Market Drayton Infant & Nursery School

‘An excellent, happy school, where we enjoy learning’



All pupils can achieve in maths. At Market Drayton Infant and Nursery School there is a ‘can do’ attitude where building children’s resilience, and understanding that learning from mistakes, is what will make people successful mathematicians. The school believes in the importance of challenging ALL children in the school to be the best they can be and the main curriculum driver is around ‘possibilities’ to ensure children ‘reach for the stars’, being ambitious and having high aspirations for themselves in everything they do. The school ensures that maths lessons provide the opportunity for ALL children, regardless of their ability, to work through Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving activities.

Our Values in Mathematics



  • Problem solving: working together in groups when exploring problem solving and reasoning with others
  • Reasoning: talking about our learning, working together - pairs, groups, class, year group to mathematically reason.
  • Links across the subject areas: using maths across the curriculum e.g. geography, using stories in maths and science investigations.
  • With parents: attending parent lunch sessions and working together to support our learning
  • Junior School: the work that we do builds into the work we do at the Junior School. We use the same CLIC programme.
  • Links with the wider world: we try to find out why we need to learn about maths and how this will help us in the future.
  • The world around us: respect for how mathematics can be used throughout life and supporting cultural capital.
  • Equipment: respect for all mathematical equipment we use and look after it to make sure others can use it too.
  • Problem solving ideas: respect for different points of view in Maths, particularly when collaborating on our learning.



  • Maths is all around us: knowing that maths is an integral part of daily life
  • NSPCC Number Day: we love to take part in this as it is an exciting day when we can really explore more about maths.
  • Our futures: knowing how maths can link to jobs and what we do can help to shape the world in the future.
  • Vocabulary: understanding the mathematical language and using it correctly.
  • Inclusion and equality: for all children to access the mathematics curriculum.
  • Curiosity: develop a curiosity about all aspects of maths.



  • Have a go: maths is all about exploring problems and trying to find answers to some tricky questions.
  • Fun: maths is fun and exciting because we can all learn together and help each other to understand what we find out.
  • Daily: we love our maths so our teachers make sure we do this daily. This helps us to learn more and remember more.
  • Can do attitude: Problem solving can be tricky but we have a can do attitude and understand that finding something hard makes our brain stronger. You might hear us say…’I can’t do it…..yet!’
  • Positively approaching all aspects of maths, developing competency and confidence, embracing challenge
  • Developing a love of maths
  • Can do attitude


In mathematics we want the children to:

Extracts have been taken from the maths curriculum policy.

Implementation - How do we deliver the maths curriculum?

Mathematics in the Early Years


Numbers: the emphasis is on children being able to say the number names in order, making comparisons between quantities, counting objects accurately, beginning to match numerals to groups of objects and showing an interest in recording numbers. Within the Nursery year, or when children are ready, the children move onto finding one more or less and finding totals by counting all objects, understanding the last number is the total number.


Short daily Little Big Maths sessions supplement the other adult-led and continuous provision activities. Little Big Maths is planned out weekly to ensure consistency across the setting and so that activities meet the needs of all children. It is delivered at the beginning of every session, for a maximum time of 10 minutes. Staff all have a handbook and are able to use it to change planning according to the abilities and needs of the children in their group.


Shape, Space and Measure: children are encouraged to look for patterns and shapes in the environment, as well as correcting an ABAB pattern and recreating their own. A lot of learning is done through one weekly adult led session and child initiated activities where the children are encouraged to talk about what shapes, space or measure they have used or can see during their play and discussions help with children being able to reason through ideas. Within the Nursery year, or when children are ready, the children move onto using mathematical language for shapes and start to think about putting objects into order by their length, weight or capacity.


Problem solving has become a central part of the planning process and becomes more apparent as the year goes on and the children become more independent. Children are able to access manipulatives freely and are given the opportunities to work with and alongside peers for support. Children engage in problem solving activities that support an exciting mathematical thought processes and reasoning, in which relate to the ‘real life’ wider world. 


EYPP/FSM children receive a once a week session that focusses on Little Big Maths, regardless of their ability. Teaching Assistants liaise with Key People in order to tailor sessions to meet the needs of the child. Children that are working below age related expectations in number and/or SSM also receive this intervention.

How do we teach maths?


Big Maths is an approach that delivers fluency, mastery, and enjoyment of maths. The children enjoy the pace of Big Maths and the repetition enables knowledge to be transferred to the long term memory. Big Maths provides a clear framework (CLIC) for getting all children numerate. Problem solving and word problems cannot be solved until children understand how numbers work. We focus on the need to have maths facts instantly available, rather than counting on fingers as this makes the children more confident and successful. 



