Addition Methods

Stage 1

Children will begin with adding objects. We would also introduce them to the add (+) and equals (=) sign and expect them to begin to write their own number sentence i.e. 3+2 = 5

Stage 2

Children would be expected to read the number sentence independently and would then move on to using a number line to find the answer. Children need to recognise that you start at the biggest number in the number sentence i.e. if the number sentence was 7 + 9 = you would start at 9 on the number line.

Next children move on to adding single digits on a number square. Children need to recognise that when adding you jump to the right and when you get to the end of the line you jump down and go back to the left.

Stage 3

When your child is confident in adding single digits on a number square they then move on to adding  two-digit numbers. A child needs to be aware of how a number is broken down into tens and units i.e. 36 is made up of 3 tens and 6 units. When using a number line every time you add 10 you jump down one line, when adding on units you jump to the right.

Stage 4 (number line)

Adding with a number line. Children start at the largest number. They ‘jump on’ the tens amount first and then ‘jump on’ the units value.

Adding with number line, bridging through ten.

Children start by ‘jumping on’ the value of the tens. She then adds the total to round it up to the nearest 10. Finally, she adds the remaining amount to find the answer.

Stage 5

Children need to be fully confident in breaking down numbers into their tens and units. They begin by labelling the numbers in to their tens and units. Next they add the tens (36 is made up of three tens totalling 30 and 52 is made up of five tens totalling 50). Then they add the units (36 has 6 units and 52 has 2 units). Finally you circle the answers for both your tens addition and your units addition. Add these together to find your answer.

Stage 6 – Number line (with compensation)


Stage 7 – Column addition (no carrying)


Stage 8 – Column addition (with carrying)


Stage 9 – Column addition (different number of digits)


Stage 10 – Column addition (decimals with a different number of digits)