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The curriculum for maths in Year 3

Years 3 and 4 (lower Key Stage 2) share the same curriculum targets.

In lower Key Stage 2, the principal focus of maths teaching is to ensure that pupils become increasingly fluent with whole numbers and the four operations, including number facts and the concept of place value. This should ensure that pupils develop efficient written and mental methods and perform calculations accurately with increasingly large whole numbers.

At this stage, pupils should develop their ability to solve a range of problems, including with simple fractions and decimal place value. Pupils will also draw with increasing accuracy and develop mathematical reasoning so they can analyse shapes and their properties, and confidently describe the relationships between them. It should ensure that they can accurately use measuring instruments and make connections between measure and number.

By the end of Year 4, pupils should have memorised their times tables up to and including the 12 times table, and they will show precision and fluency in their work. Pupils should read and spell mathematical vocabulary correctly and confidently, using their growing word reading knowledge and their knowledge of spelling.

We’ve outlined England’s curriculum for maths in Year 3 below. Follow the links for help and activities:

Number & place value in Year 3

Children will learn to:

  • count from 0 in multiples of 4, 8, 50 and 100; find 10 or 100 more or less than a given number
  • recognise the place value of each digit in a three-digit number (hundreds, tens, ones)
  • compare and order numbers up to 1000
  • identify, represent and estimate numbers using different representations
  • read and write numbers up to 1000 in numerals and in words
  • solve number problems and practical problems involving these ideas.

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to number and place value, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Number & place value in Year 3 page.

Addition & subtraction in Year 3

Children will learn to: 

  • add and subtract numbers mentally, including:
    • a three-digit number and ones
    • a three-digit number and tens
    • a three-digit number and hundreds
  • add and subtract numbers with up to three digits, using formal written methods of columnar addition and subtraction
  • estimate the answer to a calculation and use inverse operations to check answers
  • solve problems, including missing number problems, using number facts, place value, and more complex addition and subtraction.

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to addition and subtraction, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Addition & subtraction in Year 3 page.

Multiplication & division in Year 3

Children will learn to: 

  • recall and use multiplication and division facts for the 3, 4 and 8 multiplication tables
  • write and calculate mathematical statements for multiplication and division using the multiplication tables that they know, including for two-digit numbers times one-digit numbers, using mental and progressing to formal written methods
  • solve problems, including missing number problems, involving multiplication and division, including positive integer scaling problems and correspondence problems in which n objects are connected to m objects.

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to multiplication and division, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Multiplication & division in Year 3 page.

Fractions in Year 3

Children will learn to:

  • count up and down in tenths; recognise that tenths arise from dividing an object into 10 equal parts and in dividing one-digit numbers or quantities by 10
  • recognise, find and write fractions of a discrete set of objects: unit fractions and non-unit fractions with small denominators
  • recognise and use fractions as numbers: unit fractions and non-unit fractions with small denominators
  • recognise and show, using diagrams, equivalent fractions with small denominators
  • add and subtract fractions with the same denominator within one whole (for example, \huge \frac{5}{7}+ \huge \frac{1}{7}= \huge \frac{6}{7})
  • compare and order unit fractions, and fractions with the same denominators
  • solve problems that involve all of the above.

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to fractions, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Fractions in Year 3 page.

Geometry (properties of shapes) in Year 3

Children will learn to:

  • draw 2D shapes and make 3D shapes using modelling materials; recognise 3D shapes in different orientations and describe them
  • recognise angles as a property of shape or a description of a turn
  • identify right angles, recognise that two right angles make a half-turn, three make three quarters of a turn and four a complete turn; identify whether angles are greater than or less than a right angle
  • identify horizontal and vertical lines and pairs of perpendicular and parallel lines.

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to geometry, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Geometry in Year 3 page.

Measurement in Year 3

Children will learn to:

  • measure, compare, add and subtract: lengths (m/cm/mm); mass (kg/g); volume/capacity (l/ml)
  • measure the perimeter of simple 2D shapes
  • add and subtract amounts of money to give change, using both £ and p in practical contexts
  • tell and write the time from an analogue clock, including using Roman numerals from I to XII, and 12-hour and 24-hour clocks
  • estimate and read time with increasing accuracy to the nearest minute; record and compare time in terms of seconds, minutes and hours; use vocabulary such as o’clock, a.m./p.m., morning, afternoon, noon and midnight
  • know the number of seconds in a minute and the number of days in each month, year and leap year
  • compare durations of events (for example, to calculate the time taken by particular events or tasks).

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to measurement, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Measurement in Year 3 page.

Statistics in Year 3

Children will be taught to:

  • interpret and present data using bar charts, pictograms and tables
  • solve one-step and two-step questions (for example, ‘How many more?’ and ‘How many fewer?’) using information presented in scaled bar charts and pictograms and tables.

More information and fun activities

You’ll find a more detailed guide to statistics, advice on how to help your child at home, and free activities on our Statistics in Year 3 page.

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