The National Curriculum for maths is based on 3 key aims:

  • Pupils’ developing fluency in the fundamentals of mathematics so that they develop conceptual understanding and the ability to recall and use maths rapidly and accurately
  • Being able to use reasoning and generalisation to develop an argument or proof
  • Developing pupils’ ability to solve problems by applying maths to a range of increasingly complex problems

Being able to calculate effectively underpins all of these aims.  At Northbourne, pupils are introduced to calculating through practical, oral and mental activities.  As pupils become more able to record their thinking, their mental methods are strengthened and informal written methods are introduced.  These methods become increasingly efficient and refined, leading to the use of traditional compact written methods.

The aim of these policies is to ensure all members of our school community – children, parents and children – understand the progression through the stages of developing fluency with written methods.  This will ensure it is taught, explained and understood in a way which is systematic and consistent.


Teaching of each calculation method includes:

  • Effective use of a range of structured apparatus, as shown in the rest of this policy
  • Use of visual images and models
  • Parallel teaching of the inverse operation to strengthen pupils’ understanding of links between different areas of maths
  • Wider context – in the form of, for example, word problems – to ensure pupils understand when the strategy might be applied

The first leaflet (below) outlines progression in written methods for addition and subtraction.  The second leaflet (below), looks at multiplication and division. If you have any questions about any of the strategies or methods included in these policies, please get in touch with your child’s class teacher, Miss Charlotte Rawcliffe (our maths subject leader), or Mr. Shaughnessy.


Progression through the curriculum:

The National Curriculum for Maths outlines the intended learning for each year group, and is used by teachers at Northbourne to plan sequences of lessons.  The objectives for each year group are shown at the links below:


Fraction Workshop

It was great to see so many parents at our recent Fraction Workshop.  This provided an opportunity for family members to learn more about the fraction content of the maths curriculum in light of the more stretching expectations introduced in 2014, followed by a chance to spend time learning about fractions alongside children in their maths lesson.  The slides that were presented are available at the link below.