Bowker Vale Primary School

Aiming High; Showing Integrity {{Being Respectful, Honest, Fair and Proud}}

Middleton Road,
Higher Crumpsall,
Manchester, M8 4NB

0161 740 5993


Maths - The Bowker Vale Way

At Bowker Vale, we use the National Curriculum objectives and assessments of the children to plan our maths learning.

Written Calculations

We teach the children written methods to answer addition, subtraction, multiplication and division questions.  Our written calculation policies can be seen here.

Mental Calculations

We use 'RAPACODANUMBO' to help us with our mental maths.  We teach the children the different methods to add and subtract in their heads.  Then they choose and use the most efficient method to gain the answers to questions.  

'RA' stands for round and adjust. For example  67 + 9 =     

Put 67 in your head.  Add ten  Image result for ten fingers  =77.  Then subtract one  =76. 

'PA' stands for partition. For example 134 + 45 =

Put 134 in your head.  Add 40 = 174.  Then add 5 = 179.

'CO' stands for count on.  For example 197 + 6 =

Put 197 in your head.  Count on ... 198, 199, 200, 201, 202, 203.

'DA' stands for double and adjust.  For example 29 + 30 =

Double 30 = 60. Then adjust by subtracting 1 = 59.

'NUMBO' stands for number bonds. For example 18 + 7 + 2 =

18 + 2 is a number bond to twenty, so do this first.  Then add 7 = 27

Multiplication Tables

Learning the multiplication tables is very important.  By the end of year four, the children should know all of the multiplication tables up to 12 x 12.  As well as being able to rapidly recall multiplication facts, the children should know the corresponding division facts.  If they know that 9 x 3 = 27, then they also know that 3 x 9 = 27, 27 divided by 3 = 9 and 27 divided by 9 = 3.


Image result for times tables



At Bowker Vale, we use resources and approaches to enable the children to understand and master the mathematics that they are learning. We use the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to develop the children's understanding of a concept. 

Concrete representations - the children are first introduced to an idea or a skill by acting it out with real objects. In division, for example, this might be done by sharing 12 biscuits between 6 children. Pictorial representations -  the children relate their hands-on experiences to representations, such as a diagram or a picture of the problem.  Abstract representations - the children represent problems using mathematical notations for example 12 x 4 = 48 

Here, in key stage 1, the children were learning through practical activities.  They were finding number bonds using a range of resources such as bead strings, number lines and Numicon.  

Here, the children in the SSC were working together to order numbers from smallest to largest.  They were each given a selection of post it notes with varying numbers, in no particular order.  The boys came together to order the numbers which included two digit numbers all the way up to tens of thousands and including decimals.  The boys discussed and explained to each other why the numbers needed to follow the sequence they did and in doing so demonstrated their understanding of place value.

We provide activities which require the children to think and reason mathematically for themselves.

Here, children in each year group were given the problem _ _ + _ = and an answer.  The children had to work out what the question could be.  For example, the year two children were asked _ _ + _ = 20, what could the missing digits be?  The year three children were asked _ _ + _ = a multiple of four, what could the missing digits be?  The year five children were asked _ _ + _ = a prime number, what could the missing digits be?

Maths Interventions

We have a number of interventions in maths.  Two of these include 'Numbers Count' lessons and 'Numicon' sessions.

Numbers Count

Our school's Numbers Count intervention is an intensive support programme delivered by a specially trained teacher.  It is targeted at children in year two, who find maths difficult and enables them to get back on track and catch up with their peers before their difficulties become entrenched.

Lessons are tailored to children's individual needs.  They are rigorous and active!

The children use lots of fun and practical activities and games.

"Children who don't happily participate in maths lessons may just need somebody to help their confidence grow." ... "Parents may just need somebody to show them how to help their child at home" ... "Sometimes there are a hundred different ways to teach something   -   and sometimes you have to use them all!"


This intervention is delivered by a specially trained teaching assistant and works alongside Numbers Count to help children who need a less intensive support programme in maths.  It involves a multi-sensory approach to number representation maximising children's opportunities to blend action and imagery with use of mathematical language and symbols.