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The National Curriculum for maths aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Become fluent in the fundamentals of maths
  • Reason mathematically
  • Can solve problems.


The principle focus of maths at key stage one is to ensure that pupils develop confidence and mental fluency with whole numbers, counting and place value. This should involve working with numerals, words and the four operations. This includes using practical resources.


How to Help   

There are many ways you can help your child in maths. Adults use lots of maths at home, in everyday activities such as cooking, shopping and DIY. We use a range of maths while spending money, measuring, calculating, and so on. You can talk with your child about things like planning the meals for the week and making a shopping list. Using money is good for counting and doing maths in your head, and measuring is good for estimating.

Probably the biggest help a parent needs to help their child with numeracy is the JARGON!


What is a...


Number sentence?

A number sentence is an arrangement of numbers and symbols, such as the following:

6 + 7 = 13
45 - 6 = 39
8 x 9 = 72
48 ÷ 8 = 6


Number bond?

Number bonds are also often referred to as 'number pairs'. They are simply the pairs of numbers that make up a given number.


More information on what the "jargon" means can be found at this site.



What happens in a maths lesson?


A typical maths lesson might consist of the following elements:

Mental Maths

Children will have an oral and mental warm-up of 5 - 10 minutes when the teacher uses quick fire strategies to help the children become familiar and very quick in their responses to mental problems. The emphasis is on teaching the children how to use these various strategies in their own work. It is recognised that if children can work out sums in their heads first the recording of mathematics is easier for them later on.


Group/Independent Work

The teacher will then introduce the topic for the lesson. She will explain what the children have to do and what the expected outcome should be. They will then work at their own level and the teacher and, classroom assistant will have the opportunity to focus on each group in turn to ensure that the children have understood the concept and are working accurately.


The Plenary

Children may present their work briefly and talk about it. There will be an opportunity to review the main teaching points of the class lesson and to summarise the key learning. The teacher will sometimes tell the children what the next day's activity will be. During this session she will also assess if the children have learned what she intended them to learn.



In Key Stage one children learn in a real and practical way. They will be learning to think about the methods they use for solving problems individually, in groups and as a class. They will be talking about their methods and using pictures, lists and tables to present their results.


Some of the things that will be covered in year 1 and 2 included:


  • Reading and writing numbers 0 to 20 and beyond
  •  Counting up to 100 objects and beyond
  • Learning which pairs of numbers add up to 20
  • Recognising number patterns
  • Odd and even numbers
  • Using a number line
  • The 2, 5 and 10 times tables, plus division facts
  • Adding and subtracting one-digit and two-digit numbers
  • Doubling and halving
  • Finding a quarter, a third and a half of a shape or quantity
  • Simple mental maths
  • Recognising, naming and describing shapes
  • Using shapes to make models and pictures
  • Finding lines of symmetry
  • Measuring and weighing
  • Addition and subtraction of small amounts of money
  • Knowing that a quarter turn is a right angle
  • Recognising and using mathematical symbols
  • Drawing and interpreting graphs and pictograms
  • Telling the time on an analogue clock to the nearest quarter of an hour (or to the nearest five minutes from September 2015)
  • Naming and describing 2D and 3D shapes



Take a look at the bottom of this page and on the "Maths Zone" page for some ideas on how you can help your child become more confident with their Maths.