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Calculation Methods

 The following calculation policy has been devised to meet requirements of the National Curriculum 2014 for the teaching and learning of mathematics, and is also designed to give pupils a consistent and smooth progression of learning in calculations across the school.

At Penwortham, we believe that all children, when introduced to a new concept, should have the opportunity to build competency by taking the CPA approach (concrete-pictorial-abstract).

Concrete – children should have the opportunity to use concrete objects and manipulatives to help them understand what they are doing.

Pictorial– alongside these children should use pictorial representations. These representations can then be used to help reason and solve problems.

Abstract – both concrete and pictorial representations should support children’s understanding of abstract methods.


Age stage expectations

 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.


Providing a context for calculation

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.


Choosing a calculation method

Children need to be taught and encouraged to use the following processes in deciding what approach they will take to a calculation, to ensure they select the most appropriate method for the numbers involved.


Year 1

Year 2


Years 3 - 6

Years 5 & 6