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Numbers and counting articles

Nursery maths: what your child learns
What your child learns in Nursery maths
Times tables and long division may be a way off, but the basic numeracy skills your child begins to learn in Nursery will lay the foundations for the years ahead.
What is Numicon?
What is Numicon?
Here's how the primary school maths aid could help your child get to grips with counting, calculating and more.
Hands-on maths
Hands-on maths: how it could help your child
Counting on fingers is an important maths tool in the early years of primary school, but is it something your child should outgrow? We look at the pros and cons of hands-on maths strategies.
Maths learning in EYFS and KS1
Early maths skills: how your child learns about number
Counting may seem as easy as one-two-three to us, but it’s a tricky skill for your child to learn. We explain the stages of getting to grips with number in Reception and Year 1.
Best counting books for children
Best counting books for children
Counting and sequencing numbers correctly is a big part of early maths. We've picked some brilliant mathematical story books to help support your child's learning at home with vibrant illustrations, memorable characters and great narratives.
What are Roman numerals?
What are Roman numerals?
Children in KS2 are expected to read and write Roman numerals as part of the primary curriculum. We explain how Roman numerals are introduced in the classroom and how you can help your child practise reading Roman numerals at home.
What are cardinal and ordinal numbers?
What are cardinal and ordinal numbers?
Reception and KS1 children all learn cardinal and ordinal numbers. We explain how your child will be taught to count and sequence numbers correctly and suggest practical, fun activities you can try at home to support your child's early mathematical learning.
What are number facts?
What are number facts?
Children are expected to memorise a number of different number facts in primary school, including number bonds to 20 and the multiplication and division facts for the twelve times tables. We explain what number facts your child will be taught when and suggest easy ways to support their learning at home.
KS1 SATs maths helper
SATs revision: your KS1 SATs maths helper
Numeracy SATs can seem a daunting task for Year 2 children, but there are loads of practical, fun ways to help them consolidate their classroom learning and make mathematical concepts (from number bonds to 3D shapes) real and easy to understand. Teacher Alice Hart shares her tips.
Primary-school numeracy glossary
Primary numeracy glossary for parents
From area to word problems, TheSchoolRun's primary-school numeracy glossary offers a complete guide to all the maths concepts children are taught in EYFS, KS1 and KS2. Brush up on your own mathematical skills, clear up homework confusion and understand exactly what your child is learning at school by reading our basic definitions (with links to more detailed explanations, teachers' tips and examples).
What are word problems?
What is a word problem?
We explain what a word problem is and give examples of the types of word problems your child might be challenged with in each primary-school maths year group, from Year 1 to Year 6.
Prime numbers
What is a prime number?
We explain what prime numbers are and give examples of the types of questions KS2 children might be asked to test their knowledge of prime numbers.
Square numbers
What are square numbers?
We explain what square numbers are and how children are taught to know square numbers plus the corresponding squares of multiples of 10. We also explain how knowledge of square numbers can help when it comes to working out the area of a square.
What are negative numbers?
What are negative numbers?
We explain what negative numbers are and how children can be taught the concept using a number line, as well as looking at the types of questions that children might be asked involving negative numbers.
What are mode, mean, median and range?
What are mode, mean, median and range?
We explain the meaning of the terms mode, mean, median and range, with examples of how to find each of these from a set of numbers, as well as examples of the types of questions primary-school children might be asked when interpreting data sets.
Multiples and factors
What are multiples and factors?
We explain what multiples and factors are and how children are taught to recognise multiples from Year 1 and factors from Year 5, with examples of the types of problem they might be asked to solve.
Rounding numbers
What is rounding numbers?
We explain what the term 'rounding numbers' means and how children are taught to go from rounding two-digit numbers in Year 2 to rounding decimals in Years 5 and 6.
What is expanded notation?
What is expanded notation?
We explain what expanded notation means, how it is taught in primary school and how it can help children with addition and multiplication calculations.
Mathematical investigations
What are mathematical investigations?
We explain what types of mathematical investigations children will carry out in primary school and give examples of complex investigations they might be asked to solve in KS2.
What is a calculator used for in primary school maths?
What is a calculator used for in primary school maths?
We explain how children might be taught to use a calculator for primary school maths (though the 2014 curriculum suggests their use should be minimal in the classroom).
Two-step and multi-step word problems
What are two-step and multi-step problems?
We explain what two-step and multi-step problems are and give examples of typical problems a child might be asked to solve in primary school (and how the answer can be worked out!).
What are cube numbers?
What are cube numbers?
We explain what cube numbers are and how the concept builds on prior knowledge of square numbers.
What are triangular numbers?
What are triangular numbers?
We explain what triangular numbers are and how able children in Year 5 or 6 might be taught to use algebraic formula to calculate a triangular number.
What are equations?
What are equations?
We explain what equations are and how children are taught to solve equations in KS1 and KS2, as well as how the topic of algebra is introduced.
What are odd and even numbers?
What are odd and even numbers?
We explain what odd and even numbers are and how primary-school children are taught about this concept in KS1 and then have to apply this learning in KS2.
What is 'the difference between'?
What is 'the difference between'?
We explain what teachers mean when they talk about finding 'the difference between' and give examples of how children are taught to work out the answers to subtraction problems.
What is < and >?
What is < and >?
We explain what the symbols < and > mean and give examples of how the concept is explained to primary-school children.
What is descending order?
What is descending order?
We explain what descending order means and give examples of how the concept might relate to numbers, decimals, fractions or amounts of money.
Ascending order
What is ascending order?
We explain what ascending order means, how children are asked to sort into ascending order in primary school and give examples of how the concept might relate to numbers, dates, decimals or alphabetical lists.
What is the lowest common denominator?
What is the lowest common denominator?
We explain what the lowest common denominator is and how to find it and use it to compare different fractions, as well as giving examples of how the concept might be taught to your primary-school child.
What is the lowest common multiple?
What is the lowest common multiple?
We explain what the lowest common multiple is and give examples of how the concept might be taught to your primary school child.
What is the highest common factor?
What is the highest common factor?
We explain what the highest common factor is and give examples of how the concept might be taught to your primary school child.
Average
What is the average?
We explain what the term average means in maths, how to find the average of a set of data (and how children are taught to do it in primary school), and what a mean average is.
Number sentences
What is a number sentence?
We explain what a number sentence is and how primary-school children are taught to write number sentences (or fill in gaps in number sentences) in KS1 and KS2.
Integer
What is an integer?
We explain what an integer is and how to explain the concept to your child, as well as offering some puzzles involving the term 'integer'.
Illustrated numbers
5 number and counting skills primary-school children need
Numbers are all around us, almost from birth! Teacher Phoebe Doyle looks at counting, a fundamental aspect of mathematical understanding, to help your child grab the basics (without confusion!) from day one.
Number bonds
What are number bonds?
If your child is in Key Stage 1, chances are they'll have told you they're learning 'number bonds'... but what are they? Teacher Alice Hart explains why children are taught these number pairs, and how you can help your child practise them at home.
Place value
What is place value?
A good understanding of place value (the value of each digit in a number) is vital in primary-school maths. Our parents' guide explains how your child will be taught about units, tens, hundreds and thousands with number lines, arrow cards and more, as well as outlining how place value is used to help children visualise calculations.
Number square
What is a number square?
Do you know what a number square is and what to do with one? Here’s our parents' guide to everything you need to know about this primary-school maths aid so you can support your child when they’re working with to add and subtract in Key Stage 1.
Child solving addition problems - partitioning
What is partitioning?
Not sure what your child means when they talk about partitioning numbers in maths problems? We explain the method, and how your child will use it.