Teaching and Learning

At Mersey we endeavour to ensure our early learners develop into life long learners.  We strive to provide a safe, secure and stimulating environment where curiosity is welcomed, enquiry is encouraged and learning is fostered.

We believe that people learn best in different ways.  At Mersey we provide a rich and varied learning environment that allows learners to develop their skills and abilities to their full potential.

Maths Strategy 2019-2020


Following the introduction of the new National Curriculum in 2014 the emphasis has been to ensure that all children:

  • Become FLUENT
  • REASON and EXPLAIN mathematically

This means that children need to be regularly exposed to opportunities involving increasingly complex problem solving which allows them to apply their Maths knowledge. In doing so, they should be encouraged to develop an argument and line of enquiry which they can prove and justify using mathematical vocabulary. This includes the ability to break down problems, both routine and non-routine, into a series of steps.

We want to teach Maths in a way that:

  • Delivers Maths in line with new National Curriculum guidelines
  • Ensures the delivery of Maths is filled with cross curricular opportunities
  • Develops mental strategies
  • Ensure pupils are fluent in their times tables and can apply this knowledge
  • Encourages children to use mathematical vocabulary to reason and explain, including partner work to show much deeper understanding
  • Challenges children to stretch themselves and take risks in their learning
  • Ensures children in Key Stage 1 are secure in their understanding of number and number relationships


Teaching and learning of maths

The large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved by emphasising deep knowledge and through individual support and intervention. The questioning and scaffolding individual pupils receive in class as they work through problems will differ and pupils who grasp concepts rapidly are challenged through more demanding problems which deepen their knowledge further.

Practise and consolidation play a central role to mathematics learning. Carefully designed variation within this builds fluency and understanding of underlying mathematical concepts in tandem.

Teachers use precise questioning in class to test conceptual and procedural knowledge, and assess pupils regularly to identify those requiring intervention so that all pupils keep up.

Teachers use the CPA approach (concrete, pictorial, abstract) to ensure that concepts are modelled to pupils using multiple representations. This ensures that procedural and conceptual understanding are developed simultaneously.

Pupils are seated in mixed ability groups as we believe that all pupils can attain highly in mathematics and every pupil will have different strengths and development areas. Therefore, groupings within classes are flexible and pupils will work in different groups dependent on their need.


Each class teacher is responsible for the teaching of mathematics in their class. The following resources are an example of what is used to assist teachers with their planning:

  • White Rose Maths hub - overview for Medium term planning
  • NCETM website and resources
  • NRICH resources
  • Test Base resources

Same day intervention (SDI)

At Mersey Primary Academy, we use Same Day intervention as a strategy for teaching and learning in Mathematics.

The first session is led by the teacher to introduce new learning or to rehearse a skill or a strategy. This is then followed by a ‘5 questions’ task where the children try to complete 5 mathematics questions.

  • Question 1: At consolidation level so that all children can achieve (or achieve with support)
  • Q2 - Q3: Gradually more challenging, including word problems,
  • Q4 - Q5: Reasoning and problem solving questions, pitched at silver challenge.

Teachers use a 5Q frame for their questions.

The children then have a 15-minute break whilst the teacher marks their work and assesses the children for progression in their learning.

BRONZE CHALLENGE - SDI Group - adult led group, teacher input, then an opportunity for the children to apply their learning by completing a bronze challenge (similar level to Q1-3)

SILVER CHALLENGE – pitched to include reasoning and problem solving

GOLD CHALLENGE- reasoning and problem solving challenges usually a greater depth focus

Intervention stickers are used when there may not be specific written work in pupils’ books (eg practical activities). These briefly summarise the focus and impact of work.

Intervention stickers can also be used outside of the maths session to evidence further interventions


Using formative assessment gathered through the ‘5 questions’ task, teacher questioning and other formative assessment methods, any pupils who have not grasped the concept or who have misconceptions will have a rapid intervention to ensure that they are ready for the next step of learning. Where possible, this will occur on the same day to ensure that gaps are rapidly addressed, ready for the next steps.

If not, the children will be placed in a further intervention group which will take place in the afternoon or assembly times. This may involve the use of B Squared for children with SEN.


Teachers will use targeted questions and problems that require pupils to remember, understand, apply, analyse and evaluate their knowledge and skills. These formative assessments along with half-termly summative assessments will then be used to inform the RAG and TAF to assess the pupils on an ongoing basis and make a judgement about whether a pupil is on track to achieve age-related or greater depth expectations. This information will all be recorded and discussed at RAG Meetings.

EYFS continually assess their children in Maths using professional discussions and assessments, which are made half-termly through an evidence base of children’s work, incidentals and long observations along with taking evidence from parental contributions. Assessments are recorded in each individual child-learning journal.


  • KS1 & KS2 - Weekly mathematics homework - linked to times tables