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St Clare's Catholic Primary School

With Jesus we learn to love and love to learn


Tendring Excellence Maths Rap

If you want to know what maths is all about at St Clare's, you'll find everything you need right here in this amazing rap performed by some of our fantastic children!

Maths is beauty. Maths is wonder. Maths is everywhere.

Why do we study maths at St Clare's?


Mathematics is a core subject within the National Curriculum and a deep understanding of mathematics provides a solid foundation for many skills integral to everyday life. Therefore at St Clare’s we teach 'maths for life' so that our children can become masters of the key foundational concepts of mathematics, giving them the ability to fluently apply the subject to a real world context. We teach in a way that encourages a healthy, confident and enthusiastic attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them throughout their lives. When we teach maths, we always aim to reveal to children the beauty and power of the subject, encouraging a genuine enthusiasm and enjoyment. Maths is beauty. Maths is wonder. Maths is everywhere.


    Teaching and Learning



    We aim to provide children with three main sets of skills:

    1. Fluency: We aim for children to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics through varied and frequent practice of increasingly complex problems over time so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately. Through careful exposure of the structure of mathematics, children will be able to make connections within and across the different strands of mathematics; enabling them to become fluent in all aspects of maths. 
    2. Mathematical reasoning: We aim for children to learn to reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language. The development of mathematical language is key to reasoning, therefore we teach using the appropriate mathematical vocabulary. 
    3. Solving problems: We aim for children to be able to solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions. Teaching for mastery is grounded in the use of representations which expose the structures of problems and enable children to solve problems with greater accuracy. 


    As a school employing two trained Primary Mastery Specialists, teaching for mastery is the entire basis of our teaching and learning.  Having been a teaching for mastery school for many years, we are in preparation to imminently transition fully towards the NCETM Curriculum Prioritisation scheme of learning: a full mastery curriculum. The pedagogical concepts behind teaching for mastery can be reflected in this diagram of the ‘5 Big Ideas’


    The 5 Big Ideas of Teaching for Mastery

    Our Classroom Priorities

    1. Mathematics is for everyone. Everyone can understand mathematics to the highest levels.

    2. We go slow to go fast. By breaking concepts into smaller steps, learners have the time to dive deeper into the maths. 

    3. Representations are used in every lesson. Key representations such as bar models, part whole models and tens frames, alongside concrete resources, will be used in every lesson to support children to make connections. 

    4. We revisit our learning regularly. Children can make more connections in mathematics if they are revisiting previous knowledge. 

    5. Reasoning is for everyone. We aspire for all children to reason in every lesson. 

    6. We talk about mathematics. Maths lessons are a hub of discussion. Non-concepts, true or false questions and ‘prove it’ questions encourage children to apply their STEM sentences to help them ‘talk the maths’ as well as ‘write the maths’

    7. Depth is much more important than speed. All learners work together. We all aim to go deep, some of us may travel deeper, but we do not prioritise ‘more work’ or ‘harder numbers’.

    8. Fluency comes first. Fluency reduces cognitive load and enables learners to focus on the concepts themselves rather than the calculating. We prioritise fluency in our Daily Maths meetings, in homework tasks and through our KIRF lessons. 

    9. Children should feel like successful mathematicians and their achievements should be celebrated. No answer is a bad answer in maths because we learn from our mistakes. 



    Did you know that Mr Whiteside and Mrs Leigh are Primary Mastery Specialists? This means that they have both undergone special training making them experts in primary mathematics! Mrs Leigh is now a Local Leader of Maths Education, and works with other schools helping them develop their maths teaching, but her number one focus is always the maths at St Clare's.

    If you every have any questions about maths, come and find Mrs Leigh!