Secure fluency in addition and subtraction facts that bridge 10, through continued practice (2)

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Before pupils begin work on columnar addition and subtraction (3AS–1), it is essential that pupils have automatic recall of addition and subtraction facts within and across 10. These facts are required for calculation within the columns in columnar addition and subtraction. All mental calculation also depend on these facts.

Pupils should already have automatic recall of addition and subtraction facts within 10, from year 1 (1NF–1). In year 2 (2AS–1), pupils learnt strategies for addition and subtraction across 10. However, year 3 pupils are likely to need further practice, and reminders of the strategies, to develop sufficient fluency. Pupils should practise until they achieve automaticity in the mental application of these strategies. Without this practice many pupils are likely to still be reliant on counting on their fingers to solve within-column calculations in columnar addition and subtraction.

Assessment guidance: For pupils to have met criterion 3NF–1, they need to be able to add and subtract within and across 10 without counting forwards or backwards in ones on their fingers, on a number line or in their heads. Pupils need to be able to automatically recall the facts within 10, and be able to mentally apply strategies for calculation across 10, with accuracy and speed. Teachers should assess pupils in small groups – simply providing the correct answers to the example questions above does not demonstrate that a pupil has met the criterion.

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