White Rock Primary School

'Inspiring Learning Together'

White Rock Primary School


At White Rock we love to have fun with our Maths learning! Everyday we experience our Maths learning through problem solving, which enables us to apply our Maths knowledge and understanding to real life situations. We have a real focus on Mathematical thinking and reasoning, using models and images to help us.

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Maths at White Rock

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the KS2 Parent Workshop took place on Thursday 7th March. The workshop was to help parents know how to support their children with Maths. It was a really interactive session with parents doing the Maths themselves and even sitting some SATs Maths papers! Please look at the resources below which you can use to help support your children:

Feedback from KS2 Parent Workshop:

  • Y6 Parent - 'PDFs and calculation policies are all really helpful. It was great to learn the same terminologies'.
  • Y2 Parent - It was useful to see the different methods the children use as they move up the school. The policies and parent leaflets are really clear and useful'.
  • Y2 Parent - 'Its great to see what is coming up in the next few years for my son to learn. Keep running these sessions - they are so helpful'.
  • Y2 Parent - 'Really useful for understanding expectations at each year group and resources useful to help visualise calculations'.
  • Y5 Parent - 'Now I have a better understanding of whats to come and how I can help my daughter'.
  • Y4 Parent - 'A brilliant insight. Really useful, good to know the difficulty level of what they are doing'.
  • Y4 Parent - 'Excellent and informative. Engaging and friendly environment. Informative methods to help support our child'


The KS1 Maths Parent Workshop took place on Thursday 28th Feb at 6pm. The workshop was to help parents know how to support their children with Mathematics at home. It was an interactive session where parents  discovered what their children were learning and some strategies to support them. If you were unable to make the meeting look below to see the great resources you can print off and use at home:

KS1 Maths Parent Workshop

Feeback from the Maths Workshop:


  • Y1 parent 'Very interesting meeting'
  • Reception Parent - 'Very informative, nice to know how to teach or help at home in the same way'
  • Y2 parent 'Now I understand the way the school teaches Maths as opposed to how I was taught - thank you very much!'
  • Y2 parent 'Now I clearly understand the terminology and strategies used in Year 2'
  • Y2 parent ' I was struggling to help with subtraction particularly as I only knew how to use the column method which was too advanced. Now I know how to help and not confuse my child'
  • Y1 parent 'Tips to help my child add and subtract larger numbers'
  • Childminder - 'So supportive, now I can help rising 5s and after school children'


The 5 Big Ideas - Mastery Maths   

At White Rock we teach Maths through a 'mastery' approach. We use the 5 Big Ideas of Mastery to enable us to develop flexible thinking mathematicians. Our belief is that all children are capable of succeeding in mathematics. Children are taught all together as a class and are not split into ‘ability’ groupings. Carefully structured teaching, planned in small steps provides both the necessary scaffold for all to achieve and facilitates deep thinking. The 5 Big Ideas are as follows.  


Connecting new ideas to concepts that have already been understood, and ensuring that, once understood and mastered, new ideas are used again in next steps of learning, all steps being small steps

Representation and Structure

Representations used in lessons expose the mathematical structure being taught, the aim being that students can do the Maths without recourse to the representation

Mathematical Thinking

If taught ideas are to be understood deeply, they must not merely be passively received but must be worked on by the student: thought about, reasoned with and discussed with others


Quick and efficient recall of facts and procedures and the flexibility to move between different contexts and representations of mathematics


Varying the way a concept is initially presented to students, by giving examples that display a concept as well as those that don’t display it. Also, carefully varying practice questions so that mechanical repetition is avoided, and thinking is encouraged.

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As you are aware Maths is a key priority at White Rock this year and we have recently invested a substantial amount of money in subscribing to Mathletics for all pupils from Year 1 through to Year 6. 


Mathletics is an Internet- based programme used by 10,000 schools and over 3.5 million pupils. It covers all aspects of Mathematics and has 1000 learning activities for ages 5 to 18. The reason we chose Mathletics as opposed to MyMaths was that it responds to each child’s INDIVIDUAL strengths and weaknesses and is a tailored programme for your child. Pupils are immediately told if they are on track and can get animated tutorials to help. A feature that our children are really enjoying is that they can compete with other pupils in their class, school and worldwide. Mathletics is aligned to the UK curriculum and covers all aspects of Number, Geometry and Statistics.


Your child’s participation in Mathletics is celebrated throughout the school. In Key Stage assemblies, children are awarded  ‘Mathlete of the Week’ and during Team assemblies, individual certificates are given out. Gold, silver and bronze medals are presented to the children who have accumulated the most points from the Maths games that week.


