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St Anne Line
Catholic Infant School & Nursery

Love Learn Pray

How we learn maths - Maths Calculation Policy

Calculation Policy and Guidance


Written by: Miss Bond

Date: January 2024

Review Date: ongoing as per updated guidance or research

Full Review: 2025



Maths at St Anne Line Catholic Infant School & Nursery

At St Anne Line Catholic Infant School and Nursery we are committed to ensuring that every child develops mastery of mathematics relevant to their stage of development. We are supported by the NCETM Maths hub to ensure that staff receive training and support to deliver high quality Maths Mastery experiences and lessons.



The CPA approach is used to deliver our teaching and scaffold learning.
Concrete - children will physically use manipulatives for example objects or counters

Pictorial - children will be presented with visual models of maths for example as pictures or bar models.
Abstract - children will explore how symbols (e.g numerals, +, =) are used for example in equations or number lines.



We recognise that a children learn differently and therefore some children may
continue to need the support of manipulatives and models to help them explore and understand abstract concepts until they have fully grasped the learning. This document shows the learning pathways for children through the main mathematical areas. It is important that this order is followed carefully and that none of the small steps are skipped to build a secure foundation of understanding otherwise misconceptions and confusion can occur further down the line.



During the Early Years (Nursery and Reception) children will explore maths through the NCETM with the support of carefully developed Numberblocks videos from the NCETM specialists. They will then be encouraged to develop their understanding by using manipulatives available in their environment, this could be cups and saucers, toys, stones etc. This enabling environment rich with mathematics and well-trained staff enables children to lead and develop their own mathematical learning in the moment. 


In Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2) it becomes important to focus on mathematical learning and research has shown the best method is to reduce cognitive load. The children will use carefully chosen manipulatives such as specific coloured counters or dienes so that they are not distracted by using toys.


There is a very high emphasis on oracy and mathematics. The ability to use the correct vocabulary and to explain concepts helps to commit learning to working and long term memory. Children will be taught “stem sentences” which are highlighted in this document in blue. These have been specifically designed to ensure the correct concepts, language and methods are used by the children. A lot of the language used now in math lessons will be very different to what you might have been taught at school or use now. It is important to become familiar with the correct terminology when supporting your child with their maths at home.