Guidance Paper: Calculation
This paper, produced by the National Strategies, provides guidance on the teaching and learning of mental and written calculation. This is reinforced by the overall aim that when students leave primary school they:
• have a secure knowledge of number facts and a good understanding of the four operations;
• are able to use this knowledge and understanding to carry out calculations mentally and to apply general strategies when using one-digit and two-digit numbers and particular strategies to special cases involving bigger numbers;
• make use of diagrams and informal notes to help record steps and part answers when using mental methods that generate more information than can be kept in their heads;
• have an efficient, reliable, compact written method of calculation for each operation that they can apply with confidence when undertaking calculations that they cannot carry out mentally;
• use a calculator effectively, using their mental skills to monitor the process, check the steps involved and decide if the numbers displayed make sense.
This resource includes a detailed description of the progression of written calculation skills in each of the four operations using whole numbers.
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