Oakfield Primary Academy

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At Oakfield we now use the CPA (concrete, pictorial, abstract) approach to learning Mathematics.  This core practice is used in Singapore, who rank in the top three internationally in Education according to data released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 



The curriculum for mathematics at Oakfield Primary Academy intends to ensure that all pupils:

  1. become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics so that pupils develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately
  2. reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, conjecturing relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof using mathematical language
  3. can solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing sophistication, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions
  4. make lasting mathematical connections that will enable students to tackle future challenges faced in their lives.




Our mastery approach to the curriculum is designed to develop pupils' knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts from the Early Years through to the end of Y6.


Teaching and Learning, Content and Sequence


  • The calculation policy is used within school to ensure a consistent approach to teaching the four operations over time.
  • At the start of each new topic, key vocabulary is introduced and revisited regularly to develop language acquisition and embed it as the topic progresses.
  • Pupils are taught through clear modelling and have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and understanding of mathematical concepts.
  • Our mastery approach incorporates the use of objects, pictures, words and numbers to help pupils explore and demonstrate mathematical ideas, enrich their learning experience and deepen understanding at all levels.
  • Pupils develop fluency, APPLY the skill/knowledge or DEEPEN the skill/knowledge within the lesson/sequence of lessons.
  • Pupils move through the different stages of their learning at their own pace.
  • Reasoning and problem solving are integral to the activities pupils are given to develop their mathematical thinking.
  • Resources are readily available to assist demonstration of and secure conceptual understanding of the different skills appropriate for each year group.
  • Pupils are encouraged to explore, apply and evaluate their mathematical approach during investigations to develop a deeper understanding when solving different problems / puzzles.
  • A love of maths is encouraged throughout school via links with other subjects, applying an ever growing range of skills with growing independence.
  • Pupils with additional needs are included in whole class lessons and teachers provide scaffolding and relevant support as necessary. For those pupils who are working outside of the year group curriculum, individual learning activities are provided to ensure their progress.


Leadership, Assessment and Feedback


  • Assessment informs the teaching and learning sequence, and pupils work on the objectives they are assessed as being ready for.
  • Feedback is given on pupils’ learning in line with our feedback policy. Formative assessment within every lesson helps teachers to identify the pupils who need more support to achieve the intended outcome and those who are ready for greater stretch and challenge through planned questioning or additional activities.
  • In order to support teacher judgments, summative assessments are completed and gap analysis is undertaken and fed into future planning.
  • The maths leader has a clear role and overall responsibility for the progress of all pupils in maths throughout school. Working with SLT, key data is analysed and regular feedback is provided, to inform on progress and future actions.



  • Pupils demonstrate a quick recall of facts and procedures, including recollection of times tables.
  • Pupils show confidence in and can articulate their learning
  • Each pupil achieves objectives (expected standard) for their year group or demonstrates strong progress from their relative starting point.
  • Pupils can move between different contexts and representations of maths.
  • Pupils recognise relationships and make connections in maths lessons.
  • Pupils show a high level of pride in the presentation and understanding of the work




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The Singapore method begins by allowing children to start learning about maths by playing with real objects, blocks or pictures. They build confidence with the basic ideas of adding and taking away. There is then a second stage of drawing pictures representing the objects. And only later do they gradually start to add numbers to their drawings.

In education systems in the UK, pre-school children are often introduced to maths and to number symbols at the same time.  But number symbols like 5 or 10 as well as symbols like + or - are often difficult for children to understand. And if they are introduced too quickly, there is a risk that young children will struggle and from then on never fully recover their confidence in maths. Failing repeated tests on symbolic sums at school only deepens their anxiety and they soon learn that maths is not for them.

The Singapore method goes more gradually - from handling 'concrete' things, to drawing one-to-one 'pictorial' iconic representations of them, to eventually understanding and using the mysterious 'abstract' symbols with confidence.



The pedagogy is embedded into the Oakfield Maths Curriculum. The planning documentation woring in conjunction with White Rose Maths gives step-by-step support to teachers showing clear progression with the use of materials and pictures to guide learning that is secure. This scheme of work has allowed for the pitch and expectations to be at or higher than national expectation for each year group.



A core principal in this scheme and in our Mathematics curriculum emphasises mastery. Objects, pictures and words are everywhere. We use these to help pupils explore maths and understand the role it plays in their lives. We also ask that pupils always explain maths in full sentences – not just what the answer is, but how they know it’s the right answer. Our scheme of work now ensures that pupils understand basic concepts thoroughly and then builds on these skills throughout the year so that they gain a cumulative knowledge. We spend longer on topics so that pupils become fluent in them. Problem-solving is becoming more integrated throughout every lesson. They represent concepts using ‘bar models’, objects and pictures, and by making connections between different representations. This gives them the confidence, resilience and ability to tackle any problem rather than repeating routines without grasping the principles.