Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School

Plaistow Hill Infant and Primary School

Everyday my daughter is very eager to tell me what she has learnt and is always excited to be going to school

Year 2 Parent

  • "Staff are kind, calm and encouraging - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Children flourish in an environment of genuine warmth and care - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Pupils in Key Stage 1 are confident, listen to each other, share and take turns - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Parents and carers praise the work of the school - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "One parent expressed the view of many with the comment 'the atmosphere and attitude of all the staff is incredible' - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "The outdoor learning environment is used effectively to help children co-operate with each other and practise their number knowledge and skills - Ofsted, April 2022"
  • "Pupils are happy at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School - Ofsted, April 2022"
Life at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School Life at Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School

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Plaistow Hill Infant and Nursery School is committed to providing a rich maths education for all of our children, enabling them to make good progress towards becoming confident mathematicians.  Our focus is on mastery at every stage of the curriculum.   

At Plaistow Hill we apply a Visual Maths approach to number, calculation and fractions, allowing our children to learn in a structured, visual way so we make abstract concepts concrete. We also use real world problems and puzzles throughout our maths learning so that maths has a purpose and can be more easily understood by all of our children.  

Our curriculum coverage is structured in a way which allows children to acquire new knowledge and skills and apply these skills in different contexts to achieve deeper understanding.  Maths skills are revisited throughout the year, especially through reasoning and problem solving tasks. This allows the children to apply what is already in their long term memory to new tasks, deepening and adding to their knowledge and skills.  

Our planning follows the curriculum overview as laid out by White Rose Maths.  White Rose provides a structure to our maths planning as well as providing opportunities for the children to apply their skills in interesting and challenging contexts.  White Rose also provides many opportunities to revisit previous learning to recap important learning from the previous year to ensure key knowledge and skills are embedded before moving on. This is especially important for supporting our children post lockdown. 


visual maths logo

To help our children to achieve all they can in maths, the way we teach place value, calculation and fractions follows a Visual Maths approach.

"Visual Maths™ is an extremely effective and successful approach to the teaching and learning of Mathematics. It has consistently increased pupils’ understanding, achievement and attainment. Pupils have a greater confidence, are more self-motivated and see themselves as successful learners."

We use Visual Maths as the "How" of teaching place value, calculation and fractions whilst White Rose provides us with the structure as well as the mastery and fluency opportunities.  We build in mastery opportunities into all of the children's learning so each skill acquired  by the children is applied to problems and puzzles at their level of understanding.  By doing this, all of the children have the opportunity to reason about their maths and master the skills acquired, deepening understanding before moving on.

Visual Maths Pathways

Visual Maths follows a set of pathways for place value, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and fractions with the children working their way along the pathways, gaining confidence and knowledge as they do.  These pathways form our calculation policy.

Below are the modified pathways which we follow at Plaistow Hill. 

The pathways lead the children through different 'modes' of working.

C = Concrete - working with materials such as cubes

D = Drawing - drawing the grids and cubes

S = Symbolic - more formal, written methods

The children work through the modes at their own speed, and this allows them to access the same maths at different levels of mastery.

Addition Pathway

Subtraction Pathway

Multiplication Pathway

Division Pathway

Fractions Pathway

In addition to the Visual Maths pathways we have also developed some pathways which add extra structure to the teaching and learning of place value, calculation and fractions whilst also providing the knowledge and skills the children need to master before moving onto the main Visual Maths pathways . They clearly outline the knowledge the children need to master to be able to access the Visual Maths pathways and are used as an aid to identify gaps in learning for any children who struggle at any stage of their earning. 

Click here to view the pre-visual maths pathways.

Maths Parent Workshop

We hold maths workshops for all parents to come along and learn how we teach the children maths, including our approach to mastery in the curriculum. See below for a summary of feedback from parents who have previously attended. 

Click here a summary of feedback from those who have previously attended a workshop.

Visual Maths Videos

For more help with any of the methods used in Visual Maths, please watch the following video clips on Youtube:

Addition Video 1

Addition Video 2

Addition Video 3

Subtraction Video

Multiplication - making groups and times table patterns

Column Multiplication

Multiplication - splitting

Division - making groups

Division - times table patterns

Column Division 1

Column Division 2

Web Links

BBC Bitesize maths - links to lots of maths games

ICT games - more games to play online

Crickweb - more maths games

Nrich - Lots of Fun Maths Problems developed by Cambridge University

Dice Games - A link to part of the NRich site, with lots of dice games for KS1