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Mathematics National Curriculum 2014
Calculation Policy

The following documents have been written in line with the programmes of study taken from the revised National Curriculum for Mathematics (2014). It provides guidance on appropriate calculation methods and progression. Children will use mental methods as their first port of call when appropriate, but for calculations that they can not do in their heads, they will need to use an efficient written method accurately and with confidence.

The content is set out in yearly blocks under the following headings addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Mental Strategies

In school we use the mnemonic Rapa Coda Numbo to help the children recall and use the five key mental strategies.  The children learn the names of the strategies, they are introduced to them and then use and apply them to different numbers and problems finding the most efficient and quickest way. 


Ra - Round and Adjust

Pa - Partition

Co - Count on

Da - Double and Adjust

Numbo - Number Bonds

Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract CPA

At Poppleton Road Primary School we use the highly effective teaching method of CPA which develops a deep and sustainable of maths in pupils. It is an essential teaching technique to help children secure a mastery level in maths which builds on a child's existing understanding.


Concrete Pictorial Abstract (CPA) Explained By Ban Har | Maths - No Problem!

Concrete, Pictorial, Abstract (CPA) is a highly effective approach to teaching that develops a deep and sustainable understanding of maths. Developed by American psychologist, Jerome Bruner, the CPA approach is the mainstay of maths teaching in Singapore. All Maths - No Problem! materials and courses follow this approach.


Concrete is the 'doing' stage. During this stage children use concrete objects to model, investigate and solve problems. The CPA approach allows children to bring the maths to life allowing children to handle and experience physical (concrete) objects.


Pictorial is the 'seeing' stage. Here visual representations of concrete objects are used to model, investigate and solve problems. This stage helps children develop and make mental connections between the physical object they have handled and the abstract pictures, diagrams or models that represent the objects from the problem.


Abstract is the 'symbolic' stage, where children use abstract symbols to model, investigate and solve problems. Children will not progress to this stage until they have demonstrated a solid understanding of the concrete and pictorial stages of the problem. Children are introduced to the concept at a symbolic level using numbers, notation and mathematical symbols to indicate calculations and problems.

CPA in action!

The following document shows examples of the CPA in the classroom through the four calculations.  These are just some possible resources.

Maths Jigsaws
Maths jigsaws are used throughout school. These show the key performance indicators for each stage, which link to year groups.  These indicators show the skills and understanding your child needs to achieve in order to be working securely at that stage.  You will also find another jigsaw in the folders, these have key performance indicators for children to be working at greater depth within this stage (GDS). These jigsaws are easily accessible at the front of the children's maths books.