How we prevent children from falling behind in Mathematics

Preventing Children falling behind in Mathematics 


Quality first teaching: 


Pre teaching 
  • Some children are shown the mathematical concepts before they are taught in the classroom.
  • Vocabulary on the boards around the room from the start of the topic.
  • Questioning.

Adaptive teaching approaches


  • Adult led small Group support based on hinge questions. 
  • Teacher to identify focus children and work with them within the lesson.
  • Buddy up with a stronger Mathematician.
  • Scaffolding – keep adult scaffolding to a minimum.
  • explicit teaching and instruction of strategies (Reasoning toolkit).
  • flexible grouping.
  • Sentence stems used throughout a lesson. 



  • Physical (concrete) resources to support learning.
  • Pictorial representations.
  • laminated reasoning toolkits. 
  • Enlarged sheets.


Reception and Key Stage 1:


In Year 1 and 2 the focus is on ensuring that children are secure with the basic skills they need.   This might include counting, reading and writing numbers and place value (understanding the value of each digit in a number).  Teachers identify children who require additional support following whole class teaching.  These children will then receive additional tuition in the afternoons and will also work closely with an adult during whole class teaching.  Children may receive extra resources to help them with their learning at home, for example, 100 squares and number lines. 


In addition, any gaps in their Big Maths mental arithmetic are addressed following the weekly assessments.   Children may receive short one-to-one sessions several times during the week to target a particular skill or work in small groups on the same skill. 


Year 3 and 4: 


Mathematical fluency: Along with the quality first teaching, we have a specialist Mathematics assistant who works four afternoons a week. Teachers select specific children each term based on our internal data. The mathematical assistant will then work with these children throughout the following term twice or three times a week in short bursts. These sessions will be focused on filling the children's specific gaps using the Big Maths platform. Starting in September 2023, we will be using Fluency Bee and Big Maths to deliver theses sessions. 



Times tables: Once children enter year 4, we use an army of volunteers to help children learn their times tables. This is a bespoke program for each child based on the tables they are still working towards learning. Over the past year, we have managed to ensure children were being seen 3 to 4 times a week each. This constant, short intervention has led to good results the the Year 4 MTC. 


Year 5 and 6: 

Using data from Big Maths and constant low stakes assessment, including quizzes and daily Maths work, the Year 5&6 children are provided high-quality interventions delivered by the class teacher. These are often in delivered as soon after the initial gap as possible. Furthermore, in Year 6, the morning work every morning, is based around the children's gaps in arithmetic. Finally, once in Year 6, there is a specialist Maths morning club that teaches children in small groups 3 mornings a week. These groups focus on identified gaps and pre-teaching.