Mathematics is important in everyday life. It is integral to all aspects of life and with this in mind at Hexham Middle School we endeavour to ensure that children develop a positive, enthusiastic and resilient attitude towards mathematics that will stay with them throughout their lives. The maths curriculum at HMS is designed to allow our pupils to develop as mathematicians through well-planned learning that allows skills to be developed and applied. Pupils in every year group are provided with opportunities to apply their mathematical knowledge in situations where problem solving is required, encouraging our pupils to make links between different areas of the curriculum.

Pupils are taught the age-related objectives from the National Curriculum. In every year group, pupils are placed into sets where they can be appropriately supported and challenged to allow them to make great progress. These sets, as we always say, are flexible and on-going teacher dialogue ensures that pupils are moved between groups to best support their learning.

It is important that pupils develop their mental abilities and we provide opportunities for this development throughout our teaching. We’d like to encourage every child to practice their times table recall at home. You could give your child a timed challenge at home (see attached document) or use the website ‘Topmarks Hit the Button’ which can be downloaded as an app onto tablets or used on desktop computers (

At HMS, KS2 pupils have access to ‘MathsWatch: Primary’ which is a fantastic online resource for pupils. Some of our KS2 pupils also have access to ‘Mathletics’ which can be used in school and at home. If your child does not yet have their password details, please contact us or pop a note in their planner.

In KS3, every pupil has access to ‘Active Learn’ which is a fantastic online resource. Teachers use this to set homework tasks and they can closely track, review and intervene with homework tasks. The online software also offers reminders from class and video links for home learning. Teachers use the ‘Active Teach’ package in lessons so pupils are familiar with the format.

Homework will be set weekly for pupils in every year group. Homework will be a mixture of tasks including arithmetic style practice and SATs questions for years 5 and 6, as well as online tasks. In KS3, pupils will complete homework on ‘Active Learn’ online and also by choosing tasks from their ‘Take Away’ menu sheet. We’d encourage you to keep in touch with us by writing any comments about the level of support needed for homework tasks (if any), so that we can best support your child in their home and school learning. Pupils in Year 5 will complete homework in a book; other year groups will have a homework folder.

You may have read about the term ‘Mastery Maths’ in the news or heard it being discussed elsewhere; the Government has placed a huge emphasis on developing our pupils’ ability to problem solve and reason mathematically. This is something we are extremely supportive as a school and we are constantly developing the way we teach pupils to problem solve and reason. We will be continuing this focus this year and using methods such as the ‘Bar Model’ and other visual representations to secure pupils’ knowledge. We’ll share more on this as the term goes on.

Hexham Middle School also has Year 7 Maths Leaders who support and challenge younger pupils in their mathematics learning.

Click on the links below to jump to a particular Key Stage or Year Group:

Should you wish to know more about the curriculum followed at HMS please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Your query will be passed to the relevant Curriculum Leader and we will endeavour to respond within 5 working days.

Extra Maths Information Sheets

Big Times Tables Challenge: mini test grids

From April 2016, every form class in Year 5 will spend one of their form times completing mini times table challenges. Every week the percentage of correct answers in the class will be collected. Over the course of four weeks, pupils will be able to practise their times tables in their maths group and in form time. This builds us up to the final 'Big Challenge!' where pupils will really have to show off their gained knowledge and recall of multiplication facts. The winning form class will receive a special golden time treat!


Key Stage 2 Mathematics

In Years 5 and 6, pupils follow the Upper Key Stage 2 curriculum objectives. Throughout the year pupils will be assessed by their teachers using both formative and summative methods. Pupils will be assessed by teachers using the EDSM criteria. Pupils will be deemed as Entering, Developing, Secure or Mastering the curriculum expectations of their year group. In Year 5, pupils will sit an assessment early in the Autumn term before being placed into sets. Pupils will be assessed using half termly short tests and regular arithmetic tests. In Year 6, pupils will be assessed using a range of SATs style assessments including past and sample papers to best prepare them for the end of key stage assessments. Teachers constantly assess pupils in class through problem solving and reasoning activities and sets are regularly reviewed to ensure the learning environment for your child.

Pupils will be provided with regular opportunities to practice their arithmetic skills as this now carries a heavy assessment weighting for KS2. Below are some examples of the question styles our year 6 pupils will answer.


The old-style mental maths test has now gone! This paper consists of 36 calculation questions (increasing in difficulty). The questions include long multiplication and long division where pupils will be expected to show their working for 2 marks. Most questions, however, will be worth 1 mark.

