How the White Rose Maths curriculum fits with the 2019 OfSTED Framework

Your questions answered!

Many of you have been in contact with queries regarding our curriculum in light of the heightened focus on curriculum issues in the new OfSTED inspection framework, so here is the first in a series of blogs to address your questions.

What is the intent of the White Rose Maths curriculum?
Our long-term aim is to produce an ambitious, connected curriculum accessible to all pupils in schools right through from Reception to the end of Year 13. This curriculum will not only cover all the content of the National Curriculum, GCSE and A level, but also provide pedagogic advice for teachers.

So does the White Rose Maths curriculum tell us how we’re meant to teach?
No! Our mission is to help every teacher of mathematics to be a world-class teacher of mathematics, but not to interfere with professional judgement – only you know your class(es). We provide suggestions and sample materials in a structured coherent curriculum to develop pupils into mathematical thinkers.

Why is the White Rose Maths curriculum different to any other? What skills does it develop?
We want pupils to become fluent in the fundamentals of mathematics, to be able to reason and to solve problems. Our curriculum embraces these National Curriculum aims, and provides guidance to help pupils to become:

Visualisers – we use the CPA approach to help pupils understand mathematics and to make connections between different representations.

Describers – we place great emphasis on mathematical language and questioning so pupils can discuss the mathematics they are doing, and so support them to take ideas further.

Experimenters – as well as being fluent mathematicians, we want pupils to love and learn more about mathematics.

Why is the White Rose Maths curriculum ordered in the way it is?
To learn mathematics effectively, some things have to be learned before others, e.g. place value needs to be understood before working with addition and subtraction, addition needs to be learnt before looking at multiplication (as a model of repeated addition). You will see this emphasis on number skills first, carefully ordered, throughout our primary curriculum. For some other topics, the order isn’t as crucial, e.g. Shapes and Statistics need to come after number, but don’t depend on each other. We try to mix these so pupils have as wide a variety of mathematical experiences as possible in each term and year.

In our secondary curriculum, we start with algebra as this is key to the secondary curriculum as well as being comparatively new for pupils. Again we carefully order the skills – understanding notation, one-step equations, then two-step equations etc., revisiting the concepts in other areas of the curriculum and making sure that topics are covered so pupils experience variety as well as consolidation.

So how does this fit with the OfSTED Framework?
Leaders need to explain why they use the curriculum they have adopted to support their pupils. Hopefully this blog and the schemes of learning themselves provide plenty of explanation as to why the White Rose Maths curriculum is helpful to both pupils and teachers. We have also produced these progression documents for both primary and secondary that show how our curriculum addresses the specific OfSTED points about mathematics.

How much does the White Rose Maths curriculum cost?
All our schemes of learning and associated guidance are completely free of charge, and always will be.

Is the White Rose Maths curriculum ‘mastery’ or ‘spiral’? How does it support pupils to remember what they have studied?
That’s a whole other blog! Keep your eye on our web site and social media for the rest of this blog series covering the following topics:

  • Order, order! The importance of sequencing.
  • Helping pupils to understand and remember.
  • Supporting SEND pupils.
  • Reducing teacher workload.

If you have any questions about the contents of this blog, or anything else related to our curriculum provision, please email us at We cannot promise to answer all questions individually (but we will try!), and the most frequently asked questions will be answered in the upcoming blogs.

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