Calculation Policy Guidance
The point of having a Calculations Policy is for all children to have a secure
strategy for calculating for each of the four operations (addition, subtraction,
multiplication and division) by the end of Year 6.
It would be useful to link with your feeder school(s) or the school you feed into
when you complete this work to really ensure progression.
Below is a suggestion of the stages a school would need to go through when
they are creating or evaluating a Calculations Policy.
1. Audit of current practice in school. A set of audit questions are
provided alongside this guidance with suggestions for Reception to
2. Read articles written by for example Ian Thompson, Julia Anghileri, the
Norfolk Mathematics Team, other mathematics education authors and
related guidance such as ‘Mark Making Matters’.
3. Work through the progression for each calculation strategy (which
could possibly take four separate staff meeting sessions). You could
start with where you would like children to be in the end and then work
backwards from there. Things to consider are:
What mental calculation strategies will you teach?
What models and images will you use to support understanding?
What will jottings look like?
What will written and recorded progression look like?
What language will be associated with each operation?
4. If you are unsure about any of Section 3, contact the Mathematics
Team for some support or to be linked with a Leading Mathematics
5. Consider age-relation (the policy doesn’t have to have year groups
on). We would not advise attaching levels to this progression.
6. Are you going to use your children’s own work for exemplification? If
so, then examples will need to be collected.
7. Create each section and agree as a staff. Then share with teaching
assistants and supply staff.
8. Share the policy with parents, possibly with an event to demonstrate
some of the strategies. The Calculations Policy for parents might have
a different format to make it more easily accessible.
9. Create a timeline of monitoring arrangements to ensure implementation
and continuity across the school.
10. Re-audit calculations strategies a year later and look at relevant
questions in the QCA or SATs tests to see if strategies being taught
are being used effectively by children.