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The National Curriculum for Mathematics has 3 core aims:

  • Fluency
  • Reasoning
  • Problem Solving

We believe that children learn best in maths when concepts are broken down in to small, manageable steps. We teach using a method that first uses concrete resources to demonstrate a concept, followed by pictorial representations and finally in a more abstract way.  This is known as the CPA approach.  The school use the White Rose Maths Hub Scheme of Work in order to achieve this.

Our Calculation Policies set out for each year group, demonstrate the concrete, pictorial and abstract methods we teach for each of the four calculations.

Supporting Maths at home

KIRFs: At Sywell, we have designed some Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) which will support the development of the mental skills and key knowledge that underpin much of the maths work in our Maths curriculum.

The KIRFs are designed to be a set of facts that need to be learnt thoroughly as they build on each other year-on-year. Children should aim to know their KIRFs inside out, back to front and with instant recall. We know that by learning these key facts, children will leave school with a much stronger foundation of mathematical understanding to build upon.

Each term, children will focus on certain Key Instant Recall Facts (KIRFs) that will be taught in school but also need to be practised at home as well. These are sent home with the children every term. Our Maths leader holds a parent KIRFs workshop for EYFS/ KS1 and KS2 twice a year, where parents are invited into school to support children with KIRF activities that their class teacher has organised.

We are asking you to engage with your children in the learning of their KIRFs and make it as fun and practical as you can. We have tried to make each KIRF clear and understandable and there are examples of the key language and questions that can be asked of children. ‘Short and often’ is the best approach. Come and talk to our Maths Lead: Emma De Meo or your child’s teacher if you would like any advice or ideas about how to support KIRF learning.

Supporting Activities and Games:

Free website: Hit the Button

hit the button

Numbots: KS1 children have logins for this


Times Table Rockstars: KS1 and KS2 children have logins for this.

White Rose Maths:

CBeebies Numberblocks for EYFS and KS1:

EYFS – Early Number Sense

Why do we spend so much time on numbers 0-10?

This is an excellent video that explains why we focus so much on making sense of numbers and how this helps to build firm mathematical foundations in their first year of school. It explains in more detail, some skills that we teach in Reception such as: subitising and The Five Principles of Counting.

The Five Principles of Counting:

KIRFs Maths Spring Files