What is parallel?

Parallel lines
We explain what parallel means and how children are taught about shapes throughout KS1 and KS2.

What is parallel?

Parallel lines are straight lines that always stay the same distance from each other and never meet:

When do children learn about parallel lines?

Children learn the names of shapes in Key Stage 1. They will be asked to describe and sort shapes.

In Year 3 they need to identify parallel and perpendicular lines..

Children need to continue to consolidate their knowledge of parallel lines in Years 4 and 5 with questions such as these:

Which of the following shapes has two sets of parallel lines?

(The answer is the second shape.)

In Year 6 they will be asked to draw 2D shapes to given dimensions, which will include parallel lines.

As part of their work on shape and space children are expected to know about horizontal lines, vertical lines, perpendicular lines and diagonal lines.