How we Teach Maths at Blackhorse

Intent (What we are trying to achieve):


Champion Mathematician at Blackhorse can fluently recall basic number facts and is able to use mathematical reasoning to explore mathematical problems.


A fluent mathematician can:

  1. recall key number facts (times tables & number bonds) instantly, including inverse facts.
  2. use the four number operations accurately and effectively.
  3. understand the number system, particularly place value and fractions, decimals & percentages.


A mathematician who reasons can: 

  1. Work systematically to solve number problems.
  2. Use trial and improvement
  3. Work logically.
  4. Spot mathematical patterns.
  5. Visualise mathematical problems using a range of mathematical models.
  6. Working backwards and use inverse operations.


Implementation (how we achieve this):



Maths lessons are divided into 2 parts at Blackhorse Primary School:


Big Maths is used to help teach fluency.

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 is used to embed fluency and teach reasoning and problem solving. 

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.

Impact (How we will know if we've been successful):

Throughout the year we will look through pupil’s books and speak to children about their confidence when solving problems and reasoning mathematically. At key points throughout the year, we will assess children to ensure they are developing good reasoning and problem solving skills. These assessments will be analysed to identify areas for development and strategies will be put in place to ensure good progress where required.

Bar Modelling at Blackhorse

Bar Modelling 

This is an approach which the children at Blackhorse use to solve problems. It allows them to 'see' the problem and then to break it down so that they can then solve it. Bar modelling is used in different ways in different year groups. Click on the documents below to find out more.