How We Teach Maths
Many parents, keen to support their children, ask about the calculation methods we teach. We have produced this guide which we hope will explain the methods your children use and why.
The ability to calculate mentally forms the basis of all calculations and therefore, up until the end of year 3, the focus in class is on teaching these mental methods. Children will build up counting strategies and develop a secure understanding of place value and number facts. A range of practical activities are used and any recording is done informally.
As the numbers the children work with become larger, they are encouraged to jot things down or use number lines and 100 squares to help them. However, as the children become more confident, their mental strategies will increase in speed and accuracy and they may no longer need resources to help them.
It is only once their mental strategies and mastered, that children begin to look at more formal written methods. As they move through KS2, the children are taught a number of techniques, initially expanding on their mental strategies before progressing towards an efficient and more compact written method.
The ultimate aim, however, is to ensure that all children have a reliable method which they feel confident using when they are unable to carry out the calculation in their heads or do not have access to a calculator. It is important to understand that our brains don't all function in the same way - different children (and adults) will prefer to use different methods. By teaching a wide range of calculation strategies, children are given the opportunity to choose one that they understand and feel comfortable with, which ultimately increases their confidence and accuracy.