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Fractions Supporting Materials

Created on 11 April 2014 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 13 May 2014 by ncetm_administrator


It is well known that the teaching of fractions to most pupils is challenging. The new National Curriculum for Mathematics has introduced increased expectations for all pupils in primary school and in particular in fractions.

This resource is designed for anyone who is required to teach fractions in primary schools (and beyond). The aim is to provide an in-depth understanding of the fractions content of the programme of study and to support teachers to improve their subject knowledge so that teaching and learning is appropriate and meaningful. The content is deliberately non-year group specific. It will become clear very quickly that that the ‘big ideas’ contained within this booklet are developed year on year across the whole primary phase. It is essential that teachers in KS1 are aware and understand how what they teach, is built upon in KS2 and likewise it is essential that teachers in KS2 have an awareness and understanding of what conceptual understanding they are building upon.

The content can be used for self-study or to support a whole school staff meeting to improve subject and pedagogical knowledge in the teaching and learning of fractions.

The content may also be useful to support the writing of a school curriculum in the light of the new National Curriculum or calculations policy to ensure that there is a consistent and progressive approach to the teaching of fractions across the school. (Further guidance on writing a school curriculum for mathematics is available in the NCETM Developing a Scheme of Work Document).

This resource addresses the following ‘big ideas’ in fractions:

  • Recognising fractions
  • Fractions as numbers
  • Comparing and ordering
  • Equivalence
  • Calculating

For each ‘big idea’ there are four sections which provide information

  • Exploration and research around each ‘big idea’. This captures a small sample of research in the field that will help to deepen teachers’ understanding of the subject.
  • Possible misconceptions identifies some common misconceptions associated with this ‘big idea’ and how these might be addressed.
  • Progression from Y1-Y6 in the new PoS for each ‘big idea’ identifies progression across year groups.
  • Using representations to support understanding of those big ideas provides examples of powerful representations that support the development of conceptual understanding alongside procedural fluency for the ‘big idea’.

Think Piece Within each ‘big idea’ section there is a think piece to help you reflect on current practice.


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