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St Anthony's Catholic Primary School and Nursery

‘We walk in the footsteps of Christ and are held in the hand of God’

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Calculation Policy

Progression in Calculations Policy


This policy has been designed to teach children through the use of concrete, pictorial and abstract methods. This calculation policy should be used to support children to develop a deep understanding of number and calculation.


Using the Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract Approach:

Children develop an understanding of a mathematical concept through the three steps of: concrete, pictorial and abstract approach. Reinforcement is achieved by going back and forth between these representations.


Concrete Representation:

This is the first step in a child’s learning. The child is introduced to an idea or skill by acting it out with real objects. This is a ‘hands on’ component using real objects and it is the foundation for conceptual understanding.


Pictorial Representation:

Once the child has sufficiently understood the ‘hands on’ experience, they can be progressed onto relating them to pictorial representations, such as a diagram or a picture of the problem.


Abstract Representation:

This is the third step in a child’s learning. The child should now be capable of representing problems by using mathematical notation, for example: 12 ÷ 2 = 6