The Willows Primary School

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  • The Willows Primary School
  • Downing Close,
  • Ipswich,
  • Suffolk,
  • IP2 9ER

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How to help with Maths





This policy contains the key pencil and paper calculation strategies used by The Willows Primary School. These are taught throughout the school and are in line with the New Curriculum 2014. It has been written to ensure consistency and progression throughout the school.


Although the main focus of the policy is on pencil and paper procedures it is important to recognise that the ability to calculate mentally lies at the heart of mathematics.


Mental calculation is not at the exclusion of written recording and should be seen as complementary to and not as separate from it. In every written method there is an element of mental processing.


Written recording both help children to clarify their thinking and supports and extends their mental strategies.


These methods are in stages and rather than in age groups as children develop mathematically at different stages. Just because a child is on a certain stage for one operation it does not mean they will be on the same stage for others.


When a child is really confident with a stage then they will move forward and start working on the next stage. The long-term aim is for children to be able to select an efficient method of their choice, whether mental or written that is appropriate for a given task.


They should do this by asking themselves:

·    Can I do this in my head?

·    Can I do this in my head using drawings or jottings?

·    Do I need to use a written method?