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Maths Calculation Methods

Cherry Orchard Primary School

Calculations Policy adopted from White Rose Maths Hub

This policy contains the key pencil and paper procedures that will be taught within our school.  It has been written to ensure consistency and progression throughout the school and reflects a whole school agreement.


During their time at this school children will be encouraged to see mathematics as both a written and spoken language.  Teachers will support and guide children through the following important stages:

  • developing the use of pictures and a mixture of words and symbols to represent numerical activities;
  • using standard symbols and conventions;
  • use of jottings to aid a mental strategy;
  • use of pencil and paper procedures;

 Lower down the school the children use real objects and the number line.  By the end of KS2, pupils are taught formal, written methods.

When following the policy teachers need to assess exactly where their pupils lie on the progression map.  The expectations are for each year group although some pupils may be working above or below these expectations so teachers will need to adjust accordingly.

Children should not be made to go onto the next stage if:


  • they are not ready.
  • they are not confident.


Children should be encouraged to approximate their answers before calculating.

Children should be encouraged to check their answers after calculation using an appropriate strategy.

Children should be encouraged to consider if a mental calculation would be appropriate before using written methods.

Calculators are to be used once children are confident with the methods taught and fully understand them.


This policy concentrates on the introduction of standard symbols, the use of the empty number line as a jotting to aid mental calculation and on the introduction of pencil and paper procedures.  It is important that children do not abandon jottings and mental methods once pencil and paper procedures are introduced.