Maths for the more able in Years 1 and 2


Children in Years 1 and 2 will need to explore mathematical concepts through practical tasks and within their play, with plenty of opportunities given to consolidate their learning and have fun.

Practical equipment should be available to help with home activities eg number line, 100 square, playing cards, dominoes, coins, stop watch, timer and counting materials( buttons, marbles, beads, pasta shells).

Able children in this age group may demonstrate some of the following characteristics:

Behaviour and learning style

  • Boy working at a tableThey may need less instruction and practice
  • They acquire new ideas easily
  • They show keen powers of observation and reasoning and listen with interest
  • They have a good memory and often respond to questioning eagerly and with imagination
  • They will need to be encouraged to take risks
  • They will be starting to check their work and look for patterns
  • They will be keen to finish work
  • They want to succeed and please

In maths specifically

  • They will enjoy open-ended tasks, eg The answer is 19. What might the question be? (These could be: 30-11, 10+5+4, 100-81)
  • They can cope with abstract tasks
  • They do not tire easily when occupied in mathematical tasks
  • They need fewer steps to solve problems

Whatever the intellectual level of the child, one must always remember their actual age and ensure that activities follow their interests and those of their peer group.

At this age, it is important for children to develop mathematical vocabulary and be confident using it. You need to encourage them to look for and see patterns where they emerge. They will begin to grasp significant mathematical ideas such as 34 + 10 is the same as 10 + 34.

They will be working with higher numbers, learning about odd and even numbers, doubles, tens and units and the 2, 5 and 10 times tables.

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Last updated: 2 months ago