What is Mathematics?

Mathematics is the science that deals with the logic of shape, quantity and arrangement. Mathematics is all around us, in everything we do. It is the building block for everything in our daily lives, including mobile devices, architecture (ancient and modern), art, money, engineering, and even sports.

Our definition for KS2-maths is the study of number, geometry, measure, statistic, algebra and ration and proportion

Our definition for Foundation and KS1- maths is the study of number, measure and space with in the world. 

The study of Mathematics provides a foundation for understanding the world. It gives children the ability to understand and become fluent within the number system and develop connections. It enables children to follow a line of enquiry, conjecture relationships, make generalisations and develop justification for their reasoning using mathematical language.


The essence of mathematics is not to make simple things complicated, but to make complicated things simple-

S Gudder – American professor of mathematics.

We want our children to leave Bishop Alexander LEAD Academy being resilient, responsible, respectful, aspirational, caring and independent (our school values). We also want our children to ‘broaden their horizons’ and have knowledge of the world outside our school. We want to make a difference in the lives of our children and ensure that they have a life-long passion for learning. Mathematics supports these aspirations for our children in many different ways.

Mathematics is a hugely important subject as it is intrinsic in all subjects. We want our children to have the knowledge to make their own informed decisions in life and to have the skills to question evidence given and to interrogate it; not accepting information at face value. We want our children to be able to articulate their finding with precise mathematical vocabulary so they can communicate clearly and fluently in a range of different contexts. 

Through our teaching we consistently aim to raise awareness of mathematics as a subject and as a potential career field for the future. The children should leave our school knowing many different career prospects for mathematicians including scientists, engineers, physicists, accountants.  Also careers which are inherently linked with this subject and also those which use the skills that mathematics as a subject teaches.

They will be excited by mathematics and eager to learn more, questioning what they have learnt so far. They will be able to link prior knowledge to what they are learning and make connections to build on from their knowledge and understanding. They will be able to making links to their experiences and to the wider world. Our children will not be limited by their starting points or life experiences.

How do we teach mathematics?

Throughout our school we believe that mathematics should be taught through an enquiry-led approach, utilising the children’s critical thinking skills. Using an enquiry-led approach means that our children can ask their own questions and form their own opinions (and be willing to change them). They will have the confidence to tackle problems which not only arise in mathematics but in other areas of the curriculum.

The intent of our mathematics curriculum is to maximise the development of every child’s ability an academic achievement which is accessible to all as they progress though our school. In short, everyone can do maths!

Mathematics is taught through strands in our school. In Foundation – number and shape and space, in Year 1 to 5- number, geometry, measurement and statistics and in Year 6-    number, geometry, measurement, statistics, ratio and proportion and algebra

Number includes: –  counting, place value, calculations, fractions, percentage and decimals.

Geometry includes: –  properties of shape, position and direction

Measurements includes: – in length, capacity and mass, time, temperature area, perimeter,

Statistics includes: –  reading and constructing tally charts, pictograms, bar charts, line graphs, pie charts, time tables

Ratio and proportion includes: -relationship between two numbers, finding quantities of unknown amounts

Algebra includes: – substituting letters for numbers, solving equations

In order to achieve this Foundation Stage are using the Number Sense programme, allowing children to explore numbers through oral, practical and play activities using real –life problems.

In KS1 and KS2 our school is using the DfE approved Power Maths scheme to ensure consistency and progression.  For each year group, the curriculum is broken down into core concepts and then taught in units. A unit divides into smaller learning steps – lessons. Step by step, strong foundations of cumulative knowledge and understanding are built where concepts are shown using concrete, pictorial and abstract and calculations expressed in different ways.

  • Before starting Power Maths, we use Active Number at the start of each maths lesson to underpin the importance of mathematical fluency.  This is a whole school approach to teaching and understanding number and operations.
  • This is followed by the sharing a new concept(Discover) within the context of a relatable real-life problem solving activity
  • . Through discussion (Share) careful teacher questioning children’s reasoning skills are further developed.
  • (Think together). During this aspect of the lesson the teacher leads children through strategies for solving problems and where appropriate will use the oracy format of ‘my turn’(teacher) where the teacher talks their thinking to solve the problem. Then ‘our turn’ (teacher and children talking to their work together) and finally ‘your turn’ (children talk to their work independently.)
  • (Practise.) This allows for children to independently develop their skills and understanding further as each question builds to more complex problems.
  • (Reflection) gives children the opportunity to show their understanding of the concept taught.
  • Throughout all of the lesson the correct mathematical vocabulary will be used.

The link to the national curriculum is