Harris Academies
All Academies in our Federation aim to transform the lives of the students they serve by bringing about rapid improvement in examination results, personal development and aspiration.


At Philip Lane mathematics is taught daily. We have high expectations for all our children and make lessons fun, interactive and relevant for all pupils.


In the Early Years we follow the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum.

Our approach is informed by best practice from across the world, including how maths is taught in Singapore.

The teaching principles are based on a concrete – pictorial – abstract – cycle of learning. There are many reasons that this approach develops understanding so well, but one key factor is its step-by-step approach that can be used at home or in the classroom. Young children are happy playing with blocks or drawing pictures. But they can find number symbols like 5 + 2 = 7 mystifying!

The Singapore method begins by allowing children to start learning about maths by playing with real objects, blocks or cut-out pictures. They build confidence with the basic ideas of adding and taking away. There is then a second stage of drawing pictures representing the objects. And only later do they gradually start to add numbers to their drawings...


Beyond the early years our children will build on their learning using our Effective Maths curriculum. Please click here for access to the Effective Mathematics website, where you can find out more about the approach we use. Effective Maths is underpinned by highly visual and concrete approaches to mathematics and is fully aligned to the expectations set out in the National Curriculum 2014. This approach has a strong base of evidence to show it really develops knowledge and understanding for all pupils including our most able.

Children must be exposed to different representations of mathematical concepts in order to embed understanding, as well as manipulating known number facts through missing number scenarios. There is a strong emphasis on maths talk and learning key mental basic skills, such as number bonds, multiplication facts and the inverses. The expectations of the National Curriculum have changed and whilst it is important to challenge all pupils, we must also ensure that children are making progress towards mastery level by having opportunities to reason about number and recognise patterns and relationships; which will only be the case if pupils are taught how to develop these skills.


The Effective Maths approach is further supported by the use of Maths No Problem textbooks, which are based on the Singapore approach. These textbooks have been endorsed by the NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics) who are working in collaboration with the Maths Hubs. The Maths Hubs are being funded by the Department for Education.


We are able to provide additional support for pupils who are struggling with an area or aspect of mathematical development. Our tracking of all our pupils’ progress enables us to identify any barriers, issues or gaps in learning early on.  We will deliver small group sessions taught by our most experienced teachers in addition to the daily maths lesson.


To support your understanding, we run workshops about methods of teaching maths for parents. Please see our diary of events for details and dates. Sometimes, the methods we teach are different from those parents and carers used when they were at school. If you have any questions about mathematics at Harris Primary Academy Philip Lane, please do speak to your class teacher.


Gamel Al-Obaidley