Home Page


Maths at Darton Primary School

Our approach to the teaching of Mathematics

At Darton Primary School we nurture our young mathematicians and aim for our children to:

  • become fluent in the fundamentals of maths;
  • be able to reason (apply logical and critical thinking in order to work out the correct strategy to use, and as importantly, not to use);
  • to be able to problem solve (finding a way to apply knowledge and skills to unfamiliar types of problems).


Following the White Rose scheme of learning, we adopt a mastery approach to the teaching of mathematics to ensure that children develop a deep and lasting understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures to help them in school and in adult life. We want our children become confident mathematicians with a a ‘can do’ approach to the subject.


In the Early Years Foundation Stage (FS1 and FS2), we prepare children for their mastery journey. The White Rose Scheme of Learning is used to support teaching and learning. At this early stage of development, teaching and learning focuses on six key themes: cardinality, composition, comparison, measures, pattern and shape and space.


Cardinality relates to the children understanding one-to-one correspondence and grasping the amount that a number represents, including counting a selection of objects and understanding that the final number they say is the amount represented.

Composition relates to how numbers can be made, e.g. 5 can be made as 5 + 0, 4 + 1 or 3 + 2.

Comparison includes using key vocabulary such as most, least, more, less, fewer, same, double and half to compare two groups of objects or numbers.

Measures includes comparing the weight, length and size of objects and using different units of measurement.

Pattern includes noticing, making, copying, fixing and extending patterns.

Shape and space includes naming and recognising key shapes, understanding what happens when shapes move and combining shapes.


In the Early Year Foundation Stage, children are taught mathematics through short whole class sessions, small focused group sessions and continuous provision.


In Key Stage One and Two, teachers continue to use the White Rose Scheme of Learning to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum and clear progression. To learn mathematics effectively, some things have to be learned before others, e.g. place value needs to be understood before working with addition and subtraction, addition needs to be learnt before looking at multiplication. Each class follows the yearly overview for the year group or groups they teach.


Our approach to the teaching of mathematics is through a clear structure of fluency and varied fluency, followed by the application of these skills to tackle a range of problem solving and reasoning tasks. Teachers provide explicit modelling of skills before moving onto guided practice and finally independent application. We believe that the development of problems solving and reasoning skills, such as working systematically, spotting patterns and working backwards, is essential so that children can confidently tackle problems and find solutions quickly and effectively. We also encourage children to explore alternative solutions and methods that could be used. Alongside this, we promote the use of talk so that children can articulate their thinking and demonstrate their understanding of key mathematical vocabulary.


Throughout school we use the CPA approach (Concrete Pictorial Abstract) to help children understand mathematical concepts and procedures. Children use concrete resources, such as Base ten blocks, counters, tens frames, to support their early understanding of concepts and procedures before moving onto pictorial representations. Children finally move onto abstract representations.


The mental recall of key mathematical facts (including times tables) is recognised as an essential part of the mathematics curriculum. Across school, children are directly taught specific mental maths skill from the National Curriculum (see document below for details) as part of a mental and oral lesson starter.  

There is very robust evidence from cognitive science that when we try to remember something, that specific memory gets stronger. Conversely, if we do not have opportunities where we have to try to remember something, that memory will become weak. Teachers ensure that children build schema and embed key concepts into their long-term memory through planning regular opportunities to review previous learning.  This is done through the regular use of retrieval strategies such as quizzing (e.g. Flashback 4) and mind mapping.


Calculation Policy


At Darton Primary School, we have adopted the Calculation Policy developed by the White Rose Maths Hub. This is to ensure that the progression and strategies taught compliment the scheme of learning used.  The policy sets out the calculation objectives taught in each year group and what strategies /methods should be taught at each stage. 


Both formative assessment and summative assessments are used by teachers to inform teaching and learning in mathematics. During daily maths lessons, teachers ask questions, discuss learning with children and review work completed to assess progress and identify next steps for the class and where intervention is required. As children move up through the school, children become increasingly involved in the assessment process through self and peer assessment. At the end of each term, summative assessments (Rising Stars) are used with children from Year 1 to Year 6. Teachers use the outcome of these tests to inform next steps for their class and individual children.


