We use Base 10 in maths

Year 1 have made an excellent start to the year and came to see me with their Magician’s Challenge work. The Magician challenged the children to try some tricky maths using the Base 10 equipment to help them.

The girls told me all about their challenge which they certainly enjoyed. When I asked one of the clever mathematicians if they had used the Base 10 equipment she was very clear, “I sometimes used the Base 10 and sometimes I just used my brain.”


You may be wondering what Base 10 is and why we use it. In our school children are encouraged to develop a mental picture of the number system in their heads to use for calculation. The children initially use practical equipment to combine groups of objects to find the total. They then move on to the use of number tracks and Base 10 equipment to support their developing understanding of addition.


We encourage the children to record calculations using their own drawings of the Base 10 equipment (as lines for the 10 rods and dots for the unit blocks). You can see this in the photograph of the children’s work which shows real mathematical talent for Year 1. A challenge indeed which was ably met.

Do you want to know more about how we teach addition, subtraction, multiplication and division? There is an overview of each area included in the new planners sent home this year. We are also inviting all parents to attend a Calculation Workshop later in the term.