as problem solving, understanding and using shapes and measure and developing their own spatial awareness.

INSPIRE maths is not taught in Reception. However, at St. Anne’s, we use NUMICON in the Early Years to ensure our children get the very best start to their mathematics education. We also use resources such as NRICH and the ‘White Rose’ resources to help plan and execute challenging yet fun mathematical activities and problems.

The concrete, pictoral and abstract approach is used in Reception (particularly the concrete) and the children are exposed to some crucial concepts in the summer term in Reception (part-whole model.)

Please use the following links for some useful games and websites to look at at home.


Mental Maths Skills


It is important that the children’s mental maths skills are practised on a regular basis in and out o school. All classes regularly rehearse, sharpen and develop mental skills by:


•Practicing mental calculations and rapid recall

•Figuring out new facts from known facts and explaining the strategies use

•Rehearsing ‘pre-requisite skills’

From 2020, Year 4 children will be tested on their times tables knowledge. It is important that all children know all their times tables (up to 12 x 12) by the time they reach Year 4. Here are some lins to websites that you may find useful to help with times tables practice.

We buy into the very popular TimesTables Rockstars. In either paper form or online, Times Tables Rock Stars is a carefully sequenced programme of daily times tables practice. Each week concentrates on a different times table, with a recommended consolidation week for rehearsing the tables that have recently been practised every third week or so. This format has very successfully boosted times tables recall speed for hundreds of thousands of pupils over the last 8 years in over 14,000 schools - both primary and secondary - worldwide

Your child will be given a login from when they join Year 2 at St. Anne's. You can follow the link below or download the APP to play TT Rockstars and start earning coins and improving your rock speed!       Image result for tt rockstars


Mathematical vocabulary and language


Please feel free to have a look at the ‘Maths language jargon buster’ document to familiarise yourself with all the different mathematical words and phrases your children may be using on a daily basis.

The language of maths and talking maths is so important at all stages in their education, so the more you understand and are familiar with, the better it will be for your child’s mathematical development.  Teachers are now spending more and more time in lessons ensuring that the children ‘talk’ mathematically. Using questions such as ‘tell me why’ and ‘prove it to me’ ge the children discussing their mathematics. It makes them think to a much deeper level and they are forced to use these mathematical terms.

I have also included a link to a list of sentence starters that we use in school. These sentence starters structure the children’s thinking. For example, ‘I know this……because…..’ or ‘I know this is true because……’ Please feel free to print these off and use as often as you’d like.




Files to Download

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St Annes Catholic Primary School

Wellington Road

Main Contact: Mrs M Ashbrooke, School Business Manager

Tel: 01270 685353

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