Mr M Larcombe – Maths Lead

Being a competent mathematician is a vital skill for life. Whether it’s deciding on a phone contract, budgeting for a family or working out the exchange rate on holiday and how much that boat trip will actually cost, maths impacts on our lives every day. But beyond that, there is also a beauty in maths: for many, the thrill of finding a solution outweighs the challenge of the process. A love of maths will open up a whole range of careers from engineers to architects, research scientists to designers; accountants to meteorologists.

With this in mind, at Hillfort we hate the thought that, nationally, too many children are left behind and made to feel that maths isn’t for them – a view often reinforced by adults around them who may also have struggled with maths when they were at school. At Hillfort, we aim to break this cycle. We do this by instilling confidence through competence, ensuring that children not only feel success in a lesson, but also retain that success through effective recap and deliberate practice.

What does a maths lesson look like?

Our maths lessons start with daily fluency which includes both mental and written maths calculations. Practising mathematical methods every day, not only helps children to improve their speed and accuracy, but also frees up working memory when they have to calculate in a problem-solving situation.

After daily fluency, teachers will go through any vocabulary that may be a barrier to understanding the content of the lesson. Then, children look back at their previous learning step to ensure that they know what they are building on.

Following this, the teacher will model the content of the lesson. They ensure that they use useful conceptual images and talk through their thinking so that children have a clear understanding of the learning. The teacher then practices step-by-step with the children, guiding them to early success, building confidence as they go. Before children move onto practising independently, the teacher will ask an assess question which will search for misconceptions and common errors. If children are not confident with the assess question they will have more guided practice with the teacher before moving they move into independent practice.

At the end of the lesson, the teachers will look at the class as a whole and decide whether they are ready to move on or whether more instruction or practice is required to enable the next step to build on secure understanding.

This can be summed up in our MAPA teaching model: a mastery approach.

We also ensure that when we are planning, we break the learning down into small steps and make sure that children have mastered each step before we move on. Our teachers are constantly talking through next steps with their colleagues and regularly use the Mastery CPD materials written by the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics).

This gives even the least confident children a feeling that today’s lesson is manageable – and slowly, lesson-by-lesson, before they know it, they start to enjoy maths and begin to believe that maths is for them after all.

Curriculum Map:

Year 1
Number3 weeksComparison on quantities and measure
Number4 weeksPart whole model
Number5 weeksComposition of number
Number5 weeksAdditive structure
Number6 weeksAddition and subtraction strategies
Number6 weeksComposition of number (10-100)
Multiplication6 weeksCounting unitising and coins
Geometry4 weeksShape
Year 2
Addition and subtraction3 weeksBridging 10
Addition and subtraction2 weeksSubtracting as the difference
Addition and subtraction3 weeks2-digit and 1-digit
Addition and subtraction3 weeks2-digit numbers and multiples of 10
Addition and subtraction10 weeksAddition and subtraction of 2-digit and 2-digit numbers
Multiplication10 weeksYear 2 multiplication
Fractions3 weeksYear 2 fractions
Geometryweeks2D and 3D shape
Year 3
Addition and subtraction7 weeks
Addition and subtraction7 weeksColumn methods
Multiplication and division5 weeks
Multiplication and division3 weeksTimes tables
Fractions7 weeks
Geometry3 weeksGeometry part 1
Measurement2 weeks
Geometry2 weeksGeometry part 2
Statistics3 weeks
Year 4
Addition and subtraction4 weeksComposition of 4-digit numbers
Addition and subtraction7 weeksComposition (tenths, hundredths and thousandths)
Addition and subtraction2 weeksMoney
Multiplication and division3 weeksTimes tables
Multiplication and division2 weeksDivision
Multiplication and division2 weeksMultiplying by 10 or 100
Multiplication and division3 weeksShort multiplication
Multiplication and division3 weeksShort division
Multiplication and division3 weeksMultiplication in contexts
Fractions7 weeksYear 4 fractions
Geometry3 weeks
Year 5
Addition and subtraction7 weeksComposition and comparing numbers
Addition and subtraction5 weeksCommon structures
Multiplication and division7 weeks
Multiplication and division4 weeksFactors, multiples and prime numbers
Multiplication and division4 weeksMultiplication with addition and subtraction
Fractions7 weeks
Geometry5 weeks
Year 6
Addition and subtraction5 weeksComposition
Addition and subtraction4 weeksProblems with 2 unknowns
Multiplication and division6 weeks
Multiplication and division3 weeksMean, average and equalshares
Multiplication and division4 weeksRatio and scale factors
Multiplication and division part 27 weeks
Fractions2 weeks
Fractions5 weeksLinking fractions to decimals and percentages
Geometry4 weeks