Journey Through Multiplication

Journey Through Multiplication in Video

We hope you will find this guide useful in explaining the progression of stages that are taught to the children at Exminster Community Primary School to ensure they have a secure understanding of Multiplication. The guide is written into stages, which do not directly correlate with a particular year group. The children will be moved onto the next stage when they have a secure understanding of the one that they are on. This ensures children have conceptual understanding and not just procedural; they need to understand why they doing things and how that gets the correct answer. You will find a video to go with each stage to explain the methods we teach clearly. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to come in and talk to your child’s class teacher.


Stage 1a - Multiplication

Children start by counting in sets of 2.

Stage 1b - Multiplication

Children now start counting in sets of 10.

Stage 1c - Multiplication

The number line image should be developed alongside the practical counting that children engage in and not as a separate, abstract idea. An unnumbered line will support the repeated addition image for multiplication.

Stage 2a - Multiplication

Children can now be introduced to repeated addition using an unnumbered line to support.

Stage 2b - Multiplication

Children can work on using repeated addition on a numbered line to help count in sets of other numbers.

Stage 3a - Multiplication

Children begin to explore arrays for representing multiplication, linking this to repeated addition.

Stage 3b - Multiplication

The image of an array also shows the commutative law clearly – that the calculation can be completed in any order and give the same answer.

Stage 3c - Multiplication

Arrays support later work with the grid method of multiplication.

Stage 3d - Multiplication

Arrays once again provide a useful image for introducing the grid method of multiplication.

Stage 3e - Multiplication

Children will now work on using the grid method to multiply 1-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers with more than one lot of tens.

Stage 3f - Multiplication

Next children will work on 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication using the grid method.

Stage 4a - Multiplication

The principles of the grid method can then be applied to a more formal presentation of the same strategies, expanded long multiplication.

Stage 4b - Multiplication

The expanded long multiplication method is now applied to 2-digit by 2-digit numbers.

Stage 5a - Multiplication

When the understanding is there, then children can be moved towards the more traditional approach of long multiplication. First with 1-digit by 2-digit.

Stage 5b - Multiplication

Now children can move onto 2-digit by 2-digit numbers.

Stage 6 - Multiplication

Once children have a secure understanding of long multiplication, they can work on calculations involving decimals.