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Maths at Velmead

  • We aim to make constant links between the ‘real world’ and the ‘maths world’ so that children are able to contextualise their maths learning.
  • We believe that reasoning and problem solving involve skills that need to be taught. (Please see attached document for a progression of Reasoning and Problem Solving skills.)
  • We follow a TEACH - PRACTISE - APPLY model.
  • TEACH: Children are taught both mental strategies and written methods. They use Steps to Success and stem sentences to allow them to work independently. They are also explicitly taught about how to reason and problem solve.

PRACTISE: Children are given time to practise these methods through varied practice to build their confidence. They also develop their confidence in reasoning and problem solving by practising the skills needed to develop their skills.

APPLY: Children then apply their skills to more complex problems (larger numbers, multi-step) and transfer their knowledge across the different domains and to other subjects.

  • We promote a culture of learning from mistakes, encourage children to self-mark and find their own errors. The children are guided in writing a learning note, which reflects on their learning and encourages them to think about the next steps that they will need to take.
  • By encouraging children to develop their mental skills early, this means that they can then focus on the understanding of new concepts.

Velmead Mental Maths Scheme

Children progress at their own pace throughout their time at Velmead. More detailed information will be found in the planner, which is given to each child when they start at Velmead. As part of children’s weekly homework, they will practise the particular stage that they are on ready for weekly in school tests. 


  • Presentation is important.
  • Learning notes are key to identifying where a mistake has been made or help is needed.
  • Green pens are used to self correct errors with teacher guidance.
  • Mental maths skills must be practised at home.
  • STEPS to SUCCESS are used to help independence.

Steps to Success (STS)

After a new concept has been thoroughly explored using representations, the children are often given STS to help them remember how to use a calculation method. This helps children become more independent. STEPS to SUCCESS will be stuck into Maths books and planners. These will vary a bit according to the year group of your child.

If you are helping your child with Maths at home, please use the methods that we are using in school. Refer to the calculation policy for more information.

STS for column addition

  1. Line up the digits in the correct columns and draw a line (with a ruler) under your digits
  2.  Add up the digits that are in the ones column.   If the number goes over 10, carry the tens digit into the next column
  3.  Move left and add up the digits in your next column.  Don’t forget to add any digits that you have carried
  4. Repeat step 3 until you’ve reached your final column.  On the last column, instead of carrying put all the numbers in your answer

STS – Fractions of amounts

  1. Divide the number by the denominator
  2. Then, multiply that answer by the numerator (if more than 1)

E.g. 4/5 of 80

Divide 80 by 5

Multiply the answer by 4

Reasoning Curriculum

Progression in reasoning skills

Step one:  Describing: simply tells what they did.
Step two: Explaining: offers some reasons for what they did. These may or may not be correct.  The argument may yet not hang together coherently. This is the beginning of inductive reasoning.
Step three: Convincing: confident that their chain of reasoning is right and may use words such as, ‘I reckon’ or ‘without doubt’. The underlying mathematical argument may or may not be accurate yet is likely to have more coherence and completeness than the explaining stage. This is called inductive reasoning.
Step four: Justifying: a correct logical argument that has a complete chain of reasoning to it and uses words such as ‘because’, ‘therefore’, ‘and so’, ‘that leads to’ ...
Step five:  Proving: a watertight argument that is mathematically sound, often based on generalisations and underlying structure. This is also called deductive reasoning.

Problem Solving and Reasoning Objectives

Represent a puzzle or problem using number sentences, statements or diagrams; use these to solve the problem; present and interpret the solution in the context of the problems.

Suggest a line of enquiry and the strategy needed to follow it; collect, organise and interpret selected information to find answers.

Identify and use the patterns, relationships and properties of numbers or shapes; investigate a statement involving numbers and test it with examples.

Express the rules for increasingly complex sequences in words (i.e. 3, 6, 12,24: you double each time.)

Report solutions to puzzles and problems, giving explanations and reasoning orally and in writing, using diagrams and symbols.

Continue to make generalisations based on patterns in mathematics.


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