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How we teach Maths at St Mary's



Years 1 to 5 largely follow the White Rose Hub (WRH) plans to deliver the maths curriculum.  (The planning overview, and small steps of learning taught in each year, can be found within the curriculum area of this website).


Year 6 teachers ensure that the whole curriculum has been covered to date, and plan accordingly to meet the needs of the children in preparation for the secondary curriculum.



Formative assessment is ongoing and ensures that the lessons planned are appropriate to teach the next steps in learning.  Teachers are skilled in assessing progress through the lesson by means of observation and questioning and by viewing independent work.


Interim assessments check if the children have understood a unit of teaching.   This can be through the assessment of specific targets.


Summative assessments are carried out termly to check how much content has been understood and where the gaps are for individuals.  The results are analysed to track the progress of individuals, or groups over time.  This allows the school to implement interventions for individuals or groups.  Year 3, 4 and 5 sit NFER papers, Year 2 and Year 6 sit past SATs papers and Year 1 use WRH assessments.



Teachers use a mastery approach to deliver the mathematics curriculum.  This means that most children are taught in same year classes regardless of ability.  Teachers use questioning techniques and a variety of problem-solving activities to deepen understanding.  Practical equipment, such as Dienes, Place Value counters & Cuisenaire are used to demonstrate concepts and support visual learners.


Drawing models such as bar models, whole Part/ part models, number lines and Place Value Charts, also help to reinforce understanding.  Differentiation to match all abilities is achieved through the amount of support given, the equipment used, and the variety of questions and challenges given.



Every child is given access to “Mathletics” which is an on-line learning tool. Teachers set work to be completed by a given date.


Every child is given access to “TT Rock Stars” which is a website allowing children to practise their multiplication tables through a competitive element.


Paper homework is given weekly.


Additional maths information


Subject leader – Carolyn Townsend

Specialist teacher – Gill Bray


Together Mrs Townsend and Mrs Bray support the staff to ensure the teaching of maths is consistent across the school.  They attend termly meetings held at CNS with maths representatives from across the Primary partnership of schools, sharing expertise and developing a consistent approach in teaching, to ensure a smooth transition to the secondary curriculum.


Y6 are offered the opportunity to attend a free breakfast maths club  – “Numbers on Toast”, to prepare for their SATs papers.  In addition, the Headteacher gives additional lessons to Year 6 children in terms 3 to 5.


Mrs Bray takes a team of high achieving children to Blessed George Napier school each year to take part in their Primary Maths Challenge day.


Any questions about the maths curriculum can be e mailed to the subject leader via the school office or an appointment can be offered upon request.


December 2019




How we teach English at St Mary's



Year 1 follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme using phonics to learn how to read.  Once children are able to access texts independently (Years 2-6), reading is taught in what is referred to as “whole class Guided Reading”.  Teachers use high-quality texts, and base lessons around VIPERS (vocabulary, inference, predication, explanation, retrieval and summaries.)  Teachers ensure that a range of genres are covered each term.



Formative assessment is ongoing.  Teachers are skilled in assessing progress during lessons through questioning and by viewing independent tasks.

Summative assessments are carried out termly, and results can be used to track the progress of all children.  These help teachers plan the next sequence of lessons.  Years 3,4 and 5 sit NFER reading papers; Years 2 and 6 sit past SATs’ papers; and Year 1 use “Rising Stars” reading tests.



All children are expected to read at home on a daily basis.  They are given a school reading diary, which should be filled in each time they have read.  Year 6 pupils will at times be given practice SATs’ papers, or comprehension exercises to complete at home.


How we teach writing at St Mary’s



Years 1-6 use a text -based planning approach.  High quality texts are used as stimuli for children’s writing.  The texts chosen for each year group are appropriate but challenging.  The whole school writing overview ensures that all genres of writing are covered during each key phase.  Teachers’ plans will include a progression of skills taught using a variety of activities.  These may include: good modelling, shared writing; drama and vocabulary work.

Grammar and punctuation opportunities are an integral part of daily writing lessons.  However, KS2 children also have a stand-alone grammar lesson once a week.


Additionally, Years 2-6 follow the “Get Spelling” programme.  This uses videos and work books, and ensures the progress of spelling skills and knowledge.  Year 1’s spelling curriculum is linked to RWI.


Handwriting is taught throughout the school using the “Letter Join” programme.



Formative assessment is ongoing and ensures that the lessons planned are appropriate to each stage in learning.  Teachers are skilled in assessing progress during lessons.  This could be done through questioning, observing or marking independent written work.


Teachers start most units of writing with a “cold task”: this helps to inform them what skills and knowledge need to be taught.  The unit ends with a “hot” or independent task.  These support teachers’ judgements about levels of attainment.


Years 3,4 and 5 sit NFER SPAG (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) tests three times a year.  Years 2 and 6 sit past SATs’ papers. Year 1 use “Rising Stars” SPAG test.



All children are given spelling to learn, which are tested once a week.

Year 6 children have a SPAG homework book, with activities set for revision purposes.


Additional information

Subject leader - Sarah Hollander

Any questions relating to the reading and writing curriculum can be emailed to the subject leader via the school office.


School Library


Every child in the school has a library session in our well equipped and modern library facility.  Children are welcome to select books weekly from this provision which is supervised by our School Librarian, Lisa Harrison.



Here at St Mary's we have an exciting and varied curriculum that feeds a child's curiosity and prepares him or her with a skills base that prepares them for life.  If you would like to know more about our curriculum, please contact Anne Strick, Senior Administrator in order to obtain examples of medium term and weekly plans. 

The school is always open to visits so that the public or interested parents can come and see the school in action.  In addition, the school holds an annual Open Morning at the end of September where members of the public can come and see lessons in action.