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Early Years Foundation Stage

In their first year at school, children learn about numbers through play, whole-class sessions and small-group work. They learn to recognise and order numbers, counting objects up to 20. By the end of the year, they learn to add and subtract two single-digit numbers and solve problems using doubling, halving and sharing. They also solve problems using size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money.


The National Curriculum from Year 1 teaches Mathematics through a range of topics:

- Number and Place Value

- Addition and Subtraction

- Multiplication and Division

- Fractions, Decimals and Percentages

- Measurement

- Geometry: Shape

- Geometry: Position and Direction (taught up to Year 4 only)

- Statistics (taught from Year 2)

These topics are revisited more than once over the course of each year, so that children remember what they have been taught and build on their skills. We place the most focus on the first four topics, as we consider these to be the bases on which other areas of Mathematics are founded. 

At the bottom of this page, you will find the full list of National Curriculum objectives for each area for each year group; this is what teachers use to plan the Mathematics they teach.

Basic Skills

Children need to be fluent with certain number facts and, whatever the topic being covered, the teacher will spend the first part of every lesson going over these. From Year 1, they start to learn their number bonds to 10. These are the numbers which, added together, form 10 (e.g. 3 + 7). Children need to know these fluently and quickly, without having to count. Once they know these, they learn their number bonds to 20, 50 and 100. At each stage, once they have mastered the concept, they receive a sticker and a round of applause in our celebration assembly.

Children who know their number bonds (typically by the middle of Year 2) are ready for multiplication tables. Again, children need to be fluent in these, able to answer any multiplication or division question up to 12 x 12 in fewer than two seconds. Every time a child masters a table, they are given a sticker and a round of applause. 

Number bonds and multiplication tables are taught in school and also sent home for homework. This is not lengthy written homework but the opportunity for parents to help children challenge themselves to become quicker and aim for the next level. See the bottom of this page for an idea of how tables can be taught at school and at home.


Having looked around at a range of different ways to teach calculations, Brize Norton has decided to use the calculation policy from Southwark Local Authority. This gives a stepped approach to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, with what is taught in each year building on what children have already learned. It builds up to traditional written methods by the end of Year 3, after which children deepen their knowledge and apply it to larger and more complex numbers, including decimals. See the bottom of the page for the full calculation policy.

Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving

These are the three steps towards Mastery in Mathematics. Fluency is understanding a concept and being able to answer a simple abstract question (e.g. 3 + 4). Reasoning is to be able to think about what they have done, such as thinking whether the answer they have is plausible and using it to work out other facts. (I know 3 + 4 = 7; therefore 4 + 3 = 7 and 7 - 4 + 3; 4 + 4 must be something similar). Problem solving is much broader. Children are faced with a question and have to work out what mathematics to use to solve it, working logically and often bringing in several areas of mathematical knowledge. If a child can do all three of these steps, he/ she has truly understood the concept. At Brize Norton School, most weeks are divided up as follows:

Monday - fluency

Tuesday - fluency

Wednesday - reasoning

Thursday - problem solving

Friday - fluency