Maths at Dobcroft is taught using a mastery style approach, where at each stage of learning children are given the opportunity to demonstrate deep, conceptual understanding of a topic and build on this over time. We want children to be able to not only recall key maths skills and facts, but to also be able to apply their understanding in different contexts. Children explore key concepts in detail using concrete apparatus and pictorial representations to support their learning. Once a strong foundation and understanding of these key skills has been developed, children then link this to a variety of carefully planned abstract concepts.

Mathematics is taught in an engaging and practical way throughout school, where all children are given plenty of opportunities to engage with reasoning and problem solving activities. The carefully planned mastery approach to the mathematics curriculum enables all children to succeed, with many pupils exploring concepts in greater depth. We also encourage children to develop their confidence, resilience, and ability to tackle a range of mathematical problems which are represented in different ways. Children are encouraged to think mathematically throughout maths lessons, articulating their learning in sentences to their peers and to the adults in school. This can be seen in the Maths Moment video clips attached.

It is our firm belief that all children can be successful in maths. Scaffolding and modelling are key to ensuring that all children are given the opportunity to achieve their full potential, examples of which can be seen attached. Children are encouraged to deepen their understanding, challenging themselves through accessing a ‘Digging Deeper’ question, or by choosing a challenge card from the Challenge Chest in each classroom. Children are challenged to explain why, to prove how they know, to convince that they are correct, or to find all possible outcomes. 


What does maths look like across school?

Foundation Stage 1 and 2

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, children are introduced to mathematical concepts using concrete resources and pictorial representations. Children work in small groups with a teacher or teaching assistant to develop their mathematical thinking and are challenged to apply their skills in a number of different real life contexts. Further opportunities for the children to apply skills independently and consolidate mathematical understanding are made available throughout the continuous provision. Children also participate in daily Maths Moments sessions.

For end of Foundation Stage expectations, please see the attached document labelled ‘EYFS Maths Skills Progression’.

Year 1

The principal focus of mathematics teaching in Year 1 is to ensure that children develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This involves working with numerals, words, and with calculations using practical resources (e.g. concrete objects and measuring tools). At this stage, children also develop their ability to recognise, describe, draw, compare and sort different shapes and use the related vocabulary. Children use a range of measures to describe and compare different quantities such as length, mass, capacity/volume, time and money. Maths lessons are taught daily, alongside shorter, oral rehearsal of maths facts and quick recall in Maths Moments sessions.

End of Y1 Expectations in Maths:

  • Count to and across 100, forwards and backwards from any number.
  • Read and write numbers to 20 in numerals and words.
  • Read and write number to 100 in numerals.
  • Say 1 more/1 less to 100.
  • Count in multiples of 2, 5 and 10.
  • Use bonds and subtraction facts to 20.
  • Recognise the signs + - and =
  • Add and subtract 1 digit and 2 digit numbers to 20, including zero.
  • Solve missing number problems such as 7 = __ + 2
  • Solve a one-step problem involving an addition and subtraction, using concrete objects, pictorial representations and arrays.
  • Recognise half and a quarter of object, shape or quantity.

Year 2

Children are working on knowing the number bonds to 20, and in being precise in using and understanding place value. An emphasis on practice at this early stage will aid fluency. Children develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately, along with building on their ability to solve a range of problems. Children participate in maths lessons daily, alongside shorter, oral rehearsal of maths facts and quick recall in Maths Moments sessions.

End of Y2 Expectations in Maths:

  • Compare and order numbers up to 100 and use < > =.
  • Read and write numbers to 100 in digits & words.
  • Say 10 more/less than any number to 100.
  • Count in steps of 2, 3 & 5 from zero and in 10s from any number (forwards and backwards).
  • Recall and use multiplication & division facts for 2, 5 & 10 tables.
  • Recall and use +/- facts to 20.
  • Derive and use related facts to 100.
  • Recognise place value of any 2-digit number.
  • Add & subtract:
    • Two 2-digit numbers (e.g. 32 + 4 or 41 + 10)
    • Three 1-digit numbers (e.g. 7 + 3 + 1)
  • Recognise and use inverse operations (+/-).
  • Calculate and write multiplication & division calculations using multiplication tables.
  • Recognise, find, name and write 1/2; 1/4; 2/4; 3/4.
  • Tell time; including quarter past/to.


Through school we have introduced the ‘Numbots’ programme to support fluency and quick recall of key maths skills and facts. Children are given their own login details, and move through the programme at their own pace. ‘Numbots’ allows children to consolidate their learning, and develop fluency and automaticity when practising skills taught in maths lessons at school.


Pupil Voice

We asked the children at Dobcroft about their learning in maths. This is what they said…

Foundation Stage 1

  • We sing our ‘Days of the Week’ song. There are 7!
  • I like it when we do months of the year and jump like a frog for our birthday.
  • I like the Number Blocks. We say them fast!
  • We know the subitise rap. You do it without counting.

Foundation Stage 2

  • We learn using unifix cubes, singing the days of the week song, and playing in the classroom.
  • We can do maths in construction, and when we play ‘What time is it Mr Wolf’, and playing in the mud kitchen.
  • I like matching shapes!
  • We like it when we sing our maths songs in our Maths Moments, and we change the class calendar.
  • We can use the big counting caterpillar number line to count on.
  • We try to say the number without counting, it’s called subitising.
  • You can go to the maths table to do an independent challenge on our own without the grown-ups.
  • We need to double check our answer to make sure that we’re right.

Year 1

  • We learn new things, write equations and solve problems. We use cubes and number lines, numicon and dienes.
  • We challenge ourselves by doing deepening activities, and work from the Challenge Chest.
  • I know I have mastered the skill when I feel confident and brave.
  • You know you have mastered the skill when you do the work on your own.
  • Deepening, Challenge Chest, and extra whiteboard equations help me to challenge myself.
  • I know I have mastered a skill when I check my work with green pen and it is right!
  • We use part, part whole models and number lines to help us.
  • I like the doubles song.
  • I like to try the deepening tasks and working with a partner to talk about maths.
  • I like the maths moments songs.

Year 2

  • I like learning about shapes because it is really fun.
  • We use the whiteboards to practise ideas on there.
  • I like using the dienes because it makes counting easier.
  • We can use the Challenge Chest in class once we have finished the independent task.
  • I know I have mastered a skill when it starts to feel easier.
  • I really like spotting the errors, it’s a great challenge!
  • I like doing money, and when we play crack the code.
  • We challenge ourselves by working out equations in our head, or by doing chilli challenges.
  • I know if I understand something when I am good at it, or if I can solve equations.
  • We can learn using purple mash, quizzes, and using different methods to solve equations.
  • We can ask our teacher for challenges, use the Challenge Chest, or ask for deepening activities.
  • I know I have done well with my maths learning when I see pink highlighter, my teacher tells me I have done a good job, or get to be Kingfisher of the Day.

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