At Highbury Quadrant, we teach our children to be mathematicians. Through daily maths lessons, they learn to think mathematically, try out their own ideas and to develop a mathematical language to question and challenge, as they learn. Lessons are interactive with a strong emphasis on children’s talk, enabling children to develop fluency, reason and problem solve their ideas. We enable children to take responsibility for their learning and to view mistakes as opportunities.

We teach mathematics through a concrete-pictorial- abstract approach. Through the use of these key stages in their learning, each child forms the understanding of maths concepts and skills which they are learning and can apply them to a range of contexts. All children have the opportunity to master abstract mathematics across a wide range of contexts through play, talk and practise both indoors and out.


  • Skills or concepts are first modelled with concrete materials (e.g. Numicon chips, unifix cubes, base ten blocks).
  • Children have many opportunities to practise and demonstrate mastery using concrete materials


  • Next the skills or concepts are modelled at the representational (semi-concrete) level which involves drawing pictures that represent the concrete objects previously used (e.g. tallies, dots, circles, stamps that imprint pictures for counting)
  • Children have many opportunities to practice and demonstrate mastery by drawing solutions


  • Finally the skills or concepts are modelled at the abstract level (using only numbers and mathematical symbols)
  • Children are provided many opportunities to practice and demonstrate mastery at the abstract level before moving to a new math concept/skill.
  • As children moves through a concrete-pictorial-abstract sequence, the abstract numbers and/or symbols are be used in alongside the concrete materials and representational drawing. This allows children to make connections between the abstract symbols, concrete and representational understanding.

How can you support your child at home?

There are many websites, apps and games you can play at home with your child to support their understanding of maths.

Calculation is at the heart of mathematics, these documents describe how children are taught to calculate at Highbury Quadrant:

KS1 written methods in Mathematics

KS2 written methods in Mathematics