At The Gateway Primary Academy we believe that children should be introduced to the processes of calculation through practical, oral and mental activities. As children begin to understand the underlying ideas they develop ways of recording to support their thinking and calculation methods, use particular methods that apply to special cases, and learn to interpret and use the signs and symbols involved.
Choosing the appropriate strategy, recording in mathematics and in calculation in particular is an important tool both for furthering the understanding of ideas and for communicating those ideas to others. A useful written method is one that helps children carry out a calculation and can be understood by others.
Written methods are complementary to mental methods and should not be seen as separate from them. The aim is that children use mental methods when appropriate, but for calculations that they cannot do in their heads they use an efficient written method accurately and with confidence. It is important children acquire secure mental methods of calculation and one efficient written method of calculation for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division which they know they can rely on when mental methods are not appropriate.