For this new test, pupils will have 30 minutes to answer the questions. Although this paper allows space for calculations, we need to provide the children with lots of opportunities to develop their pace. The initial questions should be answered (where possible) mentally as to allow more time later in the paper.

Please keep checking our website and look out for our new ‘Supporting pupils at home’ bulletin. The English and maths departments will aim to send this home every few weeks to keep parents up-to-date with the best strategies to help their children at home.

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Year 5

Autumn Term

Pupils will cover: place value to 1,000,000; mental addition and subtraction; factors and prime numbers; multiplication and division; angles; length, perimeter and area; written methods of multiplication and division; fractions and decimals (tenths, hundredths and thousandths); 2D and 3D shapes and statistics (including bar charts).

Spring Term

Pupils will cover: negative numbers and problem solving; addition and subtraction including money problems; long multiplication, square and cube numbers; adding and subtracting fractions, reflections and translations and mass including converting between units; calculating with fractions; percentages; capacity and comparative graphs and statistics.

Summer Term

Pupils will cover: negative numbers and Roman numerals; addition and subtraction methods; long multiplication and division with remainders; working with fractions; angles; volume, time and money; decimals and fractions; problems involving percentages; perimeter, area and scale drawing and using tables and line graphs.

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Year 6

At the end of Year 6, our pupils take their end of Key Stage 2 assessments. These national tests take place over one week in May and pupils complete three maths assessments. More information will be provided at our ‘SATs Information Evening’ in January. Pupils will be assessed using an arithmetic paper (40 marks) and two reasoning papers (35 marks each). It is important to provide pupils in Year 6 with timed arithmetic practice throughout the year to encourage their mental ability.

Autumn Term

Pupils will cover: place value and rounding; mental and written addition and subtraction; multiples, factors and prime numbers; written methods of multiplication and division; circles and angles; units of measure and conversion; comparing, ordering and simplifying fractions; multiplying and dividing decimals; order of operations; pie charts; algebra (number sequences) and 2D and 3D shape properties. All of these topics will be continually revisited through mini-assessments, questioning and activities.

Spring Term

Pupils will cover: calculating with large numbers; multiplying and dividing decimals; percentages, decimals and fractions; simple formulae; area and volume and line graphs. All of these topics will be continually revisited through mini-assessments, questioning and activities.

In the second half of the spring term, pupils in Year 6 will prepare for their end of Key Stage 2 assessments. Revision and practice for these tests will be gradual all year and our pupils will be prepared by regularly practising questions in the style of the tests so that they know what to expect and can be confident in May.

Summer Term

Pupils will cover: problems involving number; addition and subtraction; long multiplication and division; working with fractions; problems involving percentages; ratio and proportion; problems involving money; number puzzles; fractions; using data and problems.

In every term, pupils will be provided with opportunities to apply their knowledge to challenging word and practical problems. Teachers will assess each pupil’s ability to do this through on-going assessments and observation.

For Year 6 – please try to help your child with problem solving and reasoning. The best way to do this is to revisit and constantly reinforce key basics in maths (homework sheets will be a huge help). Model how to break down the words and extract the crucial information. Practise following more than one step and having the resilience to see the problem through to the end. Encourage your child, support them and allow them to see that 9 times out of 10 – they know how to tackle a problem once they sit back and read what they have to do. Thanks for all your help! 

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Key Stage 3 Mathematics

At Key Stage 3, we continue to build on the solid foundations of Key Stage 2 mathematics in order that all pupils develop fluency in mathematical skills, enabling them to apply those skills rapidly and accurately in different contexts. We also further develop pupils’ abilities to reason mathematically, solve problems and use justification or proof to demonstrate their conceptual understanding. At Key Stage 3 and beyond we want pupils to become more sophisticated in their thinking and the use of mathematical language and begin to appreciate the interconnectivity of different concepts. The new national curriculum, and the approach taken at Hexham Middle School, has been designed to enable pupils to develop mastery of key age-related concepts in mathematics and to apply those in a wide variety increasingly complex contexts. The key topics studied are listed below, but within each term there will also be opportunities for pupils to demonstrate their reasoning and problem solving skills through application of the conceptual knowledge gained.

As of May 2016 we have outlined new plans for KS3 Maths homework: for more information see the letter to parents/carers.

