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What does MATHS look like in Cotford St Luke Primary School?


Our approach


Our aim within Maths at Cotford St Luke Primary School is to ensure children are well rounded mathematicians who can recall number facts accurately, manipulate and calculate numbers, solve a range of number and word problems and explain or reason their thinking. Children are taught through the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) approach which means children first learn about a mathematical process through using objects (Concrete) , then visually through images (Pictorial), before finally manipulated digits and figures (Abstract).


Children will solve Fluency based questions (the calculations) as well as solve number problems and most importantly in our new curriculum explain (Reason) their thinking. More so than ever, your child will be asked to explain why they think what they think, explain why something is correct or why something is incorrect.


Mental Maths


We use a range of methods to help children with their quick recall of number facts.  Further down this page are youtube links to Times Table and Counting in Multiples which may be useful to all children, especially Y2 upwards. Free online programmes such as 'Hit the Button' and 'Mathsframe' are excellent quick fire games that children can use to develop their skills. Hit the Button uses 1 minute games as the standard and children can play games involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, square numbers and more across a range of levels. Within Mathsframe, KS2 children can test themselves against a version of the government times table test for Y4s as well as a host of other games at different levels.


Hit the button:

Mathsframe (click on resources):


In school we use two assessments for mental maths:


Solar System Superstars tests recall of addition and subtraction facts.  With a space theme, there are 12 levels that children progress through which begin with Star and Sun levels before going through the planets and ending at galaxy and universe levels. Children have approximately 4 minutes to complete their paper of around 30 questions and if they complete successfully they move onto the next level. Children begin Solar System Superstars right at the end of Reception Year and their levels are taken forward as they progress through the school.  


Times Table Olympics has been running at Cotford St Luke for many years now though has evolved as the demands of the curriculum has changed. Children begin during the Spring Term of Year 2 and take their levels forward as they progress through the school.   There are between 30 and 100 questions to answer within approximately 4 minutes depending on the age of the child. The levels are as followed:


Red level x2, x10

Bronze level x2, x5, x10 (the expected level for Y2)

Green level x3, x4

Silver level x3, x4, x8 (the expected level for Y3)

Gold level x6, x7, x9

Olympic level - Up to 12 x 12 (the expected level for Y4)

Championship level - Up to 12 x 12 (more questions than Olympic)

Championship Plus level - Up to 12 x 12 (expert level)


For both of these tests the classes will have a display within their classroom for certificates and in some cases levels too. 




As a school, following feedback from Parent Focus groups, we made a decision to stop giving children in Years R-5 written maths homework (those in Y6 may still have some in preparation for SATs). Instead of this we ask children to complete some Mathletics tasks, either set by the teacher or through Mathletics Live (safe online maths mental maths games) or Multiverse (multiplication based).  The aim for children is to build up 1000 points within a Mathletics week which runs from Monday to Sunday to receive a Bronze certificate.  Points are reset at 01:00 on a Monday morning. Different children will take different lengths of time to achieve their 1000 points in a week and we understand that life is busy.  The aim is for each child to achieve 20 Bronze certificates which equates to a Gold Certificate by the end of July each year. This means a certificate every other week. Children also receive a Silver certificate for every 5 Bronze they achieve. 


You cannot get more than one certificate each week and all certificates are tracked and displayed on the class walls each week.  Each class has a graph in their classroom which displays how many certificates each child has achieved.  There is a homework club that runs in school which is provided for children who find it hard to gain a certificate at home. Later in each school year we have a GOLD award board outside Mr Gilding's office that displays the names of children who have achieved a Gold award (20 x Bronze). 


Methods in Maths


Children are taught how to add, subtract, multiply and divide in a range of ways during their time here at Cotford St Luke Primary School.  If you are ever unsure of how it is being taught in your child's class there are a couple of things that can be done.  Please have a look below at the 'Year Group' pages and the 'Methods' pages as a first point of reference.  You can also ask a member of staff in their class or during parents evening.  Please don't be embarrassed to ask - if you are asking there are probably a few more who are thinking the same but are unwilling.  Maths is taught in partnership with you and your child will only reach their full potential with all of our support. 

Calculation policy - Autumn 2018

Parent workshop: Multiplication and Division - Spring 2018