Number Sense and Place Value

Number Sense and Place Value

This feature aims to support you in developing children's number sense and their understanding of place value. The first three articles unpick the ideas associated with these important areas of mathematics and outline relevant research. The fourth article links to a range of tasks and our rationale for choosing them. You can see the tasks themselves, which we have grouped into five categories, by scrolling down further.

Early Number Sense 

Stage: Early years, 1 and 2
This article explores the basic foundations of number sense and outlines relevant research in this area.

Place Value: the Ten-ness of Ten 

Stage: Early years, 1 and 2
This article develops the idea of 'ten-ness' as an important element of place value.
This article for primary teachers encourages exploration of two fundamental ideas, exchange and 'unitising', which will help children become more fluent when calculating.
This article for primary teachers expands on the key ideas which underpin early number sense and place value, and suggests activities to support learners as they get to grips with these ideas.
These activities will help children develop a strong sense of number.

Ten-ness of Ten 

Stage: 1
These tasks will help children understand the 'ten-ness' of ten, a fundamental part of place value.


Stage: 1 and 2
This set of activities focuses on ordering, an important aspect of place value.


Stage: 1 and 2
One of the key ideas associated with place value is that the position of a digit affects its value. These activities support children in understanding this idea.


Stage: 1 and 2
These tasks will help learners develop their understanding of place value, particularly giving them opportunities to express numbers as amounts.