How we teach fluency

Teaching Fluency at Blackhorse: 

In order to create confident mathematician, who are capable of solving mathematical problems, we place fluency at the heart of our teaching. There are several, interwoven, strategies used throughout the the school to ensure all children become as fluent as possible before moving on to a new concept. 

Big Maths

Big Maths is used throughout the school in order to teach and embed fluency within counting, calculation and the wider areas of Maths.  Children take part in Big Maths sessions for twenty minutes four days a week. Once a week, everyone takes part in a CLIC, SAFE and Learn It's assessment. This also helps children recall and revisit previously taught knowledge and teachers to assess gaps within the knowledge.



White Rose

The knowledge and skills we teach at Blackhorse are organised through White Rose’s long term plan. This provides the children with a solid foundation in the core aspects of number, starting with place value and the four operations, before moving on to explore wider areas of maths. Using this approach ensures we cover the whole curriculum and provides us with time to revisit important skills. You can read about the maths sessions in more detail in the document below. 


Every Mathematician lesson is built in the same way, ‘ready to progress,’ purpose of the lesson, modelling, guided practise, individual practise and a challenge.  Fluency forms the first part of every unit and children are assessed before moving forward into reasoning and finally problem solving. Throughout a unit, the focus shifts from a heavy emphasis on fluency towards a stronger weight placed on reasoning once children are secure in the core knowledge and skills.



When our children first arrive with us, in Reception, we start ensuring they are fluent with their core number facts. As well as teaching these through our Big Maths sessions, we ask all children in Reception and Year 1 to complete 15 minutes of Numbots each week. This program focuses on subitising numbers, addition and subtractions. These skills get harder as the children move through the levels and reward children for being accurate rather than fast. We know these skills are the building blocks of fluent mathematicians and we consequently we reward this effort each week in assembly. 


Times Tables Rockstars

The explicit teaching of times tables is completed throughout our Big Maths sessions. However, purposeful practise and personal effort lie at the centre of our values. Therefore, from Year 2, every child is required to complete at least 15 minutes of TTRS each week for homework. This increases to 20 minutes in Year 5 and 6. We also celebrate children's success with TTRS in assembly. We currently have nearly 30 members in the 1 second club and 2 in the 0.5 second club. You will see these children proudly displaying their badges as they walk around the school.