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‘Mathematics is a creative and highly inter-connected discipline that has been developed over centuries, providing the solution to some of history’s most intriguing problems. It is essential to everyday life, critical to science, technology and engineering, and necessary for financial literacy and most forms of employment. A high-quality mathematics education therefore provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.’

National Curriculum 2014


Here at Collis we have a passion for high quality teaching and learning of mathematics. With our high expectations, we believe that every child can succeed in maths and we aim to instil this belief in the children themselves. We deliver lessons that are creative and engaging. We know that Mathematics plays at important role in everyday life and we want to help children to make meaningful connections between different areas of Mathematics and its purpose in the wider world. Through establishing these rich connections, children are able to develop their fluency, mathematical reasoning and competency in solving increasingly sophisticated problems – the main aims of the National Curriculum. We hope that all children grow to have an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics, and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.


The aims of the national curriculum are as follows:


  • Children are fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, including through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time, so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  • Children can reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  • Children can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down their problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions



The content and principles underpinning the 2014 National Mathematics curriculum and the Maths curriculum at Collis embrace Teaching for Mastery: a product of extensive research into the highly successful teaching practices in Singapore and Shanghai. These principles are evident and are used consistently throughout the school. A whole class teaching approach is embraced, using small steps to keep the class working together and challenging activities to deepen understanding. This is to avoid superficial, surface learning and foster a deep, secure understanding of all the concepts taught. In addition, the learning needs of every child are addressed through skilful questioning. We believe in exposing the children to multiple representations of a concept, using concrete, pictorial and abstract examples to support the children’s understanding. The use of manipulatives is encouraged in every year group to expose the structure of the mathematical concept being taught. This enables children to develop and embed their skills of fluency, reasoning and problem-solving. Each lesson provides the means to achieve greater depth, with children being offered rich and sophisticated problems, as well as creative, exploratory and investigative tasks, as appropriate. Tasks are designed carefully by teachers to provide intelligent practice and we focus on the relationships between mathematical concepts and skills and provide opportunities for children to use their understanding flexibly. Scaffolds are provided to enable all pupils to access the learning.


At Collis, we place high importance on mathematical talk. As a result, lessons regularly include opportunities for the children to discuss their understanding and explain their thinking, both with adults and peers. Accurate use of mathematical vocabulary and terminology features prominently in our lessons, with teachers both modelling and expecting it from the children. We believe this will support our children to think and reason mathematically when faced with a range of mathematical problems. 


The school’s ongoing engagement with the DfE funded Maths Hubs programme continues to ensure that staff at all levels understand the pedagogy of the ‘Mastery’ approach. 


Mathematics in the Early Years Foundation Stage


Mathematics in the Early Years Foundation Stage follows the same intent and implementation as the rest of the school, but we have some additional information about this stage in children's mathematical development. 


“Children are born ready, able and eager to learn. They actively reach out to interact with other people, and in the world around them. Development is not an automatic process, however. It depends on each unique child having opportunities to interact in positive relationships and enabling environments.”

Development Matters 2012


During the EYFS the essential building blocks of mathematics are established. The first few years of a child’s life are especially important for mathematics development. In Nursery and Reception, there are regular opportunities for children to participate in rich mathematical tasks. Through their experiences of early number, children at Collis will develop a secure knowledge base, vocabulary and develop a positive, ‘have a go’ attitude to maths. 


There are six key areas of early mathematics learning, which provide a spring board for everything children will encounter as they progress through their maths learning at primary school, and beyond. 


The six areas of early mathematics learning are:


  1. Cardinality and counting
  2. Comparison
  3. Composition
  4. Pattern
  5. Shape and space
  6. Measure 



The progression in knowledge and skills is carefully planned in order to build fluency and deepen understanding of underlying mathematical concepts to help children commit learning to their long term memory. Teaching is enhanced by a clear understanding of what children have learnt in previous years - with particular attention given to the Ready to Progress Criteria - and where their learning journey will continue into Year 6 and beyond. 


Children are assessed on their knowledge and skills regularly and in a variety of ways. Teachers respond to pupils’ work through written marking and verbal feedback on a whole class, group, paired or individual level.




  • Children at Collis are confident mathematicians that make links across different areas of mathematics
  • Children can apply their knowledge and understanding of mathematics to real world problems
  • There is a shared understanding that the answer is only the beginning and sharing strategies and methods is an important aspect of a maths lesson
  • Everyone values mathematical thinking and not just whether the answer is correct or not.