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Foundation Stage  |  Y1 • Y2   |   Y3 • Y4   |   Y5 • Y6   |  


Mathematics: Year 1 • Year 2 ~ Mathematical challenges

The ‘Mathematical challenges for able pupils in Key Stages 1 and 2’ book was published in June 2000 and contains puzzles and problems aimed at Years 1 to 6. The book addresses class organisation, planning and teaching through answers to common asked questions. The problems are intended to challenge pupils and extend their thinking. While some of them may be solved fairly quickly, others will need perseverance and may extend beyond a single lesson. Pupils may need to draw on a range of skills to solve the problems. These include:

  • Working systematically
  • Sorting and classifying information
  • Reasoning
  • Predicting
  • Testing hypotheses
  • Evaluating solutions

Many of the problems can be extended by asking questions such as: ‘What if you could use 3 coins’ ‘What if there were more boxes?’ ‘What other totals could you make?’ In this section you will find electronic resources to support the use of these problems and puzzles. These include:

  • Teaching notes
  • Interactive whiteboard files
  • Electronic resources such as Word, Excel or Textease files

These materials support the use of key strategies such as manipulating images to reinforce systematic working and recording, annotation to record key information and listing all possibilities. Young children should have plenty of opportunities to work with practical equipment whilst developing their problem solving skills and the IWB should be used to complement and support practical work.

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PDF iconGuidance on teaching able children
PDF iconMathematical challenges for able pupils

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