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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Week 13 Position and direction

National curriculum content


  • Describe positions on the full co-ordinate grid (all four quadrants)
  • Draw and translate simple shapes on the co-ordinate plane, and reflect them in the axes


Lesson objectives


  1. The first quadrant
  2. Four quadrants
  3. Translations
  4. Reflections


What we want children to know


  • Read and plot co-ordinates in the first quadrant
  • Draw shapes on a 2D grid from given co-ordinates
  • Write co-ordinates for shapes without plotting the points
  • Read and plot co-ordinates in all four quadrants
  • Draw shapes from co-ordinates given
  • Become fluent in deciding which part of the axis is positive or negative
  • Develop understanding of how to find the length of a line by using the co-ordinates of its two end points
  • Translate shapes in all four quadrants
  • Describe translations using directional language, and use instructions to draw translated shapes
  • Reflect shapes in four quadrants using both the x-axis and y-axis. Use knowledge of co-ordinates to ensure that shapes are correctly reflected


What skills we want children to develop


Use knowledge to solve Reasoning and Problem Solving questions such as:


Working backwards

Two triangles have the following co-ordinates:

Triangle A: (3, 5)   (7, 5)    (4, 7)

Triangle B: (3, 1)  (7, 1)   (4, 3)


Describe the translation of triangle A to B and then from B to A.


Possible answers


Follow the clues. What could the missing co-ordinates of the shape be?

  • The shape is a regular polygon
  • The shape crosses all four quadrants
  • At least three points have 0 in their co-ordinates
  • One of the points is (10,10)


True or false?


Dexter has translated the rectangle ABCD 6 units down and 1 unit to the right to get to the yellow rectangle.

Explain your reasoning.   



Mathematical Talk


  • Which axis do we look at first?
  • Does joining up the vertices already given help you to draw the shape?
  • Can you draw a shape in the first quadrant and describe the co-ordinates of the vertices to a friend?
  • If (0,0) is the centre of the axis (the origin), which way do you move along the x-axis to find negative co-ordinates?
  • Which way do you move along the y-axis to find negative co-ordinates?
  • Which point are you going to look at when describing the translation?
  • Does each vertex translate in the same way?
  • How is reflecting different to translating?
  • Can you reflect one vertex at a time? Does this make it easier to reflect the shape?
  • Which axis are you going to use as the mirror line?