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Key Maths Skills for Year 6

By Ruth Merttens - 1 Jul 2018

You are aiming to teach all Year 6 children age-related expectations by the end of the year. But what are the basic skills that you can't let them leave your class without?

Hamilton's 'Key Maths Skills' are the heart of what enables children to become successful in maths. They are the building blocks of maths without which children will be blocked from making further progress. All children need to work towards age-related expectations throughout the year. But you need to be sure that children are confident in these key mathematical skills before year-end. EVERY child should possess ALL these ground-level skills as they leave Year 6.

  • Locate numbers up to 999,999 on a landmarked line; use this to compare/order numbers.
  • Round to ten, a hundred and a thousand, ten thousand or one hundred thousand.
  • Read scales with accuracy and confidence.
  • Add and subtract mentally with confidence – where the numbers are less than 100 or the calculation relies upon simple addition/subtraction and place value. Examples include: 6,723 – 400, 78 + 46, 72 – 46, 8020 + 910, 100 – 64, 5000 + 12,000, etc.
  • Add several large numbers using written addition, e.g.
  • Add several large or decimal numbers using written addition, e.g.
  • Subtract large numbers using decomposition or counting up, e.g. 1323 – 758
  • Subtract decimal numbers using counting up, e.g. 6.2 - 3.57
  • Multiply numbers up to 20 by single-digit numbers mentally or using grid method.
  • Multiply 3-digit by numbers up to 12 using ladder (expanded written multiplication), e.g. 6 x 368
  • Multiply 2-digit numbers by 2-digit or 3-digit numbers using grid method.
  • Scale up or down by a factor of 2, 5 or 10.
  • Perform divisions mentally within the range of tables facts using remainders or rounding the answer up or down as appropriate, e.g. 68 ÷ 8 = 8 r4 or 8½ or how many toy spiders can be made if I have 68 legs? (Ans = 8) or how many minibuses each holding 8 children will be needed to transport 68 children? (Ans = 9).
  • Divide 3-digit by one-digit numbers using chunking.
  • Recognise equivalent fractions, e.g. 4/8 = ½; reduce fractions to their simplest form.
  • Identify simple fraction/decimal equivalents: ½ = 0.5, ¼ = 0.25, ¾ = 0.75, 1/3 = 0.33, etc.
  • Understand that if two numbers less than 1 are multiplied, the answer is smaller than either of them.
  • Calculate simple percentages of whole numbers.
  • Solve missing number problems.
  • Generate and describe linear sequences.
  • Use, read and write, and convert between, standard units.
  • Measure areas and perimeters; understand that area is a measurement of covering and is measured in square units, and perimeter is a length, measured in cm, m or mm.
  • Use 12 and 24 hour clocks; calculate time intervals; use timetables.
  • Compare and classify geometric shapes; identify circles and parts of circles.
  • Identify positions in the first and fourth quadrants on a co-ordinate grid; reflect and translate shapes.
  • Find and interpret the mean (average) of several quantities.

We strongly recommend that you ensure that your children fully master these skills by tracking them through the year.

Download a monitoring template for Year 6