When it comes to times tables, speed AND accuracy are important – the more facts your child remembers, the easier it is for them to do harder calculations.

Times Table Rock Stars is a fun and challenging programme designed to help students master the times tables!


Age related expectations

Year 1:

  • Count in multiples of 2s, 5s and 10s

Year 2:

  • Count in steps of 2, 3, and 5 from 0, and in 10s from any number, forward and backward
  • Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 2, 5 and 10 multiplication tables

Year 3:

  • Recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables

Year 4:

  • Recall multiplication and division facts for multiplication tables up to 12 × 12

Year 5 & 6: Build on their knowledge of multiplication and division facts (12 x12) e.g. prime numbers, factors, square numbers, multiplying and dividing decimals and multiplying and dividing by fractions.  


Game modes

We recommend children in key stage one (Classes 2 to 4) focus on playing in ‘Garage’ and ‘Rock Arena’ mode to build their accuracy and confidence initially. These game modes focus on the multiplication facts and related division facts set by the teacher only. This means children will not be put off by being faced with multiplication facts they are not yet ready to answer (e.g. 8 x 7=  81 ÷ 9 = ).
Once children move into key stage 2 (classes 5-9), children will be encouraged to play in studio mode (in addition to the garage, soundcheck and festival mode) to gain a rock status. Moving up through the rock statuses will be celebrated in school.


Garage -Single player
The questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set. It will include multiplication and division questions. As pupils start to answer questions, TT Rock Stars works out which facts they take longer on and will give them more of these questions to answer. The Garage is best for getting quicker at a few facts. Players get 10 coins per question they answer correctly.
Studio – Single player
The questions in the Studio can be anything from 1×1 up to 12×12. TT Rock Stars calculates the average (mean) response time from their last 10 games in the Studio and translates that time into a Rock Status. If you don’t play in the Studio you don’t get a Rock Status. Players earn 1 coin per question and the Studio is the place for them to set their best time across all the tables.

Less than 1 second per question = Rock Hero

Less than 2 seconds per question = Rock Legend

Less than 3 seconds per question = Rock Star

Less than 4 seconds per question = Headliner

Less than 5 seconds per question = Support Act

Less than 6 seconds per question = Breakthrough Artist

Less than 7 seconds per question = Unsigned Act

Less than 8 seconds per question = Gigger

Less than 9 seconds per question = Busker

Less than 10 seconds per question = Garage Rocker

More than 10 seconds per question = Wannabe


Soundcheck – Single player

When you play Soundcheck, you get 25 questions with a 6-second time limit. The questions are multiplication only and evenly weighted in terms of difficulty each time you play. Players earn 5 coins per correct answer.


Rock Arena – Multi player

The Arena allows players to compete against all other members of their Band (class).  A new Arena game starts every 15 seconds and once the clock starts they race to answer more questions than the others. In the Arena, questions will only come from the times tables the teacher has set for the week, similar to the Garage.  They earn 1 coin per correct answer.


Rock Festival – Multi player

The Rock Festival games are open to players from around the world. Like the Arena, there is no limit to the number of players who can join a game; however, unlike the Arena, questions are selected at random from 1×1 to 12×12. Pupils might choose the Rock Festival if they wanted to compete against others not in their Band (class). They earn 1 coin per correct answer.



If you click on your avatar icon in the top right of the screen and then click My Stats, a heatmap like the one below will load. It shows how successful your child is at each of the facts.



National Multiplication Tables Check

The multiplication tables check (MTC) is mandatory for all pupils at the end of year 4.

The purpose of the check is to determine whether pupils can fluently recall their times tables up to 12, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It will also help your child’s school to identify pupils who may need additional support.


The Multiplication Tables Check is an on-screen check consisting of 25 times tables questions. Your child will answer 3 practice questions before moving on to the official check, and will then have 6 seconds to answer each question. On average, the check should take no longer than 5 minutes to complete.


The school will administer the multiplication tables check within a 3-week period in June.


For further information: