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St Margaret's CEVA Primary School

Transforming lives by living and learning together in God's love


Mrs Susan Elliott-Duff - Maths Lead

Maths has been one of life’s wonders for me as my educational background is not from a high achiever in maths but more of an average one. I was one of those children who always worked hard but didn’t quite get it and I feel that is why I’ve developed such a passion for maths. I have learnt new things every year in my teaching journey of how to break concepts down for children like I did for myself to learn as a child. This has meant I understand when children feel that frustration of “Why don’t I get it?” and how we teach maths at St. Margaret’s really helps to support children to move forward and develop the skills to try again.

At St. Margaret’s all staff aim to make lesson engaging and supportive to help the children understand maths in a way that helps them to progress. Maths can be a negative experience for some people and even as adults we still have a fear of it from our school days. But what I want for the children at our school is to feel confident in using the methods and tools we provide to help them solve the more abstract concepts in maths.


We set high expectations for all children at St. Margaret’s and this is reflected in how lessons are taught and tailored for the learners. As we predominantly teach maths mastery across the school this means we teach the class as a whole at one level and the differentiate the work by using manipulatives to support learners and the main concept of the lesson is then applied to reasoning and problem solving tasks. This means that any learner can excel or get support in any areas of maths that they need it. No one is then limited to a certain level of work but support in what level of understanding they have for each concept of the maths curriculum.


Our aim by the end of each child’s primary education is to produce confident mathematicians who are able to calculate (using all four operations), reason, problem solve and competently make connections in all the maths that they do.  Maths is more than just numbers and shapes and children need to be taught to look for patterns, make connections between things and also learn to generalise when answers are unknown.