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We believe that Mathematics should be an enjoyable subject, taught with the individual’s needs in mind

We believe that Mathematics should be an enjoyable subject, taught with the individual’s needs in mind. We realise the importance of child centred learning and therefore our whole ethos is based on identifying individual strengths and weaknesses when planning our teaching and learning.

Teachers are aware of the importance of children acquiring secure mental methods of calculation and an efficient written method of calculation for each of the four operations (subtraction, addition, multiplication and division)

At Queensbridge Primary School, we aim to ensure we teach our pupils how they can use and apply their mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding. This, we believe, will equip our children with the skills which provide tools for life as well as for later study and work.


 This policy aims to ensure consistency and progression in our approach to calculation with the overall aim that by the end of Year 6 when children leave Queensbridge Primary School to their chosen secondary schools, they should:

  • have a secure knowledge of number facts and a good understanding of the four mathematical operation operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) ;
  • use the knowledge and understanding of the mathematical operations to carry out calculations mentally and apply general strategies when solving problems involving bigger numbers;
  • use diagrams, visual representations and informal notes to help record steps and answers when using mental methods;
  • acquire an efficient, reliable, compact written method of calculation for each operation that they can apply with confidence when undertaking calculations that they cannot carry out mentally;
  • use and apply their knowledge of number and mathematical operations to solve problems independently with a systematic approach;
  • have a clear understand and use a wide range mathematical vocabulary.

Mental methods of calculation

The ability to calculate mentally forms the basis of all methods of calculation and has to be maintained and refined. A good knowledge of numbers or a ‘feel’ for numbers is the product of structured practice and repetition. It requires an understanding of number patterns and relationships developed through directed enquiry, use of models and images and the application of acquired number knowledge and skills.

Oral and mental calculation in mathematics is essential, particularly so in calculation work. Early practical, oral and mental work must lay the foundations by providing children with a good understanding of how the four operations build on efficient counting strategies and a secure knowledge of place value and number facts.

 Written methods of calculation

 Being able to use written methods gives children an efficient set of tools they can use when they are unable to carry out the calculation in their heads or do not have access to a calculator. We want children to know that they have such a reliable, written method to which they can turn when the need arises.

The school aims to equip children to decide when it is best to use a mental, written or calculator method based on the knowledge that they are in control of this choice as they are able to carry out the methods with confidence.

Concrete, Visual, Abstract Approach

At Queensbridge we aim to begin introducing all operations and calculations with concrete objects such as cubes, dienes and numicon.  We then move onto visual drawings and representations such as the bar model before moving onto the abstract number sentence.