Fairmead School

Making memories


Intent statement for Mathematics:


Through our teaching of a rich, balanced and progressive mathematics curriculum at Fairmead, we intend to:

  • prepare young people for independent, safe futures and equip them to manage their lives in the community
  • instil a fascination for Maths and foster an enduring love of number and the manipulation of numbers
  • develop an appreciation for the practical uses of Maths, as well as its aesthetic nature
  • help pupils recognise that Maths is a search for pattern and relationship
  • support pupils to become active, confident mathematicians, providing opportunities for pupils to demonstrate and use their Maths in everyday situations
  • constantly facilitate opportunities for mathematical thinking and discussion, reasoning, problem solving and the development of fluent conceptual understanding
  • help pupils to understand that Maths is a powerful tool for communication
  • encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning

Our teaching of maths is built around the NCETM’s 5 big ideas:

  • Coherence

        Lessons are broken down into small connected steps that gradually unfold the concept.

  • Representation and Structure

        Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught.

  • Mathematical Thinking and Maths Talk

        Children are expected to convince themselves and others of their ideas, articulating them           coherently using correct mathematical language.

  • Fluency

        Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between                   different contexts and representations.

  • Variation

        Teachers represent the concept being taught in more than one way to draw attention to             critical aspects, and to develop deep and holistic understanding.

Learners interact with mathematical ideas through our interpretation of the connected model:

Concrete - Pictorial - Abstract - Language – Sensory   (C-P-A-L-S):

A range of representations for every concept.

•Physically through manipulatives
•Pictorially through images and models
•In an abstract way with numerals, symbols and calculations
•Verbally through language
•Supported and strengthened by sensory activities

Each is linked, and the interactions between representations are explicitly demonstrated. Manipulatives form the bedrock of understanding across all phases. Progressing from one representation to another is not a goal – deep understanding is built through moving flexibly between them. Our calculation policy acts as a toolkit to support this.


Our learners regularly meet:


Misconceptions are tackled head-on. Common misconceptions are planned for and confronted. Classes also use mathematically clumsy characters who always make mistakes and, when the teacher presents them with a completed problem, children become used to appraising their characters’ erroneous solutions.


Maths struggle:

Getting ‘stuck’ is embraced. Children learn skills to independently ‘unstick’ themselves through intensive modelling of the stuck rubric.