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Place value – what is it and what is my child learning in maths?

Most primary school maths lessons at the start of the academic year focus on place value. This means that children are learning about the value of numbers, and the value of digits within numbers.

Place Value
Place value – learning the value of numbers

Our quick guide to progression in place value through the primary age groups shows what schools generally cover in the first few weeks of term.

Year 1 Place Value

Development of place value skills within 10 (i.e. using numbers up to 10). This initial focus within 10 then allows application of skills in the next unit (usually addition and subtraction). Learners practise identifying and representing numbers, counting to 10, finding one more and one less than a number, and reading and writing numbers in numerals and words.

Year 2 Place Value

Development of understanding of number, particularly the value of each digit. Counting plays a major role as learners develop their understanding of numbers up to at least 100. Partitioning of 2-digit numbers into tens and ones further supports understanding. Learners also start top compare numbers using the terms more than/greater than and less than.

Year 3 Place Value

Learning moves on from 1- and 2-digit numbers to 3-digit numbers to develop understanding of the digits in numbers in the hundreds. This is further consolidated by work on finding 1, 10 and 100 more or less than a number, and more work on comparing numbers.

Year 4 Place Value

In Year 4 Place Value work, learning moves on to numbers up to 10,000. The learner again encounters ordering and comparing numbers, and further develops their understanding of partitioning. Rounding numbers and negative numbers, are introduced, as are Roman numerals up to a value of 100.

Year 5 Place Value

In Year 5 there is further development of understanding of number, ordering, comparing and rounding numbers up to 1,000,000. More work with negative numbers and counting back through zero develops confidence, and the learner meets Roman numerals up to 1,000.

Year 6 Place Value

Development of understanding of numbers up to at least 10,000,000, and further work to develop confidence when rounding numbers, draw on on all previous place value work. Negative numbers are also revisited.

Place Value resources

We have very competitively priced resources to support all year groups with place value at home. Please visit our shop page for special offers.