The best mathematics teaching is characterised by:

  • having a planned structure with small steps

  • praise and reinforcement

  • using effective questioning

  • addressing children’s misconceptions

  • challenging children’s thinking and reasoning skills

  • linking to other curriculum areas and the wider world

  • active participation by all children

With all of this integral to daily maths lessons there will be good evidence of improving children’s attainment.


The expectation of the maths curriculum is that the majority of children will move through their learning programme broadly at the same pace. Our curriculum has some aspects of a mastery curriculum, which means that children need to be able to ‘master’ at a deep level each of the learning objectives for the Early Learning Goals and National Curriculum before moving on further.


Our curriculum is delivered through 8 different threshold concept using the Chris Quigley Essentials Curriculum. These threshold concepts of our curriculum can be seen below and each has a road map to show the progression of teaching from Early Years right through to Year 6. These strands and threshold concepts are constantly revisited to ensure key knowledge is secured in to children's long-term memory.



Progression is key to success in children's learning. To help you understand how we plan for children to move through their learning we have prepared some documents to support your understanding. Click on a link below to share these:

- Maths Policy

- Manipulatives (equipment) progression

- Problem Solving progression

- Vocabulary progression

Below are the Progression Roadmaps. Click on the icons below this to be able to see further details and guidance of each of the learning journeys that children will follow.

Maths Curriculum Pathways and Progression Map

Special Educational Needs and Mathematics

How do we ensure all children can access mathematics lessons?


Pupils should have access to a broad and balanced curriculum. The National Curriculum Inclusion Statement states that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil, whatever their prior attainment. We use appropriate assessment questions to set targets which are deliberately ambitious. Areas of difficulty are identified and addressed.


Effective quality first teaching is the key to enabling all children to participate and develop their mathematical knowledge and skills. Differentiation within lessons is a vital component to ensure that a balance of support and challenge are achieved for all abilities. This is the same in every subject and differentiation is adjusted as expectations of individual pupils rise through progress. Challenge and support specific to mathematics may include:

  • Using a variety of mathematics resources and equipment to support learning
  • Varying questioning
  • Practical learning
  • Pre-teaching as well as understanding more advance vocabulary
  • Modelling learning 
  • Varying how the learning is recorded
  • Providing more adult support for those needing it
  • Partner or group work - a collaborative approach to learning
  • Adult scribing
  • Referring to learning journeys to understand how learning links together and builds over the week.
  • Use of WAVE 3 maths intervention in small groups as needed focusing on basic skills
  • Use of Mathletics to further support learning at home


Pupils not secure within a lesson sequence are noted and interventions given to aid understanding of this area of learning prior to moving on. Similarly, added challenge is given if pupils are identified as requiring it. This may be noted by the teacher through questioning or the use of written work.



Links to other subjects


How Maths may be linked


Stories:  We love to share stories and often a maths focus can be found. We like to use maths books to start us off thinking about our learning.

Communication: There are many words that we learn in maths and we need to learn how to communicate our mathematical knowledge clearly. We are often asked the question ‘How do you know?’ in a maths lesson to make us think carefully about our learning.

Vocabulary: Maths riddles and rhymes are some of the learning we really enjoy taking part in. This helps us to learn about maths in a fun way.

Writing: As we move through the school, we start to communicate our mathematical reasoning in writing. This helps us to show we have ‘mastered’ our learning and we are able to explain it to someone else.   


Investigations:  We use our knowledge of measures to help us carry out a science investigation and record the data we find out.

Sorting:  We use what we learn to help us sort out and order our thoughts for example when sorting soft and hard materials in Year 1.

Seasons: Through science and maths we learn all about the seasons. We love to compare trees on our school field and watch how they change over the year.


Dates and timelines: We start to use our knowledge of place value to apply this to chronological order when putting things in place on a simple timeline. This progresses as we move through Key Stage One.


Data handling:  When exploring the world around us it is important to be able to gather lots of information about what we see. We record this using tally charts and drawing graphs that we have learnt in our maths lessons.

Directions: Knowing how to talk about how to get to places and have a good understanding of routes is important learning in Geography. We apply the skills we have learnt in maths to help us, this may be directing a friend on a route, using compass directions on a camping day or instructing a Beebot to take a journey.  


Shape in Art: During Chinese New Year celebrations we create Tangram pictures. This helps us to develop or critical thinking skills to create different pictures.

