Our Learning‎ > ‎

Priority Subject - Maths

What does maths learning look like at Dore Primary School?

Across the school, maths is taught daily so that pupils develop as creative, resilient mathematicians. As maths is such a huge part of the world around us, there are many cross-curricular links and our maths learning is developed through a vast range of other subjects such as Geography, History, Science, Computing and Art.

At Dore Primary School, the White Rose Maths framework is followed by all teachers to support with the planning and delivery of quality maths lessons.

The aim of this approach is to:

  • Support children’s ability to make links and connections between mathematical concepts,

  • Develop children’s reasoning and problem solving skills

  • Increase children’s fluency of number fact recall.

Our calculation policy (see attachment below) has been developed around the use of CONCRETE, PICTORIAL and ABSTRACT methods which support children to “SEE THE MATHS” and apply learning to new concepts.


    Concrete – Children use practical apparatus such as base 10, place value counters, Cuisenaire rods, Numicon and plastic coins to complete calculations. The main focus is to investigate new concepts and ideas, develop an understanding of the place value of numbers and recognise links to prior learning.


    Pictorial – Children draw images of practical apparatus to encourage them to begin developing mental pictures of calculations and visualise the calculation. Children make links between concrete and abstract representations.


    Abstract – Children represent prior learning using mathematical symbols. They consolidate the understanding formed through concrete and pictorial investigation and use digits and symbols to represent calculations.

How does concrete, pictorial and abstract impact children’s learning?

  • Children show better retention rates of new concepts when they are introduced using practical apparatus compared to just using abstract symbols3


  • Using practical apparatus reduces cognitive demand on pupils


  • Children develop a deeper understanding of concepts


  • Using concrete and pictorial images reduces an overreliance on mathematical rules and encourages a deeper understanding of concepts


  • Using practical apparatus address and overcome children’s misconceptions about mathematical concepts

What are the maths non-negotiables?


The maths non-negotiables are key recall facts which are taught in each year group to support children’s maths fluency. At Dore Primary School, children are encouraged to look carefully at questions in order to choose the most efficient method for solving calculations. Developing number fluency allows children to use mental methods to calculate, thus reducing cognitive load and increasing efficiency. In addition to regularly being practised during maths lessons, these recall facts are taught and revised throughout the day as part of classroom routines such as during classroom transitions. 

Times Table Rockstars is a brilliant website for practising times tables. Each week pupils in Key Stage 2 are awarded certificates for the progress that they have made with their recall speed. Please ask your child’s teacher if you are unsure of your child’s log-in for this useful resource.

What is SPADE?


At Dore Primary School, we have developed SPADE (Show it! Prove it! Apply it! Detect it! Explain it!) to encourage children to reason and problem solve as mathematicians. SPADE increases children’s links and connections between different areas of learning and also develops critical thinking skills in maths.

Nicola Evans,
13 Feb 2019, 08:21
Katy Jackson-Godfrey,
16 May 2019, 04:47
Katy Jackson-Godfrey,
16 May 2019, 04:47
Nicola Evans,
15 May 2019, 00:48
Richard Hanks,
9 May 2019, 09:11