• CBS Primary School, Wexford


C.B.S. Primary School Wexford

Whole School Plan for Mathematics

Introductory Statement

This plan was formulated by all members of the teaching staff of C.B.S. Primary at a School Development Planning Day and two staff meetings in the 2007/2008 school year.


This plan is primarily for ourselves as a staff to ensure consistency and continuity in our approach and to help improve the pupils’ learning of Maths.  The plan conforms to the principles of learning outlined in the Primary School Curriculum.

Vision Statement

One of our principal aims at C.B.S. Primary is to help each child develop to his full potential.  It is our hope that when a child leaves 6th class he will be able to recall basic number facts, think logically, solve problems, interpret data and have the Mathematical skills to lead a full life as a child and later as an adult.


We endorse the aims of the Primary School Curriculum for mathematics:

  • To develop a positive attitude towards mathematics and an appreciation of both its practical and its aesthetic aspects.
  •  To develop problem-solving abilities and a facility for the application of mathematics to everyday life.
  • To enable the child to use mathematical language effectively and accurately.
  • To enable the child to acquire an understanding of mathematical concepts and processes to his/her appropriate level of development and ability.
  • To enable the child to acquire proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills and to recalling basic number facts.


We endorse the objectives of the Primary School Maths curriculum as detailed on pages 12 to 14 of the curriculum document.

The plan will be addressed under the following headings:-

Curriculum Planning

  1. Strands and Strand Units
  2. Approaches and Methodologies
  3. Assessment and Record Keeping
  4. Children with Different Needs
  5. Equality of Participation and Access

 Organisational Planning

  1. Timetable
  2. Homework
  3. Resources and ICT
  4. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting
  5. Staff Development
  6. Parental Involvement-home school links


1. Strands and Strand Units

    • The content overview for second class is on page 37 of the Curriculum document.  Detailed content can be accessed between pages 40 and 58.
    • The content overview for third and fourth classes is on page 61 of the Curriculum document.  Detailed content can be accessed between pages 63 and 83.
    • The content overview for 5th and 6th classes is on page 85 of the Curriculum document.  Detailed content can be accessed between pages 88 and 111.
    • In years when there is a multi-class situation prescribed class programmes will be followed in line with the Curriculum.


2. Approaches and Methodologies

2.1 General

All children should be provided with the opportunity to access the full range of the Maths curriculum.  In our school we ensure this happens as follows:

  • There is more emphasis on active learning strategies.
  • There is a hands-on approach to encourage children to understand Maths Concepts using concrete materials/everyday objects.
  • Providing opportunities for IV – VI class pupils to use calculators.
  • Ensuring pupils use Mathematical language correctly.
  • Pupils collect and record data in other subject areas e.g. Science, Geography, History.
  • Pupils use estimation in measures, shape and space and not just in numbers.
  • Encouraging a Maths rich environment.


2.2 Talk and Discussion

Discussion skills

  • Discussion skills need to be developed by

-Turn taking

-Active listening

-Positive response to the opinions of others

-Confidence in putting forward an opinion

-Ability to explain clearly their point of view.


  • Teacher actively models mathematical language when talking through the problem-solving process.


  • Identify areas in the curriculum where mathematical processes are appropriate e.g. collecting data in history and geography, measuring temperature in science.
  • When opportunities arise using a thematic approach across other subject area.

Mathematical Language in context

  • An agreed emphasis on the language of mathematics – and agreed list of terminology, language for each class group.
  • Using the child’s own environment and ideas as a basis for reinforcing mathematical language e.g. you are taller then he is, is teacher’s table wider than yours?
  • Teachers to identify common approaches to language used in

-Addition — total, sum of, add….

-Subtraction — minus, subtract, take away, difference less than, rename….

-Multiplication — times, product of, multiply, groups of ….

-Division — divide, share, split groups of……

-Equals — same as, is, will be, answer is, means….

  • Giving the due regard to the importance of exposing children to the different terms used in relation to the symbols.

Number facts

  • A common approach to the teaching of number facts (tables) e.g. 1×4 pupils say “one four is four”, 2×4 pupils say “two fours are eight”, etc.
  • Children are aware of the commutative properties of multiplication tables and of their relationship with division.
  • We teach subtraction separately from addition and division separately from multiplication.
  • When subtracting we work from the top down e.g. “nine minus five” or “nine take away five”.

2.3 The children will be encouraged to develop their collaborative and co-operative learning skills.

This will be promoted through the use of maths games such as:

  • Dominoes
  • Cards
  • Buzz
  • Bingo
  • Tables games
  • Target board games
  • Snakes and Ladders
  • Draughts
  • “I am” cards

They will learn the skills of group work by:

  • Being assigned individual tasks within groups.
  • Recording.
  • Being given leadership roles.
  • Alternating responsibilities.
  • Being involved in buddy systems.
  • Devising questions.


Each class will engage in a variety of organisational skills such as pair work, group work and whole class work.