Artists: Clarice Cliff – famous for her geometrical designs; she used her knowledge of colour and shape to make her famous designs as well as producing her work in 3D. As a local artist, we use her work to help us talk about 3D shapes.

Design Technology

Cookery: We have lots of opportunities to work on our measuring skills in cookery. This involves simple measures in cups at early years, through to accurate measuring as we move through the school. For example, we get to design gingerbread as Market Drayton is the home of gingerbread.  

Shapes: Part of our DT is looking at 3D structures; we start by looking at shapes in the buildings around the town and we then apply this, along with our knowledge of shape to produce our own 3D structures. 


Counting: To ensure we have good mental health and wellbeing we take part in the daily mile. We love to challenge ourselves to run further and so we practise counting and recording how many laps we can complete.

Sometimes we are also challenged to count the number of star jumps or skips we can do in a minute and try to beat our records.


Algorithms, directions: We love using Beebots and Purple Mash to practise our directions skills. This links to our Geography learning.

Data Handling: Sometimes we use our ICT skills to create graphs of the data we have gathered to answer a question.


Composing music: To be able to understand what a rhythm is, we have to be able to count the beats. Once we can do this accurately, we will then be able to use it to compose our own music, creating musical rhythms.



Homework and Home Learning:


As with reading regularly at home, we ask children to complete maths learning. Homework varies depending on the area of learning the children are covering. 


  • Each term, in their Homework Packs, children receive a homework sheet which outlines some of the learning they will cover and some suggested activities that they can do at home.  Children can bring these in to school to share with their teacher.
  • Children are asked to practise their Learn It Facts. These are listed in a Learn It booklet which children receives at the start of the Learning Journey in Reception. To help with these facts, there is a regular parent lunch and children are given flash cards to support learning at home. The school has produced maths games linked to these facts and sometimes children may bring these home to practise.
  • Mathletics is an APP that children have a login for when they are in Key Stage One. Teachers set homework based on their current learning and links to this can also be found on the Seesaw home learning platform.
  • Beat That tests happen regularly for children in Key Stage One. When they have completed these, children bring their tests home so that parents know areas that children struggled with and can further support their child on this. 
  • There are a variety of APPs and websites that school recommends for children to be using to practise their maths.
  • Using story books in maths can really help children develop their idea of number. We have listed some books that may be useful for you to use at home.


Below is further information about some of these Home Learning activities.


Working with parents:


In the spring term, maths parent lunches run across the school from Nursery to Year 2. This session is designed for parents to have an understanding about the maths learning for their child at that moment in time. Parents begin with a session to understand the maths curriculum across the school and then work with their child on a maths lesson. These sessions are always full of fun and practical maths ideas that can also be used at home and provide parents the opportunity to ask any questions they may have to be able to support their child. The sessions are always very well attended and you will be able to see from the photos that we have a lot of fun learning together. There are also additional photos that can be seen under the year group sections. 


Below are photos of some of our sessions.

Parent Lunch Feedback Spring 2023 - This is what our parents say.

Maths book look with parents

In school we have been showing off our maths learning to our parents. Parents were invited in to school to look at our work. Parents were asked to write a comment with their child about the learning that they saw. 


Below are some of the pictures of us sharing the learning.

Impact - How Do We Help Children Get to a Deep Level of Understanding?

During maths lesson children have the opportunity to work through their maths learning similar to other areas of the curriculum using the Basic, Advancing and Deep method. Children should be able to demonstrate a conceptual understanding of the topic and be able to build on this over time.

The advanced and deep learning stage are what we are ultimately aiming for when teaching maths which links to the 'mastery' approach. The content delivery pathway is carefully designed for the curriculum, ensuring that children are given opportunities to revisit learning and build on this throughout each stage of the learning. There has been much research on this and Bjork’s work highlights the importance of spacing topics out, little and often, over a longer period of time to harness the power of forgetting. This is the approach that has been taken for the maths curriculum.


Quizzes are carried out at the start of a topic to assess prior learning and then 'exit' assessments are carried out after a block of work has been completed, about two weeks later, to ensure that the knowledge has been retained. This then helps to identify the next steps in teaching when the topic is revisited again.


'Cold' tasks at the start of a unit of work and 'hot' tasks at the end of a unit of work are used to assess children's understanding of the learning. This is also used to identify possible intervention work needed to secure knowledge. 


Some of our maths work is practical and hands on. We use a 'floor book' in each class to show this learning. Alongside it, you will see we capture what the children say during their learning to gather their understanding as a mathematician. 



Pupil Voice

We like to gather the children's thoughts and feelings towards their maths learning. Here are some of their thoughts.

Take a look at some of our learning