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Whole School Progression in Maths

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Whole school curriculum progression is getting increasing attention from schools, in part, driven by Ofsted's growing interest in this area. Hamilton can help.

[T]he ‘Assessing pupils’ progress’ initiative had helped to strengthen assessment practice in all of the schools visited. However, impact was greatest when it formed part of a strongly led, clear, whole-school vision of teaching, learning and assessment that promoted high expectations and developed consistency.


Hamilton have long been promoting consistency in mathematical models and images within the framework of a whole-school calculation strategy, and so we are not surprised by Ofsted's finding that a whole-school vision strengthens assessment practice in maths. We are confident, furthermore, that a whole-school strategy will strengthen pupil's own learning and assessment results.

By having a clear and consistent curriculum strategy throughout the school, teachers can ensure that children are hearing consistent language and using progressive methods that build from one year to the next, without requiring them to confront new pedagogy at every year or key stage transition.

A whole school approach will facilitate teacher communication about objectives, assessment and children's achievement.

  • Addition/subtraction calculation strategy

    The addition/subtraction calculation strategy covers place value and its use in mental and written addition and subtraction from Year 1 through to Year 6. Counting on, counting up, number facts and compact and expanded column addition are progressively described and illustrated. Download Hamilton's addition/subtraction calculation strategy.

  • Multiplication/division calculation strategy

    The multiplication/division calculation strategy covers mental and written multiplication and from Year 1 through to Year 6. Clever counting, grouping, doubling and halving, grid multiplication and short and long written division are progressively described and illustrated. Download Hamilton's multiplication/division calculation strategy.

Calculation Strategies

What is a calculation strategy? How can it help ensure consistency and pedagogical rigour throughout your school?

Hamilton's calculation strategies set out methods of mental and written methods for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division from Year 1 through to Year 6. Articulated for each year group, these methods ensure consistency of teacher input and progression in pupil learning. They spell out the steps that children need to take to master these four operations. By ensuring that the language is pedagogically correct, the strategy helps teachers promote understanding in Key Stage 1, while laying the correct building blocks for understanding with greater sophistication in Key Stage 2.

Hamilton's addition/subtraction and multiplication/division calculation strategy documents make teaching easier for teachers and learning easier for pupils. The pairs of operations are presented as complementary functions that facilitate explanation and comprehension. Teachers and pupils both can easily see how one year builds on another. Teachers will have layout models that are clear and mathematically correct so that children do not build up misconceptions through their early years that they will need to unpick later.

Getting Staff on Board

Hamilton also provide everything you need to run a staff meeting on 'Consistency in Models and Images' to give your school practical steps to take to ensure that all your teachers are working progressively using complementary and pedagogically sequential language, models and images.