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Year 6 Maths Mental-Oral Starters – FREE

Ruth Merttens By Ruth Merttens

Get your maths lesson going with a bang!

There are 48 starters – 4 per week plus a bank of 12 ‘Fun-Fair Friday’ tests.
They are categorised under Key Skills – see below.
In general, the starters further down each group's list get slightly harder.
Starters with an E at the end of the download filename are easier, as they revisit Y5 skills.

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Place value and number
Reading scales and rounding

Children apply their understanding of place value and decimals when reading units of measurement from scales. Children round whole numbers to the nearest 100 and 1000 and decimal numbers to the nearest tenth or whole number.

Downloads: Reading scales (3) | Rounding (2)

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Apply known addition and subtraction facts
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 and 1000, and apply their understanding of decimals to add to the next whole number and next £1. Occasional ‘tricky’ questions will challenge understanding.

Downloads: Addition/subtraction facts to 20 in larger numbers and decimals (4) | Adding to place value boundary numbers, including money amounts (4)


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Mental addition/subtraction
Mental strategies adding and subtracting, including money

Children use their understanding of place value to add and subtract multiples of 0.01, 0.1, 10, 100, 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.

Downloads: +/- 0.01s, 0.1s, 1s, 10s, 100s, 1000s, some using money (3) | Mental addition and subtraction strategies (5)


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Times tables
Practise multiplication and division facts

Three starters include random multiplication facts, with a focus on the 6x, 7x, 8x and 9x tables; the multiplier is often >12.
Two starters collate random division facts. One starter rehearses mental division, with remainders. Two starters collect mental divisions with answers given as decimals.

Downloads: Multiplication facts (3) | Division facts (5)


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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. They practise doubling and halving large numbers and decimals and use these in rehearsing the use of mental multiplication and division strategies. Children scale numbers up and down by a factor of 5 or 8.

Downloads: Multiplying and dividing by 10 and 100 (2) | Doubling, halving and scaling (4) | Mental multiplication and division strategies (4)


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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 proper fractions and decimals. Children practise recognising fractions in their simplest form. Children convert improper fractions to mixed numbers and recognise decimal equivalents.

Downloads: Equivalent fractions (3) | Improper fractions and mixed numbers (2)


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Find 10%, 20% and 5% of amounts

Children apply place value and calculation skills to find 10% of amounts. They apply a further calculation step to find 20% or 5%.

Downloads: Find percentages of amounts (2)


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Telling the time
Identifying analogue and digital times and calculating intervals

Children apply analogue and digital times, including the use of 24-hour clock. They calculate intervals between times, again using the 24- hour clock.

Downloads: Telling the time and calculating intervals (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.