At Pilgrims’, we believe that maths is a way of thinking, rather than just a subject to be learned. We aim to create an experience of maths that is enjoyable, pertinent and challenging. ‘Why’ is key - whether asking why, understanding why or explaining why.

Teaching maths is about instilling the confidence to analyse, make connections, reason and draw conclusions in order to arrive at an answer, as opposed to teaching just the answer itself. We aim to equip our mathematicians with the tools to make sense of maths in real world contexts.


From arrival, we work to provide each boy with a firm foundation in numeracy skills. The more fluent these core skills, the more time can be given to developing thinking skills. The curriculum is spiral; each year, key concepts are revisited and extended. This enables the boys to refresh their understanding, to draw connections between the different areas of maths and to cross-reference with other subjects.

The boys are set in order to give them the pace and challenge best suited to them. Study is based on, but not restricted to, the ISEB Common Entrance syllabus.

The boys work with numbers, measures, shapes, graphs and statistics and are encouraged both to generalise and to abstract. Algebra becomes more important in supporting this as they progress up the school. The distinctive vocabulary of maths plays a significant role in providing the boys with the language to describe their methods.

We encourage our young mathematicians to be critical thinkers, independent learners who are able to examine their own work and determine whether it makes sense.

National Challenges

There are opportunities each year for boys to take part in The Primary Maths Challenge and The Junior Maths Challenge. Both are national competitions that allow the boys to pit their wits against other pupils across the country and to win awards for their mathematical prowess.