Short Blocks

Maths Year 6 Spring Data

Each unit has everything you need to teach a set of related skills and concepts.

Unit 1 Conversion: metric/imperial units; line graphs (suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show a 1kg weight. Write some weights in g and kg on cards. Put up a washing line, and order the weights along it. Repeat for capacities in ml/litres.
Group Activities
-- Play a game converting from grams to kilograms and vice versa (1 or 3 decimal places).
-- Convert from litres to millilitres and vice versa, including amounts with 2 decimal places.

Day 2 Teaching
Ask children to write some km distances as metres. Discuss km and miles. Say that 5 miles is about 8km. Find 10, 15, 50 miles in km. Show how to draw a line graph to show this relationship.
Group Activities
-- Plot a line graph with given axes; use this to find kilometre to mile equivalents and vice versa, including at intermediate points on the graph.

Day 3 Teaching
Discuss Imperial measures. Discuss some approximate conversions between pounds, ounces, kg, cm, inches etc.
Group Activities
-- Make connections between regularly-used imperial units and familiar objects and contexts. Relate to well-known metric equivalents, understanding that some of these are approximate.

Day 4 Teaching
Show a table of conversions from grams to ounces. Convert some weights from ounces to pounds and ounces. Draw two axes and label them kilograms and ounces. Then draw the conversion graph and discuss.
Group Activities
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘Weights in a line’ as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Draw a line graph to convert litres to pints and vice versa.
-- Draw a line graph to convert centimetres to inches.

You Will Need

  • 1kg weight, washing line, 14 pegs and cards
  • Activity sheet of Converting Metric Units (see resources)
  • Scissors
  • Range of labelled containers with capacities between 100ml and 2l, such as 250ml and 168ml (e.g., vinegar, soy sauce, chilli sauce bottles)
  • Squared background on the IWB
  • Graph paper and online mapping tool
  • Bag of 28g crisps, 30cm ruler and pint glass
  • A3 paper and tape measure
  • Table of approximate conversions of kg to pounds and ounces (see resources)
  • ITP: Measuring Scales
  • ITP: Measuring Cylinders
  • SATs-style practice questions (see downloads below)

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Multiply and divide by 10, 100 and 1000 (pre-requisite skills)

Suggested for Day 2
Reading scales (weight) (simmering skills)

Suggested for Day 3
Reading scales (capacity) (simmering skills)

Suggested for Day 4
Reading scales (general) (simmering skills)


Day 1
Convert from litres to millilitres to order capacities order.

Day 2
Use a line graph to convert from miles to km and vice versa.

Day 3
Use conversions between feet and inches to metres and centimetres to order children in terms of height.

Day 4
Draw a line graph to convert litres to pints and vice versa.
Draw a line graph to convert hand measurements in cm to inches.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Write a familiar object that weighs about:
    (a) 5 Kg
    (b) 1 pound
    (c) 100g
  • Write a familiar container that holds about:
    (a) 1 pint
    (b) 5 ml
    (c) 2 gallons
  • True or false?
    10 lots of 100 grams are 10 kilograms.
    One tenth of a litre is 10ml.
    Half a pint is about 1/4 of a litre.
    You can weigh people in stones.
  • Use this fact: 5 miles = 8km
    15 miles is ? km
    ? miles is 4 km
    64 km is ? miles
    Roughly how many miles is 250 km?

In-depth Investigation: Weights in a Line
Children use systematic working to calculate the number of possibilities of making weights using just two set weights; then look for patterns using line graphs.

Extra Support

Decimals Measure Up
Converting kilograms to grams and vice versa; Converting litres to millilitres and vice versa

Unit 2 Time intervals, timetables, 24-hour clock (suggested as 2 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Revise the 24-hour clock, converting from am and pm times to the 24-hour clock. Find differences between times that children have written, demonstrating how to count up along a time line.
Group Activities
-- Interpret a TV schedule to find a number of programmes with a total duration of less than nine hours.
-- Using a TV guide, calculate programme duration. Investigate the amount of TV time devoted to news.

Day 2 Teaching
Display the timetable of trains from Thurso (see resources). Discuss how we can work out how long particular parts of the journey take. Count up to calculate time intervals.
Group Activities
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘5 on the clock’ from NRICH as today’s group activity.
Or, use these activities:
-- Read a train timetable and draw timeline jottings to help work out time intervals.
-- Read a train timetable. Find journeys between 1 and 2 hours, then between 2 and 3 hours.

