Brunswick Primary School, Somerhill Road, BN3 1RP

01273 711816

Brunswick Primary School

Achieving success with determination and joy

Maths at Brunswick Primary School

Concrete materials

At Brunswick Primary School we really believe in the value of children having access to concrete materials (something real that they can pick up and move around). We use these across the school with all children as they are an incredible way of gaining an insight into how a child is thinking. These materials also support children when they are explaining their thinking and reasoning. Here are some examples of concrete materials:


Pictorial and abstract representations.

Pictorial is the ‘seeing’ stage, using representations of the objects involved in maths problems. This stage encourages children to make a mental connection between the physical object and abstract levels of understanding, by drawing or looking at pictures, circles, diagrams or models which represent the objects in the problem.

Building or drawing a model makes it easier for children to grasp concepts they traditionally find more difficult, such as fractions, as it helps them visualise the problem and make it more accessible.


Abstract is the ‘symbolic’ stage, where children are able to use abstract symbols to model and solve maths problems.

Once a child has demonstrated that they have a solid understanding of the ‘concrete’ and ‘pictorial’ representations of the problem, the teacher can introduce the more ‘abstract’ concept, such as mathematical symbols.

Children are introduced to the concept at a symbolic level, using only numbers, notation, and mathematical symbols, for example +, –, x, / to indicate addition, multiplication, or division.

Useful Links

Videos of The Four Operations


Nrich challenges


Calculations Policy



Top Tips for Everyday Maths at Home

Bar modelling

Online Maths and times table resources

Progression Maps

To find out more about Maths coverage and how it progresses throughout each year group, please click below:

National Curriculum Progression (Yr 1-6)

Place Value

Addition and Subtraction

Multiplication and Division


Ratio and Proportion



Geometry - shapes

Geometry - position and direction




If you are unsure of some of the mathematical terminology used in school, click on the link below to find out more!

Maths Vocabulary