Part of this subscription allows parents can receive weekly reports by email which will keep you updated on your child’s progress on Mathletics. In order to set this up you please follow the instructions below.

Then put in your child’s login details (which you already have) and register your email.



If there are any problems with this please see Mrs Jarrett (Maths Lead) or her email is sjarrett@white-rock-primary.torbay.sch.uk


Some comments about Mathletics by parents:

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"It seems to be excellent and relevant to their learning so far with the added bonus of having a competitive edge to encourage them to use it. (seeing their friends online and beating their scores etc.) The reward of receiving an actual certificate at assembly is brilliant also as children can feel direct pride in what they have accomplished at any level. There is no nagging involved for completion of homework in this manner - Ever!!!! Just a shame there isn't similar options for literacy!! We thought MyMaths was good but this is possibly better due to the competition and rewards. Thank you."


"Mathletics has proved better in my opinion than my Maths. The reward structure in terms of gold bars and certificates motivated my daughter to stay on it for 2 hours! The only reason she didn't access it more was due to our busy lives in that time frame. Please bring it back!"


"Up until 3 weeks ago my daughter HATED Maths. I couldn't believe that I was having to nag her to get off this website!! She loves it! she has struggled since year one, yet in three weeks she has nailed rounding and column addition and subtraction and she ENJOYS (!) the timed challenges. Mathematics has worked wonders! PLEASE sign up for it and I promise to join wraps and make cakes ;)"


Mastery Maths Specialist 

We are very lucky at White Rock to have our own Mastery Maths Specialist working at the school. Miss Clohessy has been working over the last year to ensure she is up to date with the latest ways of teaching Maths and how to incorporate the 5 Big Ideas into her teaching.  As part of her training she invited teacher from 7 different schools to watch a Mastery lesson at White Rock. The TRG (Teacher Research Group) is intended to prompt mastery teaching across the South West. The adults were blown away by the children's reasoning, fluency and mathematical language. Below are a few pictures from the first TRG and Year 3's learning about fractions. 

Money Matters Work Shop - Led by Yorkshire Building Society

Maths Addition Calculation Policy

Maths Subtraction Calculation Policy

Maths Multiplication Calculation Policy

Maths Division Calculation Policy

Maths Fractions, Percentages and Decimals - Calculation Policy

Maths at White Rock 2016

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Maths Calculation & Problem Solving Workshop


During our most recent Maths workshop in January parents and children had the opportunity to discuss the strategies and methods that your children use for the four operations in Maths (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). The Maths team offered clear explanations of how we use problem solving  activities to support your child’s Maths thinking.  They also had the opportunity to take part in Maths activities across a variety of workshops. Below is the powerpoint that was shared during the evening and if you would like a Maths information pack please ask your child's class teacher.


Parent comments

  • 'I'm happy with what's in place and have the confidence to come and speak to the teachers if I need to' Year 5 parent.
  • 'The meeting was really useful and the handout, useful game suggestions too' Year 1 parent
  • 'Very useful and informative, thank you' Year 1 parent
  • 'Great handouts & presentation. Very useful evening, thank you for putting on such an informative evening. Year 1 parent


Maths News

During the Summer term,  three of our teachers were lucky enough to observe a Maths teacher, from Shanghai, teaching at another local primary school. We were privileged to be a part of this initiative and have shared lots of ideas with other members of staff to adapt and use as part of our Maths teaching and learning at White Rock. In Shanghai, they place a high emphasis on children being able to talk and explain what the numbers in the calculation represent, ensuring a deeper understanding of the concepts behind the Maths and not just the procedure, which will then lead to mastery. We will keep you posted with more news on this as we develop it for the children at White Rock.


We have recently purchased a set of Numicon for every class in the school. It is important that children have the opportunity to experience Maths using different apparatus and, as a school, we are developing how we use Numicon with all children, to enable them to understand many concepts of the number system. For example, Numicon enables children to find number bonds and build numbers on top of others to see the different combinations. Numicon is also a great resource for demonstrating odd and even numbers and explaining why two odd numbers, added together, will always equal an even number. 

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Our Maths Learning Walls

Every class in the school has a Maths Learning Wall. These Learning Walls represent the current learning that is taking place in that classroom and demonstrates the learning journey the children are experiencing. These walls have been invaluable in helping the children to understand the processes they go through when learning new concepts in Maths.

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