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Number Bonds

Secure knowledge of number bonds is an essential mathematical skill. As adults, we use number bonds all the time in our day-to-day life and secure knowledge of number bonds is vital when attempting harder calculations.  At Thorpe, we teach number bonds in a variety of ways so that children are able to represent, use and “see” them independently in different applications.

Number bonds are often shown through representations. We particularly like Numicon, as a physical resource, as it allows the children to manipulate the number tiles to make the total bond. Other pictorial resources used in school include: tens frames, dienes, counters, cubes and other objects. For more information on these please refer to the calculation policy.

We also encourage children to make the connection between “fact families” where the addition and subtraction number sentences are linked. Moreover, it is useful to highlight the connection between number bonds to 10 with number bonds to 20 and to 100. For example,

1 + 9 = 10      1 + 19 = 20    10 + 90 = 100

In Year 1, children are tested weekly on a range of different number bonds. We believe this supports the children learning their bonds and many children like the personal challenge that this brings.

How the system works:

  • The are 3 tests for each number from 5- 20 , 50, 100 (multiples of 5, multiples of 10 , and mixed).
  • Children will take the challenge each week.
  • Children have one minute to complete the challenge (higher numbers have more questions than lower numbers).
  • Once a child starts, they progress at their own speed – there is no year group expectation but nationally children are expected to know their bonds from 1-10 by the end of Key Stage 1 (Year 2).
  • Children should be encouraged to learn the number bond they are working on as part of their homework.
  • There will be a recording grid on the system so teachers can track each individual’s progress.

Practising number bonds at home:

  • Give your child ten objects (lego, counters, sweets etc.) and ask them questions such as: What do you add to 4 to make 10? If you have 3, how many more do you need to make 10?
  • Write a list of numbers and see if your child can write the number bond pair for each number.