The National Curriculum for Mathematics places a strong emphasis on the teaching of written methods for calculating addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. These methods are taught alongside the mental calculations and jottings and children are taught to select which method will be most efficient.
In Key Stage 1, at Wilbraham Primary School, there is a strong emphasis on teaching Mental Strategies and using jottings. As children progress, they are introduced to formal written methods at the end of Year 2.
In Years 3 and 4, there remains an emphasis on Mental Strategies and these are practised regularly as they are an important part of learning and understanding. Children also begin to learn the formal written method (using columns) once they are ready. If they are not ready, the children will continue to receive support with their mental calculations.
By the end of Year 6, children use formal methods combined with mental strategies and work with increasingly large numbers. Children will be taught to use the compact method for all four operations.
When are children ready to be taught the formal written method?
- Do they know addition and subtraction facts to 20?
- Can they partition numbers in different ways?
- Can they add three single digit numbers?
- Can they add and subtract two digit numbers in their head?
- Can they estimate the answer and spot when their answer does not make sense?
- Can they explain how they found an answer?
- Do they know their 2, 3, 4, 5 and 10 times tables?
- Can they partition to multiply?
- Can they multiply and divide by 10 and 100?
Additional help sheets are listed below: