St Crispins Calculation Policy for Mathematics January 2014
About our Calculation Policy
The following calculation policy has been devised to meet the requirements of the Mathematics programme of study in the National Curriculum 2014 for the teaching and learning of mathematics. The Calculation Policy summarises some of the methods children should become fluent in using, as outlined in the full programme of study for Mathematics. It has been generated to give St Crispin’s children a consistent and smooth progression of learning in calculation across the school. Early learning in number and calculation in Reception follows the ‘Development Matters’ EYFS document, and this calculation policy is designed to build on progressively from the content and methods established in the Early Years Foundation Stage.
The calculation policy is organised according to age stage expectations as set out in the National Curriculum 2014. However it is vital that pupils are taught according to the stage that they are currently working at, being moved onto the next level as soon as they are ready, or working at a lower stage until they are secure enough to move on.
How we teach calculation
Children are introduced to the processes of calculation through practical, oral and mental activities. As children begin to understand the underlying ideas they develop ways of recording to support their thinking and calculation methods, and learn to recognise and use the signs and symbols involved. Over time children learn how to use models and images, such as empty number lines and bead strings, 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. As children’s mental methods are strengthened and refined, so too are their informal written methods. Mental calculation and written recording are seen as complementary to one another. In every written method there is an element of mental processing. Some recording takes the form of jottings, which are used to support children’s thinking. This may be done on scrap paper and whiteboards and is not always retained as it is for the children’s own personal use. More formal written methods follow only when the child is able to use mental calculation strategies securely. Sharing jottings and more formal written methods with the teacher encourages children to think about the mental strategies that underpin them and to develop new ideas. Therefore written recording both helps children to clarify their thinking and supports and extends the development of more fluent and sophisticated mental strategies.
It is important that any type of calculation is given a real life context or problem solving approach to help build children’s understanding of the purpose of calculation, and to help them recognise when to use certain operations and methods when faced with problems. This must be a priority within calculation lessons. Our long-term aim is for children to be able to select an efficient method of their choice that is appropriate for a given task.
Written methods for addition of whole numbers
The aim is that children use mental methods when appropriate, but for calculations that they cannot do in their heads they use an efficient written method accurately and with confidence. Children are entitled to be taught and to acquire secure mental methods of calculation and an efficient written method of calculation for addition which they know they can rely on when mental methods are not appropriate.
To add successfully, children need to be able to:
Children are taught to say numbers in familiar contexts such as number rhymes or in role-play. This will develop into the counting of everyday objects. The children will be taught to say the number names in order and recognise the numerals from 1-9. Then children will be taught to recognise, count and order numbers up to 20. Wherever possible they will be given the opportunity to solve simple problems involving the use of the skills listed above.
The children will be taught to use the vocabulary involved in addition through practical activities and discussion e.g: more, and, add, sum, total, altogether.
They will be taught to recognise differences in quantity in everyday objects and to find one more. This will be taught in practical contexts that relate to the children’s experiences using various resources. From the very first stages, the children will be introduced to number lines and encouraged to visualise the calculation.