In Key Stage 3, pupils will progress through the curriculum covering a wide range of topics and skills. In each class, pupils will learn new skills and gain new knowledge whilst applying this to complex problem solving and reasoning. Pupils will be encouraged to be creative learners and independent in their approach to mathematics learning. We want our pupils to think logically and reason together when tackling complex problems and to become resilient learners as they explore maths in the build up to Key Stage 4.

Pupils in every class will be assessed following the completion of a unit of study. Pupils will take a short assessment and, dependent on their outcomes, will be directed to complete ‘strengthen’ or ‘extend’ exercises to move their learning forward. Topics are well-planned in Key Stage 3 to ensure that prior knowledge is constantly reapplied and reawakened which we believe is the key to mathematical success. Teachers are careful to assess pupils’ knowledge before moving into a new area of learning and are quick to ‘bridge the gaps’ where this is necessary. Our Key Stage 3 pupils will also be assessed using past-SATs papers twice a year.

In the summer term, our close partnership with Queen Elizabeth High School and the other middle schools sees our Year 8 pupils complete a transition unit. Year 8 pupils will complete a short unit on ‘Standard Form’ in their Year 9 mathematics exercise book. They will also complete a transition assessment. This close link helps to ensure that our pupils make the best start at QEHS and that their great progress can continue.

**New ONLINE resource**

New this year, pupils in KS3 will each have a log in for Pearson’s online learning suite – ‘Active Learn’. This brand new resource matches our new class-based resources and pupils will become familiar with the layout and design of the package as the year progresses. These resources reinforce key skills from class and encourage pupils to problem solve, reason and apply their learning to real-life and STEM based scenarios. We will be inviting parents into school soon to explore this new resource further.

We look forward to working with the Science, Technology and Computing Department again this year to provide an exciting range of STEM opportunities for our pupils. As a team, we will also be aiming to establish an ‘Investigative Week’ and ‘Money Week’ with a focus on developing investigation skills and highlighting the importance of financial management.

As always, your support is always hugely appreciated. We really want you to feel involved with learning here at HMS and you are absolutely crucial to helping your child progress in maths and achieve their full potential. Please contact your child’s maths teacher or Head of Maths, Liam Watters, with any questions you have relating to maths and we will be happy to chat to you.

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Year 7

Autumn Term

Pupils will cover: Formal written calculation methods for decimals and integers of any size; directed number; order of mathematical operations; conversion between standard units of measure; perimeter and area of polygons and compound shapes; surface area and volume of cuboids; simplification and manipulation of algebraic expressions; use of standard formulae; working interchangeably with fractions, decimals and percentages; scale drawing; congruence; calculating missing angles in 2D shapes and parallel lines; properties of polygons; plotting straight line graphs; real-life graphs.

Spring Term

Pupils will cover: Application of numerical methods; averages; frequency tables; standard statistical charts; questionnaire design; sampling and data collection; comparing data; transformations; symmetry; tessellation; construction and solution of algebraic equations; squares, cubes and roots; divisibility.

Summer Term

Pupils will cover: Standard compass and ruler constructions including perpendicular bisectors and angle bisectors; construction of triangles; loci; plans and elevations; 2D representations of 3D shapes; algebraic sequences; calculator methods; numerical methods in problem solving; ratio and proportion; theoretical and experimental probability; Venn diagrams.

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Year 8

Autumn Term

Pupils will cover: Multiples, factors and prime numbers; prime factor decomposition; indices; rounding and estimation; standard units of measure (metric and imperial); perimeter and area of polygons and compound shapes; surface area and volume of prisms; circumference and area of circles; simplification and manipulation of algebraic expressions; rearranging formulae; working interchangeably with fractions, decimals and percentages; properties of polygons; missing angles in 2D shapes and parallel lines; Pythagoras’ theorem; equations of straight line graphs; non-linear graphs; midpoints of coordinate pairs.

Spring Term

Pupils will cover: Directed number; powers of 10; standard index form; analysis of data; comparing distributions using statistical indicators; interpretation of statistical diagrams and charts; scatter diagrams and correlation; transformations; construction and solution of algebraic equations; numerical methods in problem solving.

Summer Term

Pupils will cover: Standard constructions; three figure bearings; scale; arithmetic and geometric sequences; geometry of 3D shapes; problems involving ratio and proportional change; probability theory; theoretical probability of single and combined events; mathematical modelling through simulation of events; comparing theoretical and experimental probabilities; bridging work for High School.

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