At Gayhurst, we develop confident mathematicians, who approach maths with curiosity and enjoyment.  We enable our mathematicians to reason, problem solve and follow lines of enquiry.  Maths is taught daily across the school, to enable every child to make progress in their mathematical understanding.

We use a Singapore Approach in our teaching of Mathematics, supported by the ‘Maths – No Problem!’ Mastery based approach. The central idea of Singapore maths is to develop children’s conceptual understanding of number using concrete, pictorial and abstract (CPA) methods.


               Concrete                                                Pictorial                                            Abstract

Things children can touch, hold         Things children can see and draw                                                                  and manipulate (manipulatives)              (Visual representations)

The CPA approach was developed by the psychologist Jerome Bruner to develop a deeper understanding of mathematics.  At Gayhurst, we use the approach in our maths lessons from nursery up to year 6.


Nursery and Reception (Early Years Foundation Stage)

In Nursery and Reception we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.  Children are given lots of concrete equipment to support their understanding of number, including counting toys, unifix cubes and Numicon.  We also use everyday items such as food, to help children understand that maths is a part of our everyday lives.  In the early years, mathematics is integrated into play, whether it be in the role play area, counting games, games in the playground or singing songs as well as focused activities with the class teacher.                                                   

Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

 In years 1 and 2 children build on the knowledge they have gained from the Nursery and Reception.  Children start learning about number bonds. Number bonds are another key concept of Singapore maths and teach children that numbers can be split-up or combined.  We use the part-part-whole model to represent this.  This concept is the foundation children need to understand before they are able to add and subtract. 

Once children have an understanding of the part-part-whole model, they are also introduced to bar models, which show the same relationship between numbers. They have a variety of concrete apparatus to continue supporting their understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, including Dienes, counters, straws, unifix cubes, counting beads and Numicon.

As well as understanding number, children will also develop their understanding of shape and space, measurement, fractions and statistics.          


Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 & 6)

By Key Stage 2, children are becoming much more confident and are well on the way to becoming independent learners. They are much more fluent with numbers and the use of the four mathematical operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).  Children are still taught using the CPA approach, but are able to work with larger numbers.  In order to work with numbers up to 10 million and decimal numbers, the children use place value counters to support their continued conceptual development.

Children are given every opportunity to link their mathematics to “real life problems".  To solve the problem children represent the problem in a bar model.  Bar modelling is another key concept of Singapore maths and helps children conceptualise problems in different contexts.  It is a pictorial representation of a problem that enables children to see which operation they need to use to solve the question.

 Moving on from KS1, where children handle the objects in the problem, children draw the objects in a pictorial representation. Eventually the children can draw a bar and write the numbers that the bar represents. 

As the numbers and problems become more complex – the children move straight onto the bar, but concrete apparatus will remain available for children to reinforce what they are doing.  By year 6, children are solving complex problems, involving ratio, fractions and multi-step problems.



Maths outside the Classroom


 Mathletics is a popular computer based programme purchased by the school that helps students enjoy maths and improve their results in all areas. It is currently being used by pupils in years 3 to 6. Students are given a unique login to access their account from any computer which has access to the internet, either at school or at home. It can also be downloaded onto a tablet, android and iPad.  Once downloaded, the app can be accessed offline.  The programme has tutorials that allow children to practise different mathematical concepts set by their teacher, which supports their learning in the classroom. Points can be earned and built up, which can win them bronze, silver and gold certificates.  Children are encouraged to use Mathletics regularly to consolidate their learning in the classroom. Ask your child’s teacher for their login. Click on the link  to visit the Mathletics site: 


Times Table Rockstars

 Times Table Rockstars is a fun online game that helps children practise their times tables and division facts.  Each child has their own unique rockstar avatar and can earn coins to buy virtual items.  The game allows children to practise times tables they are not confident with and show off their skills in real time activities against other children.  Children can play online or download the app onto any smartphone or tablet.  Children are encouraged to practise their times tables daily for at least 10 minutes a day.  The National Curriculum expectation is that by the end of year 2, children should know their 2, 5, 10 and 3 times tables.  By the end of year 3, they should also know their 4, 6, 8 and 9 times tables and that all children should know their times tables up to 12 x 12 by the end of year 4.  Children in year 5 and 6 are consolidating their learning and improving their fluency. Ask your child’s teacher for their login details and click on the link below to visit the Times Tables Rockstar site:


Parent and Carer Workshops

We hold interactive parent and carer workshops for different year groups. These are an opportunity for parents and carers to come along and learn about how we teach maths at Gayhurst, through a mastery approach. They enable parents to see the Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach in action and to even have a go themselves! The sessions aim to de-mystify Maths and quash any fears you may have. The workshops focus on introducing activities and teaching strategies to  support each child’s learning and are an excellent opportunity for parents to get involved and have a taste of what their child is learning in the classroom. At the end of each session there is a year group appropriate hand out along with a glossary of key terms (see PDFs at the bottom of this page). Ask your child’s teacher when the next workshop is planned.

  1. Maths hand out year 2
  2. Maths hand out year 4
  3. Maths handout year 1
  4. Maths handout year 3