Maths Calculations Policy
This Calculations Policy has been produced to ensure consistency in teaching throughout the school.
This policy will give an overview of the different strategies used in our school to teach maths throughout the primary maths curriculum. As pupils progress at different rates, some may need to use the strategies from previous or future year groups.
Pupils are introduced to the processes of calculation through practical, oral and mental activities. As pupils begin to understand the underlying ideas they develop ways of recording to support their thinking and calculation methods, use particular methods that apply to special cases, and learn to interpret and use the signs and symbols involved. Over time pupils learn how to use models and images, such as empty number lines, to support their mental and informal written methods of calculation.
There is a considerable emphasis on teaching mental calculation strategies. Informal written recording takes place regularly and is an important part of learning and understanding. More formal written methods follow only when the child is able to use a wide range of mental calculation strategies. As pupils’ mental methods are strengthened and refined, so too are their informal written methods. Some recording takes the form of jottings, which are used to support pupils’ thinking. This may be done on scrap paper and whiteboards and is not always retained as it is for the pupils’ own personal use.
This policy contains the key pencil and paper procedures that will be taught within our school. It has been written to ensure consistency and progression throughout the school and reflects a whole school agreement.
This policy concentrates on the introduction of standard symbols, the use of the empty number line as a jotting to aid mental calculation and on the introduction of pencil and paper procedures. It is important that pupils do not abandon jottings and mental methods once pencil and paper procedures are introduced.
Therefore pupils will always be encouraged to look at a calculation/problem and then decide which is the best method to choose; pictures, mental calculation with or without jottings, structured recording or a calculator.