Keep hold of the grids that surround push out pieces in games. This ‘Ten Grid’ was cut to size from ‘Guess Who’.


  • Home made ten grid
  • Loose parts, Grapat, mini logs and wooden spools
  • Whiteboard and pen


First I cut the ‘Guess Who’ grid to size.

Then Ioan and Finn set out the first subtraction sum in their ten grids. They wrote it on their whiteboards too.

This was Ioan showing his working out:

They wrote the answer on their whiteboards, then set up their next subtraction sum. This time I asked Ioan if he could find a quicker way of finding the answer, rather than counting in ones.

Again, they wrote the answer to the last sum on their whiteboards and set up the next sum.

This time I set them both the challenge of working it out independently.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add two single-digit numbers and count on to find the answer.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 1 programme of study

Number – number and place value

  • given a number, identify one more and one less
  • identify and represent numbers using objects and pictorial representations including the number line, and use the language of: equal to, more than, less than (fewer), most, least
  • read and write numbers from 1 to 20 in numerals and words.

Number – addition and subtraction

  • read, write and interpret mathematical statements involving addition (+), subtraction (–) and equals (=) signs
  • represent and use number bonds and related subtraction facts within 20
  • add and subtract one-digit and two-digit numbers to 20, including zero
  • solve one-step problems that involve addition and subtraction, using concrete objects and pictorial representations