Maths in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)


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In Years 1 and 2, a great deal of the maths work children do is still very practical and related to everyday experiences.  

Around the classroom will be number lines, number tracks, number grids, 100 squares, examples of number bonds, examples of multiples and mathematical vocabulary. There will also be a variety of resources, such as coins, dice, dominoes, playing cards, beads and plastic bricks for counting. 

Pupils are encouraged to use correct mathematical language, such as 'greater than', 'sum', 'difference', and they will talk about and explain what they have been doing. For example: "We did this because...", "I worked out my answer by...", "It can't be because..."

Teachers usually prepare lessons that include a mental starter, a whole-class introduction to a new piece of work, group activities and then a plenary at the end to review their work. 

Lessons involve investigating, finding out, working together and talking about what they have done. Children learn that making mistakes is part of learning.

Year 1

  • Year 1 children learn number bonds such as 2 + 8, 5 + 5, 6 + 4. They learn that in addition, when numbers are reversed, the result is the same (eg 2 + 8 is the same as 8 + 2).
  • The early skills for multiplication are introduced through counting on in 2s, 5s and 10s. They may double numbers up to 10/20 or be asked, "How many shoes are there in four pairs?"
  • They are taught that with addition, numbers can be added in any order but in subtraction, the larger number comes first (eg 9 – 2 not 2 – 9).
  • At this stage, they will be solving simple problems. For example: My domino has 5 dots on one half and 5 on the other. How many altogether? How did you work it out? Children will work on a variety of calculations, recognising patterns in number and investigating number sequences.

Year 2

  • In Year 2, children continue working on numbers. They order numbers to 100, use odds and evens, rehearse and use addition and subtraction facts regularly in their mental work. They also use number lines, tracks and 100 squares.
  • They learn that subtraction is the inverse of addition (eg 12 + 7 = 19 , 19 – 7 = 12, 19 – 7 = 12) and continue to develop their mathematical language (eg half, quarter, sum, digit, fraction)
  • The × and ÷ symbols will be introduced.
  • Some children work on numbers to 1,000, finding missing numbers in a sequence (eg 750-650).
  • In multiplication, they double and halve numbers. Some children start to learn their 2, 5 and 10 times tables.
  • Pupils are asked to solve number problems and investigate the properties of numbers.
  • Teachers will be aware of each child's ability and will provide work to challenge them. They will be given opportunities to practise and apply their skills, ensuring they develop confidence and competency.



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Last updated: about 3 years ago