Maths Basic Skills

Understanding and knowing your basic number facts is fundamental to being able to access other areas of maths and succeeding in maths learning. It is the most basic of building blocks that we need and we spend so much time on it in school. Often, parents ask what they can do to help and my answer usually stresses continually practising and rehearsing these number facts!

Addition & Subtraction Facts

When we talk about addition and subtraction facts (sometimes called number facts or number bonds) we are talking about additin together any two numbers from 0 - 20. We know that our children can find the answer to 7+3 by counting on fingers or using other strategies, however we aim for children to be practise these facts so that, when seeing 7+3 or 3+7, the child knows the answer is 10 without needing to think about it or calculate. It's also important to understand the related subtraction facts (in this example, the full fact family would include 7+3=10, 3+7=10, 10-7=3 & 10-3=7). This will help them to work on their maths in the future. It's really important that children know these facts before leaving Key Stage 1. If your child is in EYFS or KS1, start practising these - perhaps ask your child's teacher which facts they are concentrating on at the moment.

If your child is in KS2, it doesn't stop. Keep practising and challenge your child to get faster. Then start looking at making connections from these skills to real world maths and other areas. Below is a picture that might help when understanding this. You could even provide a number fact and encourage your child to produce a poster a little bit like this one.

Multiplication & Division Facts

When we talk about multiplication & division facts, we are referring to understanding and knowing times table facts. This, again, is essential to accessing future maths. We start teaching these times table facts in Year 2. When we teach the tables, we teach the multiplication and division facts and their relationships. For example, a fact family could include 3x4=12, 4x3=12, 12÷4=3 & 12÷3=4. Before Year 2, we do also practise counting in 10s, 5s and 2s. Below is a table that shows which times tables we focus in each year group. If you are hoping to practise these with your children, don't forget to keep rehearsing the table facts from the earlier year groups as well. Also, you might notice that no new tables are taught after Year4, but this doesn't mean we stop learning. We keep practising all of the tables, and we look at next steps (take a look below the table).

Year 1

Counting in 10s, 5s and 2s

10 times table

Year 2

5 times table

2 times table

3 times table

Year 3

4 times table

8 times table

9 times table

Year 4

All remaining facts (including 6, 7, 12 multiplied by each other).

Practising and revisins ALL times table facts.

Year 5Practising and revisins ALL times table facts.
Year 6Practising and revisins ALL times table facts.

If your child is in Year 5 or Year 6, it doesn't stop. Keep practising and challenge your child to get faster. Then start looking at making connections from these skills to real world maths and other areas. Below is a picture that might help when understanding this. You could even provide a times table fact and encourage your child to produce a poster a little bit like this one.