You Will Need

  • Mini-whiteboards and pens
  • TV guide for the week with times written using the 24-hour clock
  • Thurso to Penzance train timetable (see resources)
  • Reading timetables activity sheet (see resources)
  • Penzance to Exeter train timetable (see resources)
  • SATs-style practice questions (see download below)

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Here is the time each child goes to sleep. Find out what time they each wake up if the first two sleep 9 hours and the second two sleep 9.5 hours.
    Amit: asleep at 22:00
    Anja: asleep at 21:45
    Sunil: asleep at 21:55
    Asha: asleep at 22:30
  • Which of these times would not change if you were using the 24-hour clock?
    3 o’clock in the morning
    Quarter to 2 after lunch
    Twenty past midday.
  • Write any that will change using the 24-hour clock.

In-depth Investigation: 5 on the Clock
On a digital clock showing 24-hour time, over a whole day, how many times does a 5 appear? Is it the same number for a 12-hour clock over a whole day? 5 on the Clock from

Extra Support

Time to Time
Converting times from am/pm to the 24-hour clock and vice versa; Beginning to say how long to next hour

Unit 3 Pie-charts; find the mean of a data set (suggested as 4 days)

Planning and Activities

Day 1 Teaching
Show 2 pie charts with results of favourite sports surveys. Explain what a pie chart is. Discuss how we interpret these, asking questions, e.g., Which is the most popular sport for children from school A? School B?
Group Activities
-- Interpret pie charts showing the way children come to school.
-- Interpret pie charts to determine which matches bowls of different coloured counters.

Day 2 Teaching
Show a table of how difficult 12 children find each times-table. Discuss how to show this in a pie chart. We need to work out the size of each segment by finding the number of children as a fraction of the whole.
Group Activities
-- Construct a pie chart with 6 segments based on the TV preferences of 6 children.
-- Construct a pie chart to show the proportions of ingredients in different cereals.

Day 3 Teaching
Ask children what ‘average’ means. There are different ways of finding an average. Work together to find the mean length (letter count) of a set of six names. Explore the effect of adding another name to the set (more letters than the current mean), using a calculator to find the answer.
Group Activities
-- Calculate the mean length of classmates’ names.
-- Find mean number of words per line for a page in two different books.

Day 4 Teaching
Show children a table of numbers of texts (see resources) sent on one typical day by children in Y7. Children find the average. Compare with numbers of texts send by children in Y10.
Group activities
Use the in-depth problem-solving investigation ‘Mean score’ as today’s group activity.
Or, use this activity:
-- Use understanding of how to calculate the mean to find different averages within a small group: heights, name lengths, ages etc.

You Will Need

  • ‘Pie charts’ (see resources)
  • ‘Interpreting pie charts’ sheet (see resources)
  • Two bowls, red, blue, green and yellow counters
  • ‘Pie charts showing numbers of counters’ sheet (see resources)
  • Paper and coloured pencils
  • ‘Drawing pie charts’ sheets (see resources)
  • Flipchart and different coloured pens
  • Cereal packets, calculators, compasses and protractors
  • Copies of 2 pages, each from a different book
  • ‘Tables of numbers of texts sent’ sheet (see resources)
  • Measuring tapes
  • SATs-style practice questions (see download below)

Mental/Oral Maths Starters

Day 1
Angles round a point (pre-requisite skills)

Day 2
Add 5 numbers together (pre-requisite skills)

Suggested for Day 3
Kilometres to miles (simmering skills)

Suggested for Day 4
Parts of circles (simmering skills)


Day 1
Answer questions about pie charts to show the way 36 Y2 children come to school compared with 24 Y6 children.

Day 2
Draw a pie chart of excuses for homework not being handed in.

Day 3
Find the mean of numbers rolled on a dice

Day 4
Find the mean of values in tables and bar graphs.

Mastery: Reasoning and Problem-Solving

  • Match each data set (i–v) to the best way of displaying it (a, b or c).
    (a) Line graph
    (b) Bar chart
    (c) Pie chart

    (i) Favourite songs chosen by Y6 from a list of 8 songs
    (ii) Converting pints to litres
    (iii) Hours of homework done each week by children in Y6
    (iv) Matching pounds (£) against US dollars ($)
    (v) Votes for the nation’s favourite animal from a list of 10
  • The friends have these amounts of money in their purses.
    Jo: £5.50
    Tim: £12
    Sam: £4.60
    Jill: £6.40
    Fred: £8
    Ann: £5.50
    What is the average amount that they have?
    Which children have less than the average?

In-depth Investigation: Mean Score
Children design a dice so that the mean score is 5.

Extra Support

A Piece of Pie not Cake
Interpreting pie charts.