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Activity 5: Designing a calculation policy

Created on 29 April 2014 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 13 May 2014 by ncetm_administrator

Activity 5: Designing a calculation policy

Arithmetical proficiency is a key component of the 2014 National Curriculum. This activity provides an opportunity to focus on the greater emphasis placed on this aspect of mathematics and reflect on the effectiveness of a schools’ current calculation policy; in particular, expectations and the models and representations used throughout the school. To study this aspect in more depth, the ‘take it further’ activities provide exemplification of approaches being adopted by schools to meet the new expectations, and also ways to explore the specific progression within each of the four operations in more detail.

As a team:
Consider the following introduction from the NCETM Microsite ‘Video material to support the implementation of the National Curriculum’

‘Research by the Department for Education demonstrates that a key feature of high performing jurisdictions is that the development of quick recall, accuracy and fluency in parallel with the development of understanding and reasoning are all required to promote sound mathematical development (DfE 2012 p70). Procedural fluency and conceptual understanding are not mutually exclusive. The Ofsted Survey of Good Practice in Primary Mathematics (Ofsted 2011) found that many of the successful schools sampled teach fluency in mental and written methods of calculation, alongside understanding of the underlying mathematical concepts.’

As an individual:
Complete the following calculations:

789 + 642
124 × 26
932 – 457
432 ÷ 5
2741 × 6
432 ÷ 5


As a team:
Compare and contrast the methods used to complete the calculations with

Reminder: The appendix sets out examples of formal written methods for all four operations to illustrate the range of methods that could be taught.

Discuss the expectations of the 2014 National Curriculum for written and mental calculations using the NCETM progression maps:

In pairs:
For each operation, write down five types of models and images that can be used to support conceptual understanding throughout the primary phase. Compare responses with another pair.

In groups:
Compare and contrast responses from the pairs activity with the contents of the National Primary Strategy ‘Models and images’ documents. Discuss which ones are useful in the current school policy and identify any missing ones.

As a team:
Discuss the essential features that need to be included in the renewed calculation policy, including the new expectations for calculating with fractions and decimals.

As a team:
Compare the responses with the template provided in Resource Sheet: Calculation Policy Template v1 (PDF) (Word) and Resource Sheet: Calculation Policy Template v2 (PDF) (Word) to develop a new calculation policy.

Take it further

In pairs
Explore the NCETM Microsite: Video material to support the implementation of the National Curriculum

As an individual
Explore the ‘Maths to share’ articles in the NCETM Primary Magazines to develop strategies in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division

As an individual
Explore the NCETM Self Evaluation Tool KS1 Calculating and KS2 Calculating

As an individual
Explore the NCETM Microsite ‘How do I teach mental and written calculation strategies in primary (KS1 & KS2) or secondary (KS3) mathematics?’

As an individual
Explore ‘Teaching mental calculation strategies, guidance for teachers at key stages 1 and 2’

As an individual
Explore ‘Teaching written calculations strategies, guidance for teachers at key stages 1 and 2’



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19 May 2014 09:51
I agree. Here it is on the STEM Centre website: http://www.nationalstemcentre.org.uk/elibrary/resource/4590/teaching-children-to-calculate-mentally

Year group expectations will need adapting though.
By jhaddock
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18 May 2014 17:40
'Teaching Children to Calculate Mentally' 2010 was a later and better version of this publication. Date of issue: 07-2010 Ref: 00365-2010PDF-EN-01
By CharlotteM
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