Great Sankey Primary School



Subject Coordinator: Mr Johnson

Mathematics equips pupils with the power to understand and change the world. It is a creative and highly inter-connected subject that has been developed over centuries.  It teaches us how to make sense of the world around us. 

Mathematics is essential to everyday life. It enables children to: understand and appreciate relationships and pattern in both number and space; explore features of shape and measures; develop the ability to solve problems through decision making and reasoning in a range of contexts and be able use and apply mathematical skills accurately and quickly. 

Mathematics is the foundation, the exploration, the fascination, the discussion and the solution to some of the world’s most intriguing problems.




At Great Sankey Primary School, we recognise that children often find mathematics difficult because it is abstract. We have designed our curriculum to allow children to learn new ideas and build on their existing knowledge by introducing abstract concepts in a more familiar and tangible way. At the very heart of this is our adoption of the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach, which works as follows:

Concrete is the ‘doing’ stage, using concrete objects to solve problems. It brings concepts to life by allowing children to handle physical objects themselves.


Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage, using representations of the objects involved in maths problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding.

Abstract is the 'symbolic' stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model and solve maths problems.

We firmly believe that by designing our mathematics curriculum in such a manner we are ensuring our teaching is inclusive for pupils of all abilities and allows our children to engage with and make sense of new learning in a hands on and practical manner. Too often children are left with a surface understanding of abstract mathematcial concepts. Our curriculum allows children to see those concepts for themselves and develop a deep and lasting understanding.



Here at Great Sankey Primary School we are in the process of implementing a mastery approach to our mathematics curriculum. Using the White Rose small steps document as a starting point, our teachers carefully plan and deliver a series of lessons which allow children to build a solid conceptual understanding of each mathematical strand. Once this has been firmly established, we then expose children to problem solving and reasoning activities which require children to apply their knowledge and understanding in a meaningful way.

This whole approach is designed to develop resilient, efficient and logical learners who thrive on tackling problems and applying their knowledge and skills in a range of contexts. We passionately believe that no child should be left behind in their learning and believe that this approach gives children the time and opportunity to fully master a particular mathematical concept. We take pride in developing independent learners who are able to access concrete resources and deploy a range of strategies when attempting to grasp a new mathematical concept.

Through the precise designing of pupil activities and practise questions our staff ensure all our children are suitably challenged. Rather than repeating the same mathematical concept in the same context lesson after lesson we continually strive to develop tasks and activities where the thinking process is practised with increasing creativity. The arrangements of these tasks and activities draw children's attention to patterns, structure and mathematical relationships; thus providing 'intelligent practice' and the opportunity to deepen conceptual understanding.   

The careful sequencing of lessons is paramount to everything we do and crucial in allowing children to develop a comprehensive understanding of new mathematical concepts. Using the White Rose small steps documents staff are able to plan and deliver units of work which allow children to build on their prior knowledge and further their conceptual understanding of mathematical concepts. 

The impact of our learning process for mathematics is clear to see when setting foot inside our classrooms. Here at Great Sankey Primary School we are developing fluent, independent and resilient learners. Rather than simply 'teaching to the test' and providing children with the mere basics in mathematics we take the time to deepen children's conceptual understanding and give them the opportunity to apply their learning in real life contexts.

The philosophy that no child is ever left behind in their learning runs throughout our school. By using the White Rose small steps documents staff are able to go back and unpick children's misconceptions of a mathematical concept allowing all children to remain on track with their learning.

All of our mathematics lessons begin with retrieval activities, giving the children opportunities to revisit prior learning and ensuring that the foundations upon which new learning will be built remain firmly in place. We ardently believe that learning is for life and our curriculum ensures the skills and knowledge that will be essential for children in the real world are firmly embedded.  

When speaking to our children it is clear that they feel the concrete, pictorial, abstract approach gives them the time and confidence to fully grasp and apply new mathematical concepts. Children are now much more willing and able to tackle higher level problem solving and reasoning questions. 

Our curriculum gives children the knowledge, skills and, perhaps most importantly, the belief that all concepts can be understood, all problems can be solved and all of our potentials can be fulfilled. 






Please click on the Twitter icon to see what we have been doing in our Maths lessons.

Information for Parents and Statutory Assessment Update 2024-25

At Great Sankey Primary School we have high expectations of all our children and expect to see clear progression in every subject throughout the course of an academic year. Attached below are our end of year expectations in mathematics from Reception through to Year 6. You can use these documents to chart your child's progress throughout the year and to give you an idea of what level of work they should be able to complete independently. Please also use them to plan games and activties you can do with your child at home to ensure they remain at age related expectations.

Beginning in the academic year of 2021/22, as well as the statutory assessment at the end of Year 6, children in Year 4 will be tested on their times table knowledge. Any support you can give your child in ensuring that they know their times tables up to 12 will benefit them greatly. This will be a timed test and the quicker they can recall their number facts, the better - Times Table Rock Stars is a great way to encourage and challenge them with this. You can find more information on the multiplication tables check here: Multiplication tables check - GOV.UK (

Important login details to maths websites such as Times Table Rock Stars and Numbots can be found in the front of your child's planner.

If you ever have any queries regarding your child's maths work then please don't hesitate to contact your child's class teacher or the maths subject leader, Mr. Johnson. We will be more than happy to answer any of your questions or provide you with some advice as to how you can support your child's learning at home.  




Parent Video Tutorials for the Four Operations

Below you will find a series of video tutorials to help support your child with written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The children begin using written methods for addition and subtraction in Year 3 and continue to do so throughout Key Stage 2. In Lower Key Stage 2 (Years 3 and 4) children use the expanded method for column multiplication before moving on to using the compact method for multiplication in Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6). Children are introduced to short division in Year 4 and are expected to solve problems involving remainders. As they move up into Upper Key Stage 2 (Years 5 and 6) they will begin to use short division to solve problems with a decimal remainder. Each of the videos reflects the strategies that the children are taught in school and should be familiar to your child if you are working with them at home.

Column Addition (Year 3 - Year 6)

Column Subtraction (Year 3 - Year 6)

Expanded Column Multiplication (Years 3 & 4)

Compact Column Multiplication (Years 5 & 6)

Short Division (Year 4)

Short Division with Remainders (Year 4)

Short Division with Decimal Remainders (Years 5 & 6)

Short Division - 3 Digits by 2 Digits (Years 5 & 6)


Click on the pictures below to useful links and games:

oxfordowlmaths.png maths2.png mathszone.jpg crickwebmathsgames.png nrichmaths.jpg
Oxford Owl Maths Time Tables Rock Stars Maths Zone Crickweb Maths Web Nrich Maths
mathsisfungames.jpg bbcschools.jpg bbcbitesize.jpg mathshomework.jpg numbots.png
Maths is Fun Games BBC Schools BBC Bitesize Maths Homework Number bonds, facts


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Great Sankey Primary School
Liverpool Road, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 1SB
Mrs Lisa Wilding | Headteacher 01925728176
Mr Phil McEwan | Chair of Governors
Mrs Nia Williams | SENDCo
Great Sankey Primary School

A member of
The Challenge Academy Trust