Thornton Dale C of E Primary School

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Our Intent

  • To inspire and challenge our children, through a safe and happy learning environment, to achieve excellent standards including all aspects of the National Curriculum for maths.
  • To equip our children with mathematical proficiency they need in order to work mathematically in a range of contexts, preparing their transition to secondary school and maths learning beyond.
  • To engage and excite our children by teaching an innovative and sequential approach, building on children’s prior knowledge and skills, and making meaningful connections within mathematical strand.
  • To inspire a love for maths so that children have a sense of pride when presenting their work.
  • To enable our children to articulate their learning confidently and to remember knowledge and vocabulary.
  • To provide a consistent whole school approach to teaching arithmetic.
  • To ensure that any gaps in learning, as a result of COVID, are closed and pupils meet age related expectations in mathematics.

Our Implementation

Our school leaders have worked tirelessly to provide an innovative, research-based and intelligently constructed maths curriculum for all learners at Thornton Dale Primary School.

Mathematics learning begins in our Early Years Reception class, where children make predictions, test out ideas, solve problems and experiment; all often by working collaboratively with their peers or with an adult. Children are introduced to number using engaging and high-quality resources such as NumberBlocks and gain a deep understanding of the value of number. In reception, children are introduced to different representations of number including using Numicon, tens frames and part-whole models.

From Year 1-6, Our provision is designed around a three 'pillar' approach, which are in place support all children to grow and excel in maths. They are daily Early Bird; The CPR model and our Arithmetic Clinic.

Maths is planned to a systematic, spiralled five day structure.  Bespoke support to individuals and groups, provides flexibility around this.


Daily Early Bird

Each day, our pupils complete between 5-10 questions (depending on their age) which are provided as they enter school. The intention is for children to increase their fluency with arithmetic questions, gives children a chance to practise recent learning and address gaps uncovered in Arithmetic Clinic


The CPR model

At Thornton Dale in maths CPR stands for Conceptual, Procedural Fluency and Reasoning and Problem Solving.

We follow this approach, from Monday to Thursday in daily maths sessions.



We call it CPR because in our approach to teaching maths, all learners at Thornton Dale Primary School access maths through developing deep, real-life conceptual understanding of the concept being taught, learn procedures to become fluent at using it, as well as every child applying their understanding by reasoning using mathematical vocabulary and solving problems. 

Every year group meets the National Curriculum expectations. 

In Procedural Fluency and Problem Solving lessons, children have star challenges (1star, 2star and 3star), where they self- select the most appropriate challenge for them, based on their own understanding of the concept being learned. The 1 star challenge is always at the expected standard for that age group. Teachers provide 3star challenges to provide opportunities for children to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding of the concept. 

For children who might require some extra support, we can provide bespoke sessions prior to lessons, offer individualised homework and the teacher checks on progress more frequently during the lesson. All this means that we work towards all children meeting at least the expected standard in maths.

Arithmetic Clinic

Every Friday session is an 'Arithmetic Clinic' session. The focus of these sessions is to provide the opportunity for children to access a wider variety of maths content and is not directly linked to the learning in the CPR model. The focus is about using known facts and instant recall in KS1 into efficiently using calculation methods for a wide range of arithmetic skills into KS2.

From Year 2, teachers work on a 2 week cycle.

In week 1  provide children published arithmetic tests, which children work through, identifying areas they feel less certain on.  These tests also allow for a recap of previously covered content to help ensure understanding is embedded.  Children then check their work before sharing the areas for development with the teacher. These areas then become the focus for upcoming Early Bird work as well as the focus for week 2 of Arithmetic Clinic cycle.

In week 2, the teacher models how to answer the questions which were causing uncertainties, then provides opportunities for children to safely practise with partners and allowing the teacher to intervene if required. 

The cycle then begins again, with new areas identified.



Fluency in number is critical to accessing all areas of Mathematics confidently and securely. Knowing number facts ‘off by heart’ frees up space in a child’s working memory so that when they complete more complex calculations it allows children to reason and problem-solve with greater depth. We have devised a ‘Progression in Fluency’ scheme that focuses primarily on improving children’s knowledge and understanding of number bonds to 20. Children can work systematically through each phase to ensure they are fluent and confident in their basic addition and subtraction skills. 

Children should aim to have all of the facts completed by the end of Year 2; however, it may be that they are completed further up the school so each child is secure and fluent with basic addition by the time they leave our school.

Mastering Number

From September 2023 Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 begin the Mastering Number approach to developing fluency and number sense.  Sessions are run 4 x week for 10-15 minutes.  

Time Tables

Times tables play a key role in becoming a confident and proficient mathematician.  As a school we have select a systematic times table approach  based upon the 36 key facts of multiplication. This is based upon Shanghai principles and supports a slow but in depth method of learning times tables as well as reducing cognitive overload.  It allows pupils to explore the commutative law and the relationship between key facts. 

  • There are 36 key facts (based upon shanghai principles) over Year 3 and 4, Systematic
  • Following research in the area – supports the slow and depth method of learning times tables
  • Helping to reduce cognitive overload
  • Allows pupils to see the relationship and deriving facts in times tables – commutative law
  • Key that verbal repetition and rhythmic lilt part of this process / rote
  • As move through – key for teachers to find any barriers, look for 1 fact a pupil can learn that day if finding hard.
  • Little and often every day

Every day for 10 minutes Year 3 and 4 focus specifically on their time tables.

They have two minutes to complete as many facts as they can, three minutes to mark and chant back (using verbal repetition as part of the learning process), three minutes to gathers scores.  The rest of the session is a chance to celebrate, reflect and allows pupils and adults to identify any barriers, gaps or the next facts to keep practising.


We use Times Table Rockstars and other ICT programmes to support mathematics learning in school and at home and encourage parents to support maths learning at home by involving them in everyday activities. We also encourage parents not to underestimate themselves, or the power they have as a parent getting involved in their child’s learning.


Our Impact

Children are passionate about maths

Pupils can access age related mathematical objectives (supported for some by KUNCU strategies) and all children 


Regular monitoring is undertaken by the Maths subject Lead.

Maths Leaders

We have appointed Maths Champions, pupils from Year 2 to Year 6, who are committed to sharing their love of maths and give their time to continually find ways to make maths better at our school! They have arranged competitions, handed out maths effort certificates and nominated excellent work for our maths display in school. We are really lucky to have them!  They help to plan extra maths activities around school such as National Numeracy Day.

Maths Subject Leader

Maths is led by Mrs Collins, an experienced subject leader and passionate about the teaching and learning of maths. 

Parent Presentations

How we teach Times Tables   - April 2024