The National Curriculum for Mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils become fluent, reason mathematically and can solve problems. We believe that a high quality Mathematics education provides a foundation for understanding the world, the ability to reason mathematically, an appreciation of the beauty and power of mathematics and a sense of enjoyment and curiosity about the subject.

How is Maths taught in Years 1-4?

At The Lyceum, we follow the Maths No Problem series because we are committed to ensuring that every child develops an understanding and love of Maths. With the right kind of teaching and support, we can ensure this happens. Maths No Problem uses a mastery teaching approach from Singapore. It is aligned with the 2014 English National Curriculum for Mathematics and was assessed by the DfE’s expert panel, which judged that it met the core criteria for a high-quality textbook to support teaching for mastery. By incorporating established learning research into a highly effective approach, Singapore has become a “laboratory of maths teaching”. The Maths No Problem series is founded on the international research of Piaget, Dienes, Bruner, Skempand and Vygotsky and has been tested and refined over the last 30 years in Singapore. The series follows a spiral approach; this means each time a topic is revisited, we build on prior knowledge by linking new ideas and looking at the concepts in more depth. Each year group is organised in this way meaning that children revisit topics throughout their primary education and continue to build on the knowledge that they already have.

Teaching for Mastery

The series ensures that children learn to think mathematically and that they make connections and generalisations to help them learn.

During each lesson, we prioritise the mastery of conceptual Maths understanding through the use of real life/everyday problems as children explore and investigate. Communication is key as they work alongside peers to reason, explain and justify their thinking using mathematical vocabulary.

Teachers carefully plan open ended, challenging questions which enable our children to make connections and identify patterns and draw conclusions about Mathematical concepts and problem solving.  Misconceptions are addressed as they arise, and teachers actively engage children in proving their ideas.

The whole class works through the programme of study at the same pace with ample time on each topic before moving on. Ideas are revisited at higher levels as the curriculum progresses through the years. Tasks and activities are designed to be approachable for all while still containing challenging components. For advanced learners, the textbooks also contain non-routine questions for pupils to develop their higher-order thinking skills. Concepts are taught using problem-solving approaches to encourage pupils’ higher-level thinking. The focus is on working with pupils’ core competencies, building on what they know to develop their relational understanding, based on Richard Skemp’s work. During each lesson, all children use apparatus or visual aid. As they make progress in the lesson, they move towards using abstract representations for Mathematical concepts (The CPA approach).

In addition to these core Maths lessons, all children have focused lessons on times tables, reasoning and arithmetic to provide security and depth to their learning. This allows pupils to make connections between Mathematical topics and ensures we are able to support all children whilst stretching and challenging the highest attainers. Furthermore, pupils are able to develop and refine the skills they will require in Years 5 and 6 when faced with the 11+ exams.

Structure of a Maths No Problem lesson

In Focus

Includes questions related to various lesson objectives as an introductory activity for pupils. Pupils discuss and explore a range of methods to solve the problem. They use journals to record their ideas and are encouraged to describe methods and explain their thinking. These journals provide pupils with opportunities to show their understanding of the Mathematical concepts learnt.

Let’s Learn

This introduces new concepts through a Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract approach with the use of engaging pictures and manipulatives. Guided examples are provided for reinforcement. Teachers reinforce non-negotiable learning objectives through direct teaching.

Guided Practice

This comprises of questions for further consolidation and for the immediate evaluation of pupils’ learning. Children complete tasks either independently, with a peer or collectively as a class. Discussion follows to encourage reasoning and mathematical fluency to be shown.


Pupils independently answer a range of questions directly related to the National Curriculum learning objective. These are arranged in a non-uniform way to allow for children to evidence their mastery of the Mathematical concept being taught.

Year 5 and 6 Maths Curriculum

In line with The Lyceum School’s curriculum policy (2a) which outlines the need to cover both the National Curriculum and the syllabus required for independent schools’ entrance exams, a greater level of importance  is placed on the 11+ process in Upper Key Stage 2. Whilst still covering all areas of the National Curriculum, Maths lessons in Year 5 and 6 prepare the children for greater depth and potential difficulty of Mathematical knowledge required.

Teachers use a variety of resources to achieve the outcomes stated above:

  • White Rose Maths
  • Maths on Target
  • Collins
  • CGP
  • Bond
  • A wide variety of 11+ and past secondary school entrance exams tests

Times tables at The Lyceum

At The Lyceum, we believe that having a secure knowledge of times tables is incredibly important for children and regular practice of tables is one of the most valuable ways parents can support children in their learning. To achieve well in maths throughout school, children need to be able to recall any times tables (up to 12x) and answer within two or three seconds. This leaves no time for counting up to the answer from 2x, 3x, 4x etc. and is called ‘fluency’. Alongside focused weekly times table lessons, there are a range of tools we use to boost fluency, such as Times Table Rock Stars.