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We are passionate about maths at Sutton Courtenay and aim to inspire confidence and curiosity in our children when we teach it. We recognise that the curriculum can be divided into three areas:

  • Fluency
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning

In line with our school vision and values, our maths curriculum is built on a firm foundation of fluency. We believe this comes from confidence with mental and written strategies based on a secure conceptual understanding. Without fluency, children struggle to problem solve or reason effectively. 

Problem solving and reasoning to develop mastery of mathematical concepts is built into the curriculum – however, we believe children need to be taught how to systematically and logically apply their learning. This combination of foundations in fluency and problem solving and reasoning skills equips our children for application of maths to their daily lives, for the rest of their lives.

Using equipment to support learning


Maths at Sutton Courtenay is visual, kinaesthetic, challenging and fun. It is taught on a daily basis. Whole class teaching enables all children to access the learning whilst differentiated activities, and levels of support, enable the needs of individual children to be met. Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources to explore maths and develop a deep mathematical understanding and fluency. 

Curriculum in Foundation Stage from Pre-school to Reception class

We have a balance of deliberate teaching and spontaneous learning across the breath of mathematics aiming for all children to:

  • practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems 
  • describe shapes, spaces, and measures
  • count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number 
  • using quantities and objects, they add and subtract 2 single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer 
  • they solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing
  • use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems • They recognise, create and describe patterns
  • explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to describe them

Curriculum in from Year 1 through to Year 6

We use the Abacas curriculum and calculation strategies ( as the basis for teaching. This curriculum systematically develops learning and strategies using engaging visuals which link to the practical resources children use in the classroom. 

Alongside clear strategies for calculation, the curriculum provides regular opportunities for developing problem solving and reasoning skills which help children to a secure the understanding of mathematical concepts and processes needed to develop mastery of maths. A child who has mastered a particular skill is able to apply their understanding and solve different types of problem, including where the skill is either embedded in a different context, or where a choice of method has to be made. Teachers are able supplement the Abacas resources and teaching using other sources such as White Rose Maths, NRich and PiXL.


Challenge is provided to children through targeted higher order questioning during teaching input and independent learning. Children generally self-select their independent learning activities (bronze, silver or gold challenges) but teachers may choose to ensure an individual will gain the most from their learning. Maths talk is key to our lessons whether it be whole class discussions, group or paired learning. We encourage children to explain their thinking and reasoning behind any methods they are undertaking.


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Regular reviews of teaching, learning and progress are made through classroom observations, learning walks, book reviews, data analysis from summative assessments and child interviews. There is a culture of open and active discussion amongst teaching and support staff in staff meetings and informally. Our knowledge of children’s learning is informed by:

  • The children’s responses in lessons – their engagement with activities and the depth of their response to challenging questions
  • The development of children’s recorded responses
  • Evidence of children’s growing knowledge that informs their strategies and reasoning, and their ability to justify these both orally and in written form as they get older
  • Formal assessments three times a year against objectives
  • A summative response is used at the end of the year in reports

Helping your child with maths at home.

You can make a huge difference to your child's understanding of maths just by talking and playing at home. Take a look at the presentation we gave to parents at our Maths at Home Parent's Forum at the link at the top of this page.