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Cotmanhay Junior School

Safe, Happy Learning

Week 5 - 7 Addition and subtraction

National curriculum content


  • Add and subtract numbers with up to 4 digits using the formal written methods of columnar addition and subtraction where appropriate
  • Estimate and use inverse operations to check answers to a calculation
  • Solve addition and subtraction two-step problems in context, deciding which operations and methods to use and why


Lesson objectives

  1. Add and subtract 1s, 10s, 100s and 1,000s
  2. Add up to two 4-digit numbers - no exchange
  3. Add two 4-digit numbers - one exchange
  4. Add two 4-digit numbers - more than one exchange
  5. Subtract two 4-digit numbers - no exchange
  6. Subtract two 4-digit numbers - one exchange
  7. Subtract two 4-digit numbers - more than one exchange
  8. Efficient subtraction
  9. Estimate answers
  10. Checking strategies


What we want children to know

  • Recognise patterns when we add and subtract 1, 10, 100s and 1,000s
  • How to use their place value knowledge to confidently exchange in addition and subtraction calculations
  • Confidently understand that we can only hold single digits in each column, anything over must be exchanged
  • Learn to write formal written methods of column addition
  • Be able to partition two-digit numbers in order to add and subtract from them
  • Be able to confidently estimate an answer by using inverse methods to check answers
  • How to independently select which operation methods to use when answering two-step problems


What skills we want children to develop

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


Prove it

Rosie adds 2 numbers together that total 4,444. What could the numbers be? How many ways can you find?


Explain your reasoning

Jack says: “When I add two numbers together I will only ever make up to one exchange in each column.” Do you agree?


Mathematical Talk

  • If we are adding tens, are the digits in the tens column the only ones that change?
  • Can you represent ___ using the equipment?
  • How many ones are there altogether? Can we make an exchange? Why?
  • Why is it important to show the exchanged digit in the column method?
  • Why is it important to line up the digits in the correct column when adding?
  • How could you check your answer is correct?