Numeracy at Year 1

As a family, you can really support your child’s numeracy – the ability to use maths at school and in daily life. Discussing numbers and numeracy each day will help develop your child’s mathematics and numeracy skills.

In the early years of school, your child will be taught numbers, what the number names are and how to write them as words and numerals. Teaching children the relationship between the name of the number, the number and how to say it is important. Your child’s teacher will be able to tell you which numbers the class is learning in lessons each week. You can then practise these numbers with your child at home.

Numeracy and the Year 1 Number Check


Numbers are just one part of learning about numeracy. Understanding numbers is very important in everyday life.

Numbers form a common language to describe many situations. They are used in all subject areas, and in all areas of numeracy and mathematics including measurement, telling the time, money, collecting data, representating data, and describing the probability that things might happen.

Students often start with learning the numbers one to ten before moving beyond them. Zero is an important part of the number sequence, as a placeholder in other numbers and as an individual number value.

Students often find the teen numbers such as 14 challenging. The change in language and the way the numbers sound can make it difficult to remember which digit comes first (for example the 4 or the 1 in 14). Recognition of this concept highlights the importance between numeracy and literacy.

It is important to identify children who need extra support in learning numeracy early so teachers and families can plan for any specific support they may need. When this is done early, children have the best possible chance to improve their numeracy skills.

The Hub provides tools to help identify students who need extra support:

  • the teacher-administered online Number Check
  • the Year 1 Number Check for families.

The teacher-administered online Number Check is a quick and easy way to check the numeracy knowledge of Year 1 students at school. The Check is just one part of a numeracy program for your child. The online Number Check is freely available for schools. It is a voluntary check (for you and your child’s teacher).

The Check will help the teacher to identify how well children can recognise numbers, count forwards and backwards, count objects and solve simple addition and subtraction problems.

The Year 1 Number Check for families shows you the type of questions the teacher will ask your child in the Year 1 Number Check at school. You can complete the printable sheet at home with your Year 1 child.

The Year 1 Number Check for families guide gives examples of how your child might answer the questions.

Links to these two resources can be found below.

The guide Year 1 Mathematics at school: what to expect aims to help families get a sense of how their Year 1 child is developing in mathematics and numeracy. The guide lists some of the skills your child will be learning at school and suggests ways to support them at home with simple, everyday activities.

The link to this resource can be found below.

If you think your child may need more support in numeracy, ask your child's classroom teacher how you can best provide this at home. Teachers  can draw on a range of resources from the Mathematics Hub that will help you to reinforce what your child is learning in class.

Year 1 Mathematics at school: what to expect

Use the great ideas in this guide to help your Year 1 child with mathematics and numeracy learning at home.

Year 1 Mathematics at school: what to expect (accessible version)

Year 1 Number Check for families

The Year 1 Number Check for families shows you the type of questions the teacher will ask your child in the Year 1 Number Check at school. Print out this sheet and talk through each question.

Year 1 Number Check for families: Guide

Use this guide to help you with the Year 1 Number Check for families.