Mrs Henderson, Admin Assistant, deals with all queries from parents and members of the public. Please contact Mrs Henderson on 0191 2371218 or email:


Maths at New Hartley First School

What you will see in a Maths lesson an NHFS?

At NHFS, teachers are there to facilitate the learning of the children, in accordance with their needs. We teach whole class objectives in a mixed ability setting, in line with our steadfast belief that ‘all children can succeed in maths’. Children’s ability is not labelled on the basis of their prior attainment, although teachers are aware that some children may take longer to master concepts and may require the additional support of resources and equipment or of an adult. Such support is planned ahead of each lesson; however decisions are not always made about which children may require this support prior to the lesson.  Children are given the time that they need to explore new concepts and, conversely, those children who master a concept quickly are provided with opportunities to then apply their newly acquired understanding. Children are sat in mixed ability groupings and seating arrangements change on a regular basis depending on the children’s needs and content of the lesson. We follow a lesson design of teacher input; fluency activity, then application through a star challenge which may challenge children to problem solve or may allow children to conjecture. There may be repeated ‘bouts’ of teacher input and subsequent supported practise before children are given the opportunity to apply their understanding independently. This approach has been designed to provide support at each step of learning, complementing the growth mind-set and positive ‘can do’ attitude which are central to our mathematical mind-sets. 

Lessons are designed on the principle of ‘concrete, pictorial to abstract’ and where applicable, a range of manipulatives are used across the school to support children to understand key concepts, and to become fluent in methods of calculation. Careful questioning is also used to probe the pupil’s understanding throughout a lesson, and children are encouraged to answer in full sentences, using the modelled STEM sentences for guidance. In order to address the aims of the NC, our long/medium term plans have been adjusted to allow longer on topics. Each lesson focus is on one key conceptual idea and connections are made across mathematical topics. To outsiders it may appear that the pace of the lesson is slower, but progress and understanding is enhanced through depth. Our assessment procedures recognise that the aims of the curriculum cannot be assessed through coverage (ticking many objectives off a list) but through depth within a topic.