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Year 6 Maths Mental-Oral Starters

By Ruth Merttens - 5 Jul 2018

Get your maths lesson going with a bang!

Each term, we provide 48 starters – enough for 4 per week for 12 weeks – plus a set of 12 ‘Fun-Fair Friday’ tests.
Starters are categorised under key mathematical skillssee headings below.
ALL starters in Place value & number, Apply known addition & subtraction facts and Mental addition & subtraction are FREE to download. Others are only available to Friends and School subscribers. In each download, expect starters further down the list to get slightly harder. Most starters include a couple of quite challenging questions!
Starters with an E at the end of the download filename should be easier, as they revisit skills from Year 5 or from previous Y6 terms.

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Place value and number *FREE*
Reading scales and rounding

Children apply their understanding of place value and decimals when interpreting and reading a range of units of measurement from a wide variety of scales. In Autumn, children round whole numbers to the nearest 100 and 1000. In Spring, they round to the nearest 10,000 and 100,000; in Summer to the nearest 1,000,000. Rounding of decimal numbers to the nearest tenth or whole number is practised across the year.

Autumn: Reading scales (3) | Rounding (2)
Spring: Reading scales (3) | Rounding (2)
Summer: Reading scales (3) | Rounding (2)


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Apply known addition and subtraction facts *FREE*
Adding to place value ‘boundary’ numbers, such as the next whole, 100 and £1. Find totals and differences.

Children apply learned number facts to add to make a given total or recognise pairs with a given difference. They add to the next multiple of 100, 1000 and 10,000, and apply their understanding of decimals to add to the next whole number and next £1.

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Mental addition & subtraction *FREE*
Mental strategies adding and subtracting, including money

Children work towards securing a repertoire of skills to add and subtract mentally with confidence. They apply their understanding of place value to add and subtract multiples of 0.01, 0.1, 10, 100 and 1000 and extend this to add/subtract amounts of money. They practise mentally adding two numbers choosing an appropriate and effective non-written strategy. They also rehearse mental strategies to find a difference, counting up from the smaller to the larger number.

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Times tables
Recall and apply multiplication and division facts

In Autumn, starters comprise three sets of random multiplication facts - focusing on larger multiples of 6, 7, 8 and 9, two sets that collate random division facts, two sets that collect mental divisions with answers given as decimals and one set that rehearses mental division with remainders. In Spring and Summer, continue to expect mixtures of tables, with plenty of division facts alongside the multiplications. Questions often challenge children to multiply numbers beyond the 12th multiple and by lower multiples of 10. Other activities probe understanding of tests for divisibility and prime numbers!

Autumn: Multiplication facts (3) | Division facts (5)
Spring:  Exploring tables (8)
Summer: Tables and beyond (8)


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Mental multiplication and division
Multiplying/dividing by 10/100/1000, doubling/halving and using mental strategies

Children rehearse their understanding of place value in relation to multiplication and division by multiplying and dividing by powers of 10. Throughout the year, they practise doubling and halving large numbers and decimals and use these in rehearsing the use of mental multiplication and division strategies. Children also scale numbers up and down by a factor of 5 or 8 in Autumn, and by 4, 5 and 10 in Spring and Summer.
Mental strategies are explored in Spring to x/÷ by 20, 8 and 6, to derive and manipulate remainders and to identify lowest common multiples and highest common factors.

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Matching equivalent fractions, considering ‘simplest form’ and exploring improper fractions

Children look carefully at sets of fractions to identify pairs or threes of equivalent fractions, which may include improper fractions, mixed numbers and decimals. Children practise recognising and expressing fractions in their simplest form. Children convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and recognise decimal equivalents.

Autumn: Equivalent fractions (3) | Improper fractions and mixed numbers (2)
Spring:  Equivalent fractions and decimals (4)
Summer: Fractions and decimals (6)


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Find percentages of amounts

In Autumn, children apply place value and calculation skills to find 10% of amounts. They apply a further calculation step to find 20% or 5%. Skills are extended in Spring to find multiples of 10% and 1-digit %s, which are then combined to find any % of an amount. Smart strategies are expected - children should recognise that it is more efficient to calculate 25% by halving twice than by finding (2x10%) + (5x1%).

Autumn: Find percentages of amounts (2)
Spring:  Percentages of amounts (3)
Summer: Percentages of amounts (3)


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Telling the time
Identifying analogue and digital times and calculating intervals

In Autumn, children identify and match analogue and digital times, including the use of 24-hour clock. They also calculate intervals between times, again using the 24- hour clock. In Spring and Summer, timetables are used as a real-world stimulus for calculation of durations and intervals.

Autumn: Telling the time and calculating intervals (2)
Spring:  Time and timetables (2)
Summer: Time and timetables (2)


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Testing children’s basic skills rehearsed in Starters

The tests each have ten questions and are fun to do as children compete not against each other, but against their PB (personal best). Each week, they see where they have got to on the Fun-Fair Height Chart – which rides will they be able to do?
Choose a test to fit the Starters you have done this week. Download the Tests Overview to make your choice.