Everything Parents Need to Know about Key Stage 1 Maths

key stage 1 maths learning

As your child moves from reception to year one, they plunge into the wonderful world of Key Stage 1 — otherwise known as KS1, a crucial early stage of education. This stage is where children’s educational development really begins as their cognitive abilities are explored, developed and put to the test. 

Over the coming months and years, your child will face the struggles, trials and rewards of Key Stage 1 in all subject matter, from English to geography, science to art. Today, though, we’re looking at one particular subject (and our personal favourite): maths. So, what exactly is Key Stage 1 maths, and how can you support your children’s learning and development throughout this stage?

What Is Key Stage 1 Maths?

A Key Stage is a period within a child’s education when they are taught mandatory subjects, based on a national curriculum established by the state. All students within the stage are taught the same information, although it may be imparted through different techniques and lesson plans. The concept is the same throughout the UK; key stages allow every child to gain the same knowledge. 

Key Stage 1 is the first educational stage, starting in year one and lasting two years, teaching children aged five to seven. In total, there are four key stages reaching up to the age of 17. 

Key Stage 1 maths simply refers to all maths education involved in the first Key Stage. In essence, it’s everything the government deems necessary a child between the ages of five to seven should learn about maths. 

What Subjects Are Covered in Key Stage 1 Maths?

As part of the first educational key stage, the Key Stage 1 maths curriculum includes basic mathematical concepts such as counting and a few of the easier times tables. 

Most children will have come across mathematical challenges even before they enter Year 1, but Key Stage 1 is the first time they will encounter it as part of an official curriculum. As a result, KS1 maths starts with the basics to ensure everyone is on the same page and all children have the foundation knowledge to support further learning. This is what you can expect your child to cover in Key Stage 1 maths:

  • Numbers 0 to 100
  • Counting up to 100 
  • Number patterns
  • Odd and even numbers
  • Times tables — 2, 5 and 10
  • Adding and subtracting
  • Measuring and weighing
  • Angles
  • Basic mathematical symbols
  • Graphs
  • Reading an analogue clock
  • Finding a quarter, a third, a half and doubling
  • Simple mental maths
  • Shapes — both 2D and 3D
  • Lines of symmetry

What Are the Key Stage 1 Tests?

At the moment, at the end of Key Stage 1, teachers formally assess children’s performance using teacher assessment frameworks to gauge individual children’s academic progress. The current grading system determines how children’s academic knowledge and progress compares with the national average. 

When you think of school exams and SATs, you probably think of formal exam halls, strict regulations and invigilators. However, the current KS1 SATs are held in a relaxed environment, in children’s usual school classroom, to make sure they are as comfortable as possible and to prevent exam stress and anxiety. While most tests occur in May, the papers are spread out and worked into everyday classroom lessons, so children might not even realise they’re being tested.

Key Stage 1 maths tests include two papers: one for arithmetic and one for mathematical reasoning. Children can complete these papers at their own pace (within reason). There’s no strict time limit, but most children spend around 15 minutes on Paper One and just over half an hour on Paper Two. The arithmetic paper (Paper One) is worth 15 marks and the mathematical reasoning paper (Paper Two) is worth 35 marks. 

KS1 test results help ensure standards of teaching and check children are meeting expected standards of academic progress, so you won’t usually be told your child’s KS1 SAT results. However, you can request them, and your child’s teacher will let you know whether or not your child is performing to expected standards.

However, it’s worth noting that KS1 SATs will be scrapped from September 2020, and replaced with baseline assessments for Reception pupils. So if your child hasn’t yet entered KS1, they won’t need to sit these papers, as they’ll be assessed in Reception instead. 

How You Can Help Your Child Succeed in Key Stage 1 Maths

Every child is different when it comes to academic ability, so it’s important to make sure your child gets the support they need throughout KS1. Key stage 1 is your child’s first taste of formal education, so they may start to find some subjects difficult. 

In KS1 maths, children are taught different mathematical concepts and they may struggle to grasp certain types of maths challenges. For example, a child may excel at multiplication and subtraction but struggle when it comes to shapes and graphs. But for children to develop and advance their education, they need to come to grips with all parts of the curriculum. 

You can support your child’s learning by exploring key stage 1 maths resources for Year 1 or Year 2 maths materials, depending on your child’s age. Encouraging children to use a variety of learning resources is the perfect way to help them engage in extra-curricular education. From worksheets to games and maths videos, there are a variety of learning materials that can make education fun.

You can also discuss any issues with teachers and help your child get the support they need at school. You can ensure they do their homework and teach them about the importance of paying attention while in the classroom.

Are you looking to support your child’s Key Stage 1 maths education? At Master the Curriculum, we have a diverse library of KS1 maths resources to help pupils learn, discover and grow. With hundreds of lessons and games available, it doesn’t matter what part of the curriculum they need to study. We’ve got it all covered. Sign up to access KS1 maths resources today.

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