Mathematics at Hillside is based on a ‘Maths Mastery Approach’. Mastery of maths means a deep, long-term, secure and adaptable understanding of the subject. Developing mastery consists of three main elements:

  • fluency (rapid and accurate recall and application of facts and concepts)
  • a growing confidence to reason mathematically
  • the ability to apply maths to solve problems, to conjecture and to test hypotheses

Approach to differentiation: Mastery of maths, builds gradually as a child goes through school, is a tool for life, and immeasurably more valuable than the short term ability to answer questions in tests or exam. One of these is the move away from labeling pupils as ‘high ability’ or ‘low ability’ and always giving them different tasks. This approach is now the basis of each maths lessons and children are always given a choice of where they will begin their learning and are encouraged to take charge of the progress they make during the lesson by moving themselves on. Classes from year 1 to year 6 are using a ‘Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum’ approach to the activities they set for their children. This system enables the children to either consolidate their understanding of concepts before moving on (Usually bronze and silver) or to apply their mathematical skills to reason and problem solve (Usually gold and platinum)

When walking into a typical maths lesson it is evident that there is a challenging, engaging ethos which promotes a positive and confident attitude to maths as an exciting, creative and relevant subject. We also want to ensure that all our children realise their potential, becoming confident and enthusiastic mathematicians. Our curriculum is designed to ensure that there is a focus on promoting core maths skills; such as multiplication tables, number bonds and place value; as well as practical maths and ‘using and applying’ skills which promote independent problem solving skills and mastery.

See below for our calculation policies:


To ensure we continue to embed and develop these core skills we use a times table system across the school that focuses on a graduated approach of children learning to say their times tables in order; moving on to learning the multiplication facts; next the children will learn the corresponding division facts and will be able to recall them out of order and finally they will master their times tables by applying them to different areas of mathematics and also at speed. The children have a times tables chart to complete, which is  displayed in their maths book and children receive a prize when they have learned the multiplication tables expected of them.


At Hillside we use an exciting, interactive maths programme that the children can use from home or school. Each child at Hillside, from reception to year 6, has their own username and password and can log on from any computer or tablet. The programme has a range of mathematics activities from various topics across the mathematics curriculum.  It is used all around the world in countries such as New Zealand, USA, South Africa and many more and the children love the opportunity to play games against children from different nationalities when they log on.








Depth of Learning

When assessing in Maths, teachers will use a depth of Learning rating. The leaflet below explains this: