The New National Curriculum for mathematics aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • become fluent in the basics of mathematics (times tables, number facts etc) through varied and frequent practice with increasingly complex problems over time
  • develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and apply knowledge rapidly and accurately.
  • reason mathematically by following a line of enquiry, estimating relationships and generalisations, and developing an argument, justification or proof by confidently using a wide range of mathematical language.
  • solve problems by applying their mathematics to a variety of routine and non-routine problems with increasing difficulty, including breaking down problems into a series of simpler steps and persevering in seeking solutions.

Pupils should make rich connections across mathematical ideas to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and competence in solving increasingly sophisticated problems. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to science and other subjects.

The expectation is that the majority of pupils will move through the programmes of study at broadly the same pace. However, decisions about when to progress should always be based on the security of pupils’ understanding and their readiness to progress to the next stage. Pupils, who grasp concepts rapidly, should be challenged through being offered rich and sophisticated problems before any acceleration through new content. Those who are not sufficiently fluent with earlier material should consolidate their understanding, including through additional practice, before moving on.

The Maths Factor created by Carol Vorderman
The curriculum quiz for parents and children