Number skills

Discover our collection of GCSE maths number skills lessons, activities, powerpoints and notes. These resources are hand-picked by the Tes Maths Panel for their relevance to the 9-1 specifications - use them for planning, homework and revision.

This page contains the very best resources for teaching sections N1 to N5 from the GCSE maths specification (first examined in 2017), combining structured lessons and engaging activities. With number skills underpinning the vast majority of mathematics, these resources should help give your students a solid foundation upon which to build.

View more Number topics

Written arithmetic

Long multiplication

This selection of activities and worksheets will give children some varied practice to help embed the concept.
By WRMaths

Arithmagon 4 - Division

This a rich, Arithmagon activity on Division, linking in fractions.

I love Arithmagons as they allow consolidation of key topics when going Forwards, and then opportunities for extension, creativity and discovery when working Backwards. They are also really easy to modify to suit the particular needs of your class.

For all the Arithmagon activities in this series, together with teaching notes and extra information, please visit http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/arithmagon.htm
By MrBartonMaths

Mental Arithmetic and Written Calculation Practice

Ideal starter or weekly mental arithmetic / written calculation sheets. Randomly generated questions for approximately level 3 to level 7 (5 separate levels for written calculations) and level 3 to level 8 (6 separate levels for mental arithmetic questions); 2 separate types of test. Also, combination option including a torture square. Answer strip provided for easy marking. Also included versions with separate functions to allow focused practice with a specific skill. Questions randomise with press of F9.
By pjhumph

Simple Arithmetic Murder Mystery

Written for my bottom set year 7, this is a murder mystery puzzle based on very easy mental and written calculations. Also some simple logic.
By KCTR

Mental arithmetic

Rich Maths Task 1 - Positive Differences

Have a play around with this task, and please share any questions, extensions, simplifications, modifications, or lines of inquiry in the comment box below. The idea is to collect loads of suggestions that can then be used for effective differentiation. The full set of these tasks, along with additional notes, can be found here: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/richtasks.htm
By MrBartonMaths

Mental Arithmetic and Written Calculation Practice

Ideal starter or weekly mental arithmetic / written calculation sheets. Randomly generated questions for approximately level 3 to level 7 (5 separate levels for written calculations) and level 3 to level 8 (6 separate levels for mental arithmetic questions); 2 separate types of test. Also, combination option including a torture square. Answer strip provided for easy marking. Also included versions with separate functions to allow focused practice with a specific skill. Questions randomise with press of F9.
By pjhumph

Rich Maths Task 5 - Number Shacks

Have a play around with this task, and please share any questions, extensions, simplifications, modifications, or lines of inquiry in the comment box below. The idea is to collect loads of suggestions that can then be used for effective differentiation. The full set of these tasks, along with additional notes, can be found here: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/richtasks.htm
By MrBartonMaths

Diamond Jubilee Arithmetic Game

Mathematics game. Based on the popular '24 Game' this file contains a set of cards where, instead, a goal of 60 is set. Each card contains four single-digit numbers which must be used exactly once to reach the target.
By owenelton

BIDMAS

Diamond Jubilee Arithmetic Game

Mathematics game. Based on the popular '24 Game' this file contains a set of cards where, instead, a goal of 60 is set. Each card contains four single-digit numbers which must be used exactly once to reach the target.
By owenelton

BIDMAS BODMAS misconception posters

Order of operation posters to remind learners that multiplication and division are of equal weighting and should be calculated left to right, as are addition and subtraction.
By TheMathsMagpie

BIDMAS - Solve a Scooby Doo Mystery!

This is a double sided worksheet where students can practise completing a range of BIDMAS calculations in order to help the Mystery Gang to work out who committed a burglary! The clues that they should find are: Burglary Time: 19:30 Who was the item burgled from: Shaggy Where it took place: The Mystery Machine Item Stolen: A Sandwich Why: 'It was yummy' ...these clues should lead to the answer that the thief was Scooby Doo!
By CaptainLoui

Place value

Venn Diagrams 6 - Size of Numbers

This is a rich Venn Diagram activity on the size of numbers, including place value, decimals & negatives.

To access all the Venn Diagram activities in this collection, as well as teaching notes, please visit: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/venn.htm

Here is why I love Venn Diagram activities so much:

1) Students can always make a start. If they can think of a number/expression/object or whatever it might be, it has to go in one of the regions on the diagram, so they are up and running
2) The more regions student find, the more challenging the task gets, which adds a nice element of differentiation
3) They are incredibly versatile, and can be used for almost all maths topics for all ages and abilities
4) They are easy to tweak by simply changing one of the circle labels if you find they are too difficult/easy
5) Students can create their own as an extension task

I hope you and your students enjoy them.
By MrBartonMaths

Place Value - Levelled SATs questions

Place Value - key stage 2 sats questions organised by levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. Mark scheme and notes also added as an additional file. Word files for easy editing.
By paul urry

Place value matching cards

Pupils match words to numbers and find the value of the underlined digit. Differentiated resource (increasing difficulty per page - print different sheets on different colours, for example, to ease giving pupils the appropriate sets). I have pupils record the matchings in a table so that they aren't being recut every time I teach it.... :) NB: An adaptation of another user&'s resource.
By daniquinn

Place Value Display Banner

NEW CURRICULUM 2014 UPDATED VERSIONS: Please look carefully at the file names to download the version you want. 'Ones&' instead of &';units' - one of the amended versions has no longer got letter abbreviations to avoid confusion, the other has only amended the units page - handy if you already have the resource and only want to change 1 page. Hope this proves to be useful - please rate and leave feedback.
By lbudd1