 2.4 Problem solving

  • Practical situations will be used as a basis for some problem solving.
  • Children will be made aware of different strategies to solve problems, e.g. acronyms, mnemonics, bookmarks, laminated pages.
  • The solutions to problem solving questions could be checked by children themselves or by calculator.
  • Children at all class levels will be provided with opportunities to experience problem solving activities, e.g.
    • Oral problems
    • Using objects
    • Using smaller numbers
    • Referring to items in the environment


2.5 Using the Environment

  • The teachers use the school environment to provide opportunities for Mathematical problem solving e.g. –marking heights, having a puzzle of the week on class notice board, using maths in P.E. etc.
  • When using mathematical trails within or outside of the school building they are developed in line with the school’s Health and Safety policy.
  • Teachers give the children opportunities to present/display their mathematical work in the class/corridor and on the school website.


2.6 Skills Through Content

  • Teachers endeavour to make sure skills are being actively developed through content (see Teacher Guidelines: Mathematics p.68-69)

-          Applying and Problem Solving

-          Communicating and Expressing

-          Integrating and Connecting

-          Reasoning

-          Implementing

-          Understanding and Recalling

  • All teachers encourage the use of Mental Maths (New Wave Mental Maths )


2.7 Presentation of Work

  • There will be a whole-school approach to neat and careful presentation of work.
  • A variety of options for recording work will be provided.

 3. Assessment and Record Keeping

(See Curriculum p. 114-121 and Teacher Guidelines p. 64-65)

  • Assessment is used to direct teaching and learning
  • The staff look at results on both a class and a school basis to see if there are areas of Mathematics to be improved.
  • Standardised tests (SIGMA T) are administered in May at each class level.  The results of these tests are filed on a database – (new CD)
  • Teachers ensure that a broad range of assessment tools is being used.

-          Teacher observation

-          Teacher designed tests and tasks

-          Projects and work samples

-          Mastery records

-          Diagnostic tests

-          Standardised tests

  • Assessment information/results on standardised tests are shared with parents at the annual Parent Teacher Meetings and in writing on request.
  • Parents are informed if a child needs help at home and suggestions are given
  • Standardised test results and annual reports are managed and stored in the principal’s office.


4. Children with Different Needs

4.1 Children with Learning Difficulties

  • The class teacher implements the school policies on screening and selecting pupils for supplementary teaching in Mathematics.
  • The teacher adjusts the classroom programme for those in receipt of learning support in line with agreed learning targets.  See page 3 Whole School Plan for S.E.N.
  • The SET provides early intervention and supplementary teaching in Maths.
  • The SET team have access to and make use of many resources to assist children with special needs.
  • ICT is used regularly to support teaching and learning for children with special needs.
  • With regard to pupils receiving supplementary mathematics learning support, as much of the mainstream programme is to be taught as possible

4.2 Children with Exceptional Ability

  • Children of exceptional ability are assigned differentiated work by their class teacher.  Good use is made of ICT in this area.
  • Children are referred to Centre for Talented Youth.

 5. Equality of Participation and Access

  • As C.B.S. is currently a single sex school, gender issues are not relevant.
  • All children in C.B.S. irrespective of background or ability have access to services, facilities and amenities in our school.

 6. Timetable

  • A minimum of 3 hours is to be allocated for mathematics each week.

 7. Homework

  • Mathematics homework should reflect an active learning approach.
  • Teachers should discuss types of homework assigned, i.e. there should be a balance between practical and written.
  • Maths homework is to be assigned every night.
  • Maths homework should be differentiated taking into account the range of abilities within the class.

 8. Resources

  • All maths equipment is distributed to classrooms.
  • Each teacher is responsible for his/her own equipment.


  • Software to support Mathematics is available in the computer room and in individual classrooms.
  • Funding is available for new hardware and software as required.
  • The Internet is used by teachers regularly.
  • The school has an Internet usage policy which is adhered to by pupils and teachers alike.

9. Individual Teachers’ Planning and Reporting

  • This plan and the Curriculum documents for Mathematics will provide information and guidance to individual teachers for their long and short-term planning.
  • Procedures outlined in this plan will be followed consistently.
  • A record of what has been taught can be found in each teacher’s Monthly Report.

 10. Staff Development

The Board of Management is aware of the importance of on-going staff development and would provide support when requested.

 11. Parental Involvement – home/school links

Parents are encouraged to support the school’s programme. Individual Parent/Teacher meetings are held in November each year. Teachers and parents are afforded the opportunity to discuss each individual child’s progress in Maths and other subjects. Parents and teachers also have opportunities to make individual arrangements to discuss matters of relevance at other times throughout the school year. Suggestions as to how parents can assist their son’s progress are made by teachers.

Success Criteria

The plan will be assessed by using –

  • The assessment tools in the Revised Curriculum documents.
  • Feedback from pupils, parents, teachers and the wider community.
  • Department of Education Inspector’s suggestions and/or reports.
  • Feedback, if it arises, from second-level schools in our area.
  • Future developments in mathematical thinking.


 Implementation will commence in September 2008.


 The plan will be monitored by all members of staff under the guidance of the principal. The first formal review will take place at the May 2009 staff meeting.

Ratification and Communication

This plan was ratified by the Board of Management in June 2008.

Each teacher has received a copy and it is also available in the School Plan folder.

Parents will be informed in the September ’08 newsletter that they can access the plan on the school’s website or they can make a written request for a copy from the school secretary.

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