Maths for the more able in Years 5 and 6


In Years 5 and 6, children should still be encouraged to develop a good understanding of mathematics and investigate mathematical problems with confidence and enthusiasm.

They will be keen to solve mathematical problems in a wide variety of contexts, such as through games, shopping, spending pocket money, cooking, following sport, working on codes, brain teasers, Su Doku and strategy games such as chess.

These are some of the characteristics they may exhibit, but remember these are indicative, not definitive:

Behaviour and learning style

  • Child with notebook and calculatorCuriosity- always asking questions, and enjoy discussing their work in mathematics
  • They may start to question rules and authority
  • They can be highly self critical and sensitive to criticism from adults
  • They are able to generalise - think outside the box
  • They are prepared to use their initiative in tackling something different. They might say – 'No that can’t be right because...'
  • They need to work with learners of similar ability both in and out of school.
  • They often prefer the company of older children.
  • They tend to have strong views and opinions

In mths specifically

  • They can use patterns and will be able to predict and anticipate
  • They can calculate mentally quickly and efficiently
  • They can sometimes work continuously for up to three hours on a chosen mathematical task
  • They often find short-cut solutions to problems rather than using standard methods. They tend to make unconventional connections
  • Mathematically able children will weigh the evidence and be prepared to change a point of view according to the evidence
  • They will look to work out answers for unusual ideas such as 'How many minutes in a lifetime?'
  • At school, they will be using decimals, positive and negative numbers and a variety of written methods to multiply and divide three figure numbers


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Last updated: 2 months ago