Systematic listing strategies

Probability Listing Outcomes

For low ability students includes scaffold - focus of the lesson is on students developing a logical approach to listing outcomes.
By rigby1985

Handling Information/Systematic Listing

Calculations based on reading and processing information.
Systematic Listing: combinations based on certain conditions.
Original Promethean flipchart for simple two-way tables exercise. Click on Design Mode to reveal answers or edit.
By tumshy

Ordering negative numbers

Ordering Negative Numbers

Ordering negative numbers from least to greatest
By KhanAcademy

Putting Negative Numbers in Order

A set of cards with different sums on that students must at first calculate and then place in order. Ideal activity for students to work in pairs. Can be adapted to be made more easy or more difficult. Could also be printed off big and each calculation given to each student and they have to get themselves in order. Please take a look at my blog: http://mathsmakesmesmile.wordpress.com/ Thanks
By lauramathswilson

Maths Vegas! Negative Numbers

I used this as a group game at the end of the topic of negative numbers. Please feel free to use the idea and edit as necessary - but please share your results for others to use! Enjoy! Maths Vegas Scoreboard spreadsheet also available now to work out new totals for you - see my other resources.
By HannahJoy21

Operations with negative numbers

Venn Diagrams 12 - Negative Number Arithmetic

This is a rich Venn Diagram activity on operations with negative numbers.

To access all the Venn Diagram activities in this collection, as well as teaching notes, please visit: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/venn.htm

Here is why I love Venn Diagram activities so much:

1) Students can always make a start. If they can think of a number/expression/object or whatever it might be, it has to go in one of the regions on the diagram, so they are up and running
2) The more regions student find, the more challenging the task gets, which adds a nice element of differentiation
3) They are incredibly versatile, and can be used for almost all maths topics for all ages and abilities
4) They are easy to tweak by simply changing one of the circle labels if you find they are too difficult/easy
5) Students can create their own as an extension task

I hope you and your students enjoy them.
By MrBartonMaths

Rich Maths Task 3 - Choose 3 Numbers

Have a play around with this task, and please share any questions, extensions, simplifications, modifications, or lines of inquiry in the comment box below. The idea is to collect loads of suggestions that can then be used for effective differentiation. The full set of these tasks, along with additional notes, can be found here: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/richtasks.htm
By MrBartonMaths

Tarsia - Negative Numbers (Level 6)

A Tarsia activity on Negative Number at Level 6. These type of activities can be used to consolidate understanding of a given topic, and foster positive group work and co-operative learning. For more ideas on how to use these types of activities (including twists!) and to download the latest version of the wonderful free software to open this resource (and create your own), just click on the web-link. If you have any comments, or spot any (non deliberate!) mistakes, please share them below. Many thanks to all the teachers who have helped me assemble these Tarsias over the years.
By MrBartonMaths

Calculator use

Use of Calculator. Number: Roots, powers.. Game.

Resource written following template in ATM Mathematical Treasure Hunts publication. Activity practises/revises use of power, square root , fraction and bracket buttons on scientific calculator. Rounding to 1 dp is also involved. Cards need printing and sticking up around classroom. Pupils/pairs of pupils are given a starting point then find the six cards that make a cycle.
By nottcl

Calculator skills revision lesson

Powerpoint, tarsia puzzle and past paper questions for both Higher and Foundation. The powerpoint runs through the basics on both the Casio FX83GT plus and the Sharp EL 520W - including how to reset! Learning is consolidated with a tarsia puzzle (adapted from a sample by Brian Dye, www.mathsnet.net) and a booklet of past paper questions (with answers). Please rate and comment if you use the resources, thanks!
By complex_number

Using a Calculator. GCSE

These are a mixture of topics with the intention of just getting students to figure out how to use their calculator to do stuff It covers Percentages Fractions Complex calculations Time
By Tristanjones

Factors, multiples and primes

Rich Maths Task 2 - The Factors and Multiples Game

Have a play around with this task, and please share any questions, extensions, simplifications, modifications, or lines of inquiry in the comment box below. The idea is to collect loads of suggestions that can then be used for effective differentiation. The full set of these tasks, along with additional notes, can be found here: http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/richtasks.htm
By MrBartonMaths

Loop cards - factors, multiples and primes.

Loop cards can be used as treasure hunt or group table activity. Involves questions on factors, multiples, LCM, HCF and prime factorisation.
By Vestypops

Factors, Multiples and Primes

A lesson on discovering what factors, multiples and primes are. Hopefully follows a fairly logical process, with a quite difficult activity to end on.
By deselby

Highest common factor and lowest common multiple

Arithmagon 12 - Highest Common Factor

This a rich, Arithmagon activity on highest common factor, linking in lowest common multiple and prime numbers.

I love Arithmagons as they allow consolidation of key topics when going Forwards, and then opportunities for extension, creativity and discovery when working Backwards. They are also really easy to modify to suit the particular needs of your class.

For all the Arithmagon activities in this series, together with teaching notes and extra information, please visit http://www.mrbartonmaths.com/arithmagon.htm
By MrBartonMaths

Prime Decomposition, HCF and LCM

Calculating the HCF and LCM of 2 (or more) numbers by using Prime Decomposition and Venn Diagrams. Includes some worded questions and follows on from the other Prime Decomposition lesson I have on the TES site. If you like this resource then please check out my other stuff on here!
By Owen134866

Functional Questions on HCF and LCM

For those students who are able to apply HCF and LCM to real life situations. I found some questions and made others up. You may need to check the wording and adapt.